In his spiteful address, the unelected ruler of Cuba said that he would accept President Obama’s gesture of good will “without renouncing a single one of our principles.”
What, exactly, are those principles?
Like his brother Fidel, whose name he invoked, and like King Louis XIV of France, whose name he dared not mention, Raúl speaks of himself as the embodiment of the state he rules, as evidenced by his mention of “our principles,” which assumes that all Cubans share his mindset. Raúl claims that he is defending his nation’s “self-determination,” “sovereignty,” and “independence,” and also dares to boast that his total control of the Cuban economy should be admired as “social justice.”
In reality, he is defending is his role as absolute monarch.
Cubans have no freedom of speech or assembly. The press is tightly controlled, and there is no freedom to establish political parties or labor unions. Travel is strictly controlled, as is access to the Internet. There is no economic freedom and no elections. According to the Associated Press, at least 8,410 dissidents were detained in 2014.
These are the principles that Raúl Castro is unwilling to renounce, which have driven nearly 20 percent of Cuba’s population into exile.
Unfortunately, these are also the very principles that President Obama ratified as acceptable, which will govern Cuba for years to come.
Although President Obama did acknowledge the lack of “freedom and openness” in Cuba, and also hinted that Raúl Castro should loosen his grip on the Cuban people, his rhetoric was as hollow as Raúl’s. He didn’t make any demands for immediate, genuine reforms in Cuba. Equally hollow was his reference to Cuba’s “civil society.” He made no mention of the constant abuse heaped on Cuba’s non-violent dissidents, or of the fact that the vast majority of them have pleaded with him to tighten rather than ease existing sanctions on the Castro regime.
Interesting comparisons of the revolutions going on in Ukraine and Venezuela:
Both Venezuelans and Ukrainians showed unusual courage against their rogue states — at least four Venezuelans were killed — but by Wednesday, the EU had declared sanctions against the Ukrainian regime and the U.S. announced it would follow suit. Venezuela got nothing. The crowds thinned and everyone went home.
Why the difference?
Remembering Elian Gonzalez | Scott Holleran | 22 April 2003
I met Elian Gonzalez during a visit to the Miami house which had become the flashpoint for a profound philosophical conflict–days before his pre-dawn seizure on Saturday, April 22, 2000.
A Sin to Deport Elián | Leonard Peikoff | 20 January 2000
In the name not of Cuban nationalism, but of Americanism in its original and deepest philosophical meaning, Elián Gonzalez must be allowed to remain here. Let this poor boy have a chance to live a human life. If “compassion” is one of our politicians’ chief values, as they keep telling us, can’t they show him any of it?
The Rights of Elián Gonzales |Peter Schwartz | 14 January 2000
Is communism physically harmful to human life? That should be the fundamental question in the Elián Gonzalez case.
The Life of Six Year Old Elián Gonzales is in Bill Clinton’s hands |Mark Da Cunha | 13 January 2000
The fundamental issue is not about “Florida’s large and politically powerful anti-Castro Cuban community” versus the “bond between parent and child” as one commentator insinuated (USA Today 7 Jan 2000). There is something far more important than the “parental bond” between Elián’s father and “the dignity of the Cuban people” as Elián’s father referred to his son in a Castro sponsored rally (observe that even Elián’s father admits that his son is first and foremost a political tool). That something is Elián’s inalienable right to his own life — in Cuba that inalienable right does not legally exist.
Speech on Elián Gonzalez in Washington, D.C., Part 1 | Edwin Locke | 5 May 2000
On July 4, 1776 America’s Founding Fathers identified the fundamental moral principle on which our country was based. This principle was that every individual possessed the inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The Founding Fathers also identified the proper role of government; it was to protect individual rights — specifically, to protect individuals from the initiation of force by other people, including the government itself.
Speech on Elián Gonzalez in Washington, D.C., Part 2 |Edwin Locke | 8 May 2000
The difference between Cuba and America is not just a matter of lifestyle, as some have claimed. It is not a difference like that between Republicans and Democrats.
Speech on Elián Gonzalez in Washington, D.C., Part 3 |Edwin Locke | 10 May 2000
Let us address a deeper question: why do Clinton and Reno want Elián back in Cuba?
Why Was Elian Gonzalez Less Worthy Than Giselle Cordova? | Scott Holleran | 12 July 2001
Giselle’s father, Dr. Leonel Cordova, defected to the United States last year after escaping from a Cuban medical mission in Africa. Tragically, on June 17, 4-year-old Giselle’s mother was killed in a motorcycle crash in Cuba. Like Elian Gonzalez, Giselle’s father demanded that his child be sent to live with him. But, unlike Elian in America, Giselle was at the mercy of a dictator. Castro refused to release the girl.
A Firsthand Account Of Child Abuse, Castro Style | Armando Valladares | 16 May 2000
I was in solitary confinement in Fidel Castro’s tropical gulag — where I spent 22 years for refusing to pledge allegiance to the Communist regime — when I heard a child’s voice whimpering. “Get me out of here! Get me out of here! I want to see my mommy!” I thought my senses were failing me. I could not believe that they had imprisoned a child in those dungeons.
Elián: Supreme Court Upholds Slavery Over Freedom | Chris Wolski | 1 July 2000
Wednesday’s decision by Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, refusing to hear an appeal that would have kept Elián Gonzalez in the United States, should have every American hanging their head in shame.
Elian Gonzalez: The Day America Lost its Soul | Nicholas Provenzo | 24 April 2005
Life under a communist dictatorship is abuse and in the Elian Gonzalez case, our government erred in falling to acknowledge it.
“Life” in Cuba for Elián | Jose Alvarino | 3 June 2000
I’d like to share some thoughts regarding life in Communist Cuba, important to know and understand prior to formulating an opinion on the Elián Gonzalez case, or life in the Island.