Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Foxy, Full of Grace 

Image hosted by Photobucket.comThere are some good things to know about one's self and something I've discovered is that I would make a terrible drug mule. I learned this one time smuggling back some Cuban cigars from Mexico into the United States. I don't even smoke cigars but had purchased them because I was desperate for some last minute souvenirs. I had a long list of people expecting gifts, but had spent the entire trip in a tequila blackout devouring molé and shopping for myself at the farmacia with a PDR instead of thinking of others. Going through customs I had the cigar box shoved down the front of my pants with my shirt rather obviously hanging loose over my pants, like I was trying to disguise a pregnancy from my parents. If discovered, the worst that could happen would be the confiscation of my contraband and a lecture from a U.S. customs agent about supporting communist regimes, but I was still sweating, pale, shifty eyed and on the edge of vomiting.

I was waved through without incident, but was sickened rather than thrilled by all the adrenaline searing through my body. Although the embargo makes us the joke of the rest of the world, I did feel a twinge of guilt about propping up an evil, garrulous communist dictatorship. And isn’t that the fantasy of many an old man to have your very own nation where you can hold your airwaves hostage for hours on a nightly basis  and force your people to listen to your rambling, grandiose stories about how you invented the smallpox vaccination and were the most outstanding beisbol player in the history of your country. Say what you will about the evils of the HUAC, look at the alternative.

i'm not sure huac is really a good comparison for castro's sytem. a better comparison is the sorts of political systems US foreign policy folks would have as an alternative to castro's. it aint pretty. allende, contras, the dissapeared of argentina. the guy castro ousted was far worse than he is.
My frivolous post was not meant to start a debate of Cold War geopolitics. I'm well aware of the misery and blowback caused by the US's misguided policy of supporting 'friendly,' right wing dictatorships, especially in Latin America. It seemed we would have rather have the devil himself (Trujillo) in power than a democratically elected leader with slightly socialist leanings.

Having said that, I can see how scary those times were and how we should have been rightly paranoid. I just have always thought that HUAC and red scare were always pretty mild compared to what we now know was going on under Stalin and Mao, with at least 60 million murdered. Orwell could only have dreamed how bad it got there. That doesn't justify our policies, however, and I 'm sick that we can't seem to learn from our mistakes.
I do feel very, very sorry for the Cuban people having to listen to that garrulous old man. Supposedly he can go on FOR HOURS.
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