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"Losing my faith in humanity ... one neocon at a time."

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Cuba Gets in a Rather Good Zinger at the U.S.

posted by Mike at 12/18/2004 02:05:00 PM

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The United States diplomatic mission to Cuba put up a Christmas display that supports Cuban dissidents. Among the decorations of Santa Claus, candy canes, and white lights around palm trees, there is a sign that reads "75," a reference to the 75 Cuban dissidents jailed last year.

Cuba asked us to take down the "75" sign. We refused. They said a diplomatic phrase that, translated into normal speak, said, "Okay, if that's the way you want to play it ... "

On Friday, Cuba put up a billboard across from the mission that had photographs of American soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners, as well as a huge swastika overlaid with a "Made in the U.S.A" stamp.

Secretary of State Colin Powell's response was:

[T]o put "75" on the side of the building was showing solidarity with people who are being held and intimidated and whose rights are being denied by the Cuban Government. And the Cuban Government's response is to show solidarity with people who are being held and intimidated and whose rights are being denied by the American government? Ouch. Touche, Fidel. Good one.

*record scratch* Actually, I'm sorry. Got that wrong:

[T]o put "75" on the side of the building was showing solidarity with people who are being held and intimidated and whose rights are being denied by the Cuban Government. And the Cuban Government's response is to put forward and show the world a swastika? I don't think that is very wise on their part, and we will continue to stick by our troops down there, our diplomats down there and our Christmas display, with the "75."

Very well done, Colin. If the swastika hadn't been there, would you have remarked on, oh, the size stock they used? Ignoring something a little there?

The Associated Press interviewed Wayne Smith, who headed the Cuban U.S. mission during the Carter and Reagan administrations. He said, "If I were in their shoes, this is what I would do -- call attention to the fact that the United States is now guilty of torture, of massive violations of human rights. Yes, I'd like to see the 75 all released, but we're in no position now to criticize anyone."

That's the point, and one that Colin can't really outright acknowledge. We used to be able to stand with Amnesty International and criticize when egregious human rights violations were committed. After Abu Gharib, we lost our moral standing to do so, especially when the buck stopped absolutely nowhere on that whole sordid event.