Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Havana Treatment

Nothing quite upsets the Castro regime as much as criticism from those outside the island whom the regime considers its potential friends.

Anyone who dares to question Castro’s version of the world has had to bear the brunt of a normally vicious counter-attack from the dictator and his huge propaganda machine.

This has been the case for the best part of 48 very, very long years.

And no one is immune from the Havana Treatment - from famous writers and heads of State to mere functionaries.

The Czech, for instance, were pilloried in the recent past by Castro for having the temerity to call for democratic change in Cuba.

Same with the Slovaks, the Hungarians and the Poles.

Even mild-mannered Australians in Geneva have been given the Treatment for wanting to amend a UN resolution on the US commercial embargo to include the issue of human rights.

Now, it’s the turn of the Swedes, according to media reports.

It seems Cuban officials have launched a scathing attack on its one-time Scandinavian friends following a speech to the UN by the Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Carl Bildt, in which he criticised the Castro regime’s human rights record.

In response, the Cuban delegate, Rodolfo Reyes Rodriguez, accused Sweden of “persecuting migrants”, carrying out “ethnic cleansing” and even of raping and pillaging back in the days when
Viking ruled the waves.

A very pissed off Mr Bildt has told local media that he will call in the Cuban ambassador for an explanation for the “unacceptable” language, which seems to have developed into a full-blown diplomatic crisis.

"We'll see if the Cubans explain themselves,” the Minister added. “We have demanded an explanation and an apology but I am not sure I have such high expectations of this Cuban regime.”

He is right about that.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is quite in character for what passes for official Cuban diplomacy. The government long ago sank to vulgar, undignified, unbecoming cheap bluster to answer any and all external criticism. The idea, apparently, is that the best defense is a good offense, which also involves being overtly offensive. It's a crude ploy to avoid dealing with reality by taking evasive, ad hominem action.

3:04 am  

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