Saturday, March 11, 2006

Abajo Fidel

Mark Rhoads over at Illinois Review finds,

According to Associated Press on March 10, "While Cuba played the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic, a spectator in the stands raised a sign saying: "Down with Fidel," sparking an international incident that escalated Friday with the velocity of a major league fastball.

The image of the man holding the sign behind home plate was beamed live Thursday night to millions of TV viewers _ including those in Cuba. The top Cuban official at the game at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan rushed to confront the man."

Puerto Rican police had to explain to the Cuban officials that it was not a crime to hold up a protest sign at a baseball game in a free country. Now the Cuban baseball team, that includes team doctor Tony Castro, a son of Fidel, is protesting the "lack of respect and security" for their team. The entire Cuban state has gone ballistic over one tiny protest sign.

Wonder what our Evangelical-Leftist Lindy Scott, who sent his kid to school in Cuba, would say?

One little sign has a big impact on tyrants. A little word from Scott might help Dr. Biscet.

UPDATE: Mark Rhoads tells us what Lindy would say.


Anonymous said...

just a quick note, lindy's "kid" chose to go to study in Cuba, she was not "sent" there as you implied...please get your facts straight if you are going to use them in attempts to bash someone. thanks

Bill Baar said...

Lindy had no say? Did he pay room-board-tutition? Or did the Cubans?

Anonymous said...

This is Stephanie Scott, Lindy Scott's daughter.

I have had the privilege of having him as my father, and I can tell you, Sir, that he values freedom very highly, so highly that he did allow me to study in Cuba out of my own free will. Indeed I was not "sent" as you say, and he did not pay for room-and-board, neither did the Cubans, Americans sent me--by way of scholarships.

But all this talk seems a bit silly to me. I think there are more important and worthwile subjects to discuss that who-paid-for-who's Study Abroad Program.
I almost hesitate to even write anything here, because I feel like I am wasting my time, but I just had some thoughts that are not written in hostility, just as ideas to contemplate. I hope they may be a benefit to you.
I would not consider myself a "leftist" (although I may lean a little bit that way by some people's standards), per se, because I believe that when we put labels on people we dehumanize them. But I do believe that there are certainly other ways that life can be done, aside from the "American Way" (whatever that really means anyway). I'm not saying that a Utopic society is out there, or attainable in any way, but I would encourage you to try to see a bigger picture. Cubans are people, like you and me. For some reason, we are very hostile to them (or their country, or leader, or whatever), or think they are severely oppressed people. I'm not saying that everything is fair down there, but it's as if someone came up to you all concerned when they first found out you were from "America," and with a suspicious eye asked what life was like under a "democracy" or under "capitalism." My guess is that you don't really think about yourself solely on those two aspects of your existence. Well, neither do Cubans. Life is much more complex than we intellectually would like it to be, and the Cuban reality cannot be narrowed down to simple factors.
If you would like to read my writings from Cuba, mostly non-political, since people are that way, you are more than welcome to, (and tear them apart and criticize them as much as you like as well) can click on the following link and look for the articles under my name:

On a similar note, I don't know if you have looked at the assessments of organizations like Amnesty International, but they (and many others like them) monitor Human Rights Violations in most of the world's countries. If you need to find more dirt on Cuba I'm sure you could go there, but before you draw conclusions, perhaps you should compare the situation in Cuba to the situation in China, a country that shares similar theories of governance (and who also happen to be one of our largest trading partners). Or perhaps you could even compare it to the US and Human Rights Violations we parttake in...or you may choose any handful of other countries that are "democratic" and "capitalist." I think you'll find the results worth contemplating. (I know I was certainly shocked!)

You mentioned the broader subject of education, and although statistics vary slightly, Cuba has a literacy rate of 97%, the same as the US. They have fewer people finishing secondary and tertiary education than us, but still fairly high for an impoverished country. Meanwhile, American-dominated international organizations, such as the World Bank and the IMF encourage (force?) countries (mostly impoverished) that have decided to jump on the Capitalist/Democratic (and Free Trading) train to cut funding for education and health care for their people.
I just don't understand why we're so harsh on Cuba when there are plenty of other injustices going on around the world that we casually ignore, perhaps you could enlighten me.

I leave you with a quote from Dostoyevski's Brother's Karamatzov, to contemplate:

"They will understand at last, that freedom and bread enough for all are inconceivable together..."

-Stephanie D. Scott

Bill Baar said...

Please, no sirs...

I responded over here.