October 21, 2008

A Glimpse of Hope

I was sitting at my desk, enjoying my numerous privileges as a North American citizen who’s already determined that Barack Obama is the only sane choice for the future and wondering about what to do for lunch when a friend dropped the summer 2008 issue of Glimpse on my desk. “There’s something about Cuba,” she said, referring to the magazine.

Having been busy formalizing my education over the past year-point-five (first at the California Institute of Integral Studies, and now at the Colorado Technical University Online), I hadn’t thought much about Cuba, focusing instead on my internal plans and desires for world domination.

But there it was, sitting on my desk, partly covering the recent book by Riane Eisler (The Real Wealth of Nations), which I doubt would be on John McCain’s and Sarah Wink Wink Palin’s reading list (though I wish it was). So I explored the magazine with my chef salad and diet coke and took part in a wonderfully unexpected look at modern Cuba.

The article began with a mild historical perspective; “Cuba and the United States have not always been the friendliest of neighbors—to put it mildly.” Perhaps a bit too mild. You might say that the U.S. has wanted to control Cuba since the early 1820s… or that the U.S. has opposed every effort for Cuban independence since 1868, or that we continue to support Cuban-American terrorists who don’t mind killing Cubans. But in today’s political climate it makes sense to start things mildly.

There doesn’t seem to be a way to tell American people about the history between their big country and the small island without putting things mildly, as the truth will simply drive many to their corporate media viewing stations.

Glimpse magazine’s section on Cuba doesn’t try to hit you over the head with facts… it gives you a gentle nudge while pointing to a serious flaw in our foreign policy. An American tourist is quoted: “President Bush is hated by Cubans, but American citizens are very well-received. Most Cubans have no trouble separating our people from our government.” If only pro-embargo Americans and Cuban-Americans could take that same view of Cuba, we would not be punishing the people of the island because we don’t like their government. Maybe they’re just more civilized than we are.

The youngest and wisest person that I know once said that Cuba-policy seems to be run by spoiled children from a wealthy family… children that won’t ever have to worry about getting a scholarship for school, or even completing their required course work in order to graduate.