I was moved to action by our old friends the septics again. I had planned to leave the Test Card up until I was able to have my pictures back which are pending the resolution of a minor ‘financial hitch’! But I couldn’t let this one lie and it’s not a surprise the Americans don’t seem to respect their own Christmas tradition of goodwill to all men but then at least they’re not hypocritical since they don’t adhere to that policy throughout the rest of the year so why bother now?!

The case is point has so many ironic undertones it could only be the Americans who were responsible because no one else would have the barefaced cheek to tough it out. I don’t know how much coverage this item has got globally but I refer to the case of the American Interests Section within the Swiss Embassy in Havana. The BBC story is here. This institution has adorned its premises with flamboyant neon flashing christmas decorations in a peacock like display reminiscent of cold war Berlin. In addition to the usual christmas-like items they have included a neon ‘75’ which is to represent 75 people that in their opinion have been wrongly incarcerated in Cuba. The spokesman claimed this was designed to be a thought-provoking gesture rather than an inflammatory one. The building is situated on one of the main streets in Havana. The spokesman also asserted that since these were diplomatic premises they were US property and they had every right to display what they wished.

Diplomacy – di·plo·ma·cy.
1. The art or practice of conducting international relations, as in negotiating alliances, treaties, and agreements.
2. Tact and skill in dealing with people. See Synonyms at tact.
[Dictionary definition taken from dictionary.com]

Perhaps ‘gunboat diplomacy’ would be a more appropriate term:

n : diplomacy in which the nations threaten to use force in order to obtain their objectives. [dictionary.com]

To use diplomats or diplomatic premises as agit-prop is to be honest hypocrisy of cynical proportions, whilst it is no shock that it is being done to do so added to the banner of what is almost a global holiday period beggars belief.

My friends, I could not have invented a better example of why we, the rest of the world, hate the United States of America and all it’s corporately corrupted government stands for.

No mention was made of the fact that whilst the American Government CIA American Interests Section disagrees with the judgement of the Cuban authorities regarding the trial of these 75 people, there are on the American-controlled part of the very same island some hundreds of people who have not even been afforded the dignity of a trial nor to know the charges on which they are being held, nor been able to consult with lawyers or communicate without censure with their family. Will these men, guilty at the moment of nothing more than geographical and ethnic misfortune, be allowed home for christmas? (I know they are muslims I suspect they’d still be grateful to be released as would their families. Call it a gesture of goodwill in a time of goodwill to ALL men – would you like a dictionary definition of all?!)

I can only hope that the Cuban authorities will now put neon signs with the number of detainees in Guantanamo Bay [549 as of 22/09/04 according to Globalsecurity.org, or the number detained in Abu Ghraib and other jails in Iraq, or the number of times the US has defied the UN by refusing to lift the blockade on Cuba, or the number of military and covert operations the US has conducted on another country’s sovereign soil. Perhaps they should rebut the 75 with a large flashing ‘61 the year of the Bay of Pigs scandal where the US government attempted a coup d’etat on the Cuban government.

I hope now that embassies across America will fly the flags of Cuba, Palestine, Iraq, East Timor, Chile, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador etc. etc. I feel this would be very thought-provoking and I cannot see how it might constitute anything that may inflame.

Song Of The Day – Kings Of Leon – Joe’s Head

Original Comments:

Rachel made this comment,
*First comment*
It’s about time you hopped back in the game. But why haven’t the pictures shown up again? Are you late in payment or something?

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comment added :: 16th December 2004, 01:52 GMT+01
Mark Ellott made this comment,
Sometimes the sheer barefaced effrontery beggars belief.
Visit me @ http://longrider.blog-city.com

comment added :: 16th December 2004, 09:10 GMT+01
Danny the Infidel made this comment,
On Cuba and USA; Yes USA are in general some scumbags in the way they act and have acted in Latin American, and they are right out stupid in there treatment of the Cuban revolution. USA also have people incarcerated, against all civil and laws and the laws of war.
However, two wrongs don’t equals a right.
How vesselsy, intolerant, dictatorial and plain stupid USA have been against Cube, Castro is still a undemocratic, dictatorial traitor of the Socialist revolution.
I think he did the right thing way back when he booted out Batista, but why, WHY during all this years have he not talked or even hinted anything about the most important socialist reform of them all? the introduction of democracy.
I know the excuse of course, ‘Cuba are under the threat of occupation of the number-one enemy, the imperialists in USA, so maybe later my friends’, and it may even be true, or at least it was, but he could still have made democratic reforms long ago. Or does he not trust the Cuban people to make the right and obvious choice. To me it is a bit like in Orwells ‘Animal Farm’, where the liberator take on the face of the oppressors the just evicted from power.
As I see it Castro start making democratic reform, or USA will eventually come out as both moral and defacto winners of this cold war.

