By ANNA DI CARLO*
Re: Op-ed in the Globe and Mail, February 25. Originally posted on February 25, I am reposting as Globe editorial on March 22 called for regime change in Cuba.
Certain things are well known when it comes to the U.S. For instance, the U.S. contains only 4.4 per cent of the world’s population but it has the dubious prestige of incarcerating 22 per cent of the world’s prisoners, not to mention a largest number of political prisoners. It is also infamous for its arbitrary detentions and Guantanamo-type torture camps. In 2015 alone police in the U.S. killed 1,140 people.
Even though U.S. abuses of human rights at home and abroad are so staggering as to boggle the mind, one of the Comment writers for the Globe and Mail, a Mr. Konrad Yakabuski who was based in Washington, DC from 2009 to 2013, seems oblivious to the facts which count in life. Of course, it is his prerogative to prefer a system where the leaders sell their souls to rapacious international money-lenders who are known swindlers and the basest creatures the American style of inhuman democracy has given rise to. But why he thinks that others think like he does is surely beyond reason.
Mr. Yakabuski badmouths Cuba over what he calls “repression,” “democracy,” “human rights” and “succession.” He mocks the attempts of others to solve problems facing their economies and to ensure a stable succession for their people. He calls himself a journalist but is so blinded by anti-communist dogma that he seems to think his fairy tales about Cuba are believed by everyone else. All this does is discredit himself.
Far from sowing doubt about the Cuban revolutionary process, Mr. Yakabuski’s turgid op-ed in the February 25 issue of the Globe and Mail more aptly reveals how paltry has become the spectre which inhabits his own pathetic imagination. He is to be pitied for being so concerned about Cuba’s economy rather than that of his own country which is on the eve of announcing a $30 billion deficit blamed on, amongst other things, the collapse of the price of oil. Workers laid off from Canada’s oil patch who are now unemployed and in dire straights may surely sympathize more with the plight of Venezuela than wishing, as does Mr. Yakabuski, for that country’s collapse as well.
This is the 21st century and the world is facing serious problems but Mr. Yakabuski sees fit to arise as a kind of Rip Van Winkle who has been hitting the snooze button for so long that he missed the fact that the Cold War anti-communist method of arguing “totalitarianism” versus “democracy” ended nearly 30 years ago. The fall of the Soviet Union deprived the U.S. of its bogeyman leaving no one to blame but itself for the crimes committed everywhere in the name of its “freedom,” “democracy” and “human rights.”
As for his concern about the Cuban succession, are we really to believe that the destruction and havoc wreaked upon Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and now Syria provide a “succession” for Mr. Yakabuski’s own cherished notions of “freedom,” “democracy” and “human rights”? As the world is plunged into the abyss by the U.S. striving for domination and Canada is hitched to its war chariot, Canadians are in no mood to pay heed to his anti-communist fairy tales.
To the chagrin of Mr. Yakabuski, Cuba is very much part of this world and it enjoys the heartfelt support and good wishes of Canadians and the peoples all over the planet. When speaking about “succession,” perhaps Mr. Yakabuski will consider writing his next op-ed on the circus that passes for politics in the USA which looks like lantern slides from another planet. The players are a Mr. Trump and his fellow champions of U.S.-style human rights, freedom and democracy. A sordid succession indeed!
To quote one of the Cuban dissidents whose cause for “democracy in Cuba” Mr. Yakabuski champions, “The vote was clean. The count was clean. People don’t want change. They still want revolution.” – Hildebrando Chaviano, a lawyer who ran and lost in the 2015 local elections in which more than 7.7 million people voted out of a registered electorate of 8 million people.
*Anna Di Carlo is National Leader, Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada