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484580 Posts in 28410 Topics by 2464 Members - Latest Member: austinrobert April 02, 2020, 09:49:47 AM
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Author Topic: A county gripped by paranoia  (Read 211 times)

Offline Serge

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A county gripped by paranoia
« on: April 21, 2005, 11:49:31 PM »
So I was reading the news on Yahoo, and came across an interesting article about a new wave of US propoganda leaflets being dropped into Cuba:

While I'm not gonna give my own opinion on how I feel about what the US is doing, I do want to explore another issue covered in the news article.

Upon discovering the pamphlets, the responces by the Cuban citizens in the second portion of the article were rather interesting to me.

Quote from: article

 "There are a lot of things that are not going well," said Roja, who said he was a political prisoner in the 1980s. "Things have to change. I don't have hope for myself but maybe for future generations."

Halfway down the block, a man in his 20s said he spotted the fliers in the early-morning darkness and thought they were children's books. He brought them inside, turned on the light and saw the photograph of Bush.

"What is this?" he recalled thinking. He opened his front door and peered outside.

"The rumor is that Cuban state security are giving them out to see who is allied with the opposition," he said.

The resident said he read Bush's speech but was unmoved because he opposes the Iraq war and dislikes the president.

"If it was another person, it would have inspired me," he said.

Across the street, Juan Dominguez, a 49-year-old seaman, said the pamphlets were just another tool for the U.S. government to impose its will on Cuba.

"I'm against these pamphlets," Dominguez said as he repaired an old Russian motorcycle. "There is no reason for the United States to be involved in our affairs. We are a free country. We don't go to the United States and hand out information."

Several doors down, Lazaro Gonzalez, a 58-year-old ice cream vendor, said he backed Castro and called the U.S. hypocritical for distributing fliers about democracy and human rights.

"How many crimes have been committed by the Americans at the Guantanamo base?" Gonzalez asked, referring to the U.S. naval base in Cuba where terrorism suspects are detained. "How many Iraqis have been killed? This is what Bush should be concerned about."

Daniel Erikson, director of Caribbean programs at the Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington policy group, said the leaflets are designed more to irritate Castro than to cause change on the island.

Erikson said Cubans have become extremely "risk adverse" because they live in a police state. Cuban authorities have made clear that anyone associated with the U.S. government-financed program is a traitor who could be jailed.

"Cubans do not see it to be in their own interest to be accepting or reading these flyers," Erikson said. "It's not that people are not interested in democracy. But the U.S. is not the best messenger."

Wayne Smith, a former top U.S. diplomat in Cuba, said exiles in Miami have periodically airdropped leaflets over Cuba since the 1959 revolution. He said the current effort apparently is the first of its kind involving Cuba and the U.S. government.

"Giving out copies of Bush's speech and thinking it will change people's minds is really stupid," said Smith, a frequent critic of U.S. policy.

But the Zamora resident who handed out the fliers said he did it because he hates Castro and communism and doesn't care if he ends up in prison.

I've always kinda wondered about the education in Cuba, and the thoughts of its citizens. There are many people in Cuba who are so striken by fear that they fear that anything that looks like freedom of speech is simply planted there by the government to trick and arrest people who might be interested in it... a tactic used in China's Great Leap Forward, and often in the Soviet Union as well. I was wondering what everybody else thought about it.

^ Thank you Lady Ry'en ^_^

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