Thursday, November 15, 2007

Diplomatic language

Oh, dear … isn’t it terrible when the people you thought were your friends turn out to be something entirely different?

Since he unexpectedly won office in 2004, Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and his Socialist Party have gone out of their way to “repair” relations with the Castro regime.

Such repair work involved turning a blind eye to the many failings of the regime, not least the lack of democracy on the island and Castro’s appalling record on questions of human rights.

To be fair, the Spanish leader was doing what so many other Western and Latin American leaders have done over the past 50 years or so – dance to Castro’s well-rehearsed tune.

Their argument goes that by engaging with Castro and his thugs, by being accommodating towards Havana, by being cordial and understanding, the dictator will be encouraged to soften his hard line and accept change.

Well, yes, and pigs might fly, too.

So, after three years of accommodating Castro, of doing absolutely nothing to offend the regime, Mr Zapatero has just got a swift kick in the backside this morning from Havana. Talk about ingrates!

Following the highly publicised clash at the Ibero-American Summit last weekend between King Juan Carlos of Spain and that dangerous buffoon Hugo Chavez, the official Cuban media has let loose on the hapless Spaniards.

Using the characteristic vile that has made the Cuban official media such a joy to read, the newspaper Cuba Ahora has published a lengthy and officially-endorsed article describing King Juan Carlos as an arrogant and ignorant imbecile, among other things.

As for Mr Zapatero, the paper describes him as colonialist jerk, etc, etc.

Let’s see how Madrid reacts. If at all.

H/T Penultimos Dias.


Anonymous Alberto de la Cruz said...

How will Zapatero react? Well, the answer is obvious, is it not? All of this venom directed at Spain from Cuba can only be for one reason: Spain has just not been nice enough to Cuba.

If Zapatero has any hope of salvaging the relationship with his communist brothers, he is just going to have to try a little harder to be nice and accomodating. All Spain has done over the past few years under Zapatero is irrelevant. As the great philosopher, Janet Jackson, so poigniantly asked; What have you done for me lately?

1:48 am  
Anonymous asombra said...

This is just the standard knee-JERK response of the Cuban regime to any and all perceived opposition, but in this case it has no choice. Chavez is not paying billions to keep Castro and company afloat for nothing.

As for Spain's response, well, it's had lots of experience taking abuse from the Cuban dictatorship, and it will find a way to get around it again to protect its interests on the island. This is not really about integrity or honor, except superficially. The bottom line is still the bottom line.

2:06 am  
Blogger Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Here are Fidel Castro's own "reflections" on this incident as translated by me:

"Time, distance and space were reduced to zero. It seemed unreal. There has never been a dialogue like that between heads of state and government, representing, almost in their totality, countries sacked for centuries by colonialism and imperialism. No other incident