Friday, July 27, 2007

Meet the New Cuba Policy, Same as the Old...

Cuba has an entwined thorny history with the USA. Illegal entry into the USA grants fleeing Cubans a separate and unequal immigration stance, the horridly named "wet foot, dry foot"policy.

During the recent boiling over of immigration suds, no one really attacked that difference. Cubans come knowing the proviso, if they are Cuban and make it to land even by millimeters (dry foot), the immigration umpire yells "safe". Caught in US territorial waters in a flimsy boat or an inner tube as a Cuban, is ruled a foul (wet foot). Many take another chance.

Some rallied for "Keep Out" fences along the land-locked US-Mexican border. No one is funding a twin northern Canada fence, though the Millennium Bomber used that entry.

Nothing galvanizes US policy towards Cuba the way the name Castro does. Al Qaeda's Osama does not have near the same longevity of dominating policy. On both, the US has deemed them or their organization or country sponsors of terrorism. Yet, if you have a dry foot... Fidel Castro handed over the reigns to Raul Castro. The notable change is that Raul's speeches are shorter about the Revolution. There is talk of the needed structural changes for Cuba, but the more things change the more they stay the same.

Cuba's rich and vibrant history is smothered by oppression. The US has a history of touting Democracy and slavery at the same time. At some point, the cognitive dissonance regarding the dialogue needs to take place, especially when the fence is advocated against a country we import oil from and have not designated them a sponsor of terrorism.
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Cuba's rich intellectual history is documented in the poems of Jose Marti (1853-1895). Cuba Confidential: Love and Vengeance in Miami and Havana by Ann Louise Bardach is a must read book that is part Cuba travelogue providing precious insight into all sides of the debate that divides families and loyalties. An org chart of connections to families in the US; especially Miami, and Havana is invaluable. Tad Szulc wrote Fidel: A Critical Portrait that informs and challenges what drove his actions.

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