For the thing with the neon sign, what did you expect. People in the American foreign department seam to have grown up watching Rambo and Gilligans Island. They are subtle as elephants in a porcelain store. You are talking about a nation that ones had a president saying “My fellow Americans, I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.” on National TV. I suspect that the neon sign backfired?

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[Redbaron responds – Well dealing with the incarceration first I have far less information regarding the cases in Cuba to be able to assess the compentency of the Cuban judiciary.

On Castro he isn’t really a traitor to the revolution in so far as he never was a communist -that is merely propaganda from the US to get people to hate him. As regards democracy no Cuba is hardly the cradle for it, can you name me a country that is?

The USA will never will the moral high ground because as the large bullish aggressive country they do not have the moral high ground to take. They have shown all over the world that they are not concerned with the will of the people where this conflicts with the will of the US govt.

The neon sign only surprises me in the gall of the office responsible for being so tunnel-visioned in their single-mindedness. It made for a good blog entry as an example to our septic friends across the water as to why the rest of the world has such animosity toward the US administration.]

comment added :: 16th December 2004, 19:46 GMT+01
Diogenes made this comment,
I don’t see how you can say Castro is not Communist, this is just US propaganda, when he has openly proclaimed he is since establishing ties with the USSR after the Revolution. (Of course you can debate the definitions of communism and democracy, but that’s not the point – it’s not an American invention.)
The US ambassador seems to be ignoring the fact that in return for diplomatic immunity he is not supposed to get involved in the country’s politics. Of course the whole thing’s a stunt and any reaction by Castro is grist to the propaganda mill.

Visit me @ http://diogenes.blog-city.com

[Redbaron responds – On your 2nd point I agree entirely but on the first I do not. Castro has never claimed to be a communist per se. He was the leader of a popular revolution most of which was based on a communist ideal but he himself is not. The US propaganda has been the attempt to tar him with the communist brush because throughout the Cold War this was the ‘enemy’ and to make out there was a communist state right in their own back yard gave them the pretext to attempt invasions, coups and covert CIA ops. I see Castro in some ways more as Lenin said of a move to communism which is that you need something in between to make the transition.]

comment added :: 19th December 2004, 04:24 GMT+01
Pimme made this comment,
Any form of leadership today is tainted by favoritism, bad judgement, and general stupidity. The “do as we say, but not as we do” thing is also rampant.
Sounds like the embassy wanted to stir things up!

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comment added :: 20th December 2004, 02:07 GMT+01
Diogenes made this comment,
Well, Castro’s party is called the Communist Party of Cuba (though he only adopted this after the Revolution). See http://www.pcc.cu if you don’t believe me.
Visit me @ http://diogenes.blog-city.com

[Redbaron responds – Yes it is but then so was Stalin and Brezhnev’s party in Russia and in East Germany it was the Socialist Unity party this doesn’t mean that the policies they carried out lived up to that billing tho’. Castro is a shrewd operator and many of us respect him for it. It maybe that to preserve Cuba in the current climate his way is right, that’s a different debate, and he is to be supported against the US without question but Communist he is not.]

comment added :: 22nd December 2004, 05:16 GMT+01
Diogenes made this comment,
OK, as I said in my first post, there are 2 separate issues. The 1st is what is Communism – this you can debate. For that matter, I don’t think America has lived up to the ideals of its revolution. The 2nd issue, which I was responding to, is your claim that it is (false) ‘US propaganda’ that Castro is a Communist. No, it is Castro propaganda! And in the context of the Cold War, yes, Cuba was allied with the USSR, so US propaganda was correct to say this. This is no way justifies their attacks on Cuba.
comment added :: 22nd December 2004, 23:13 GMT+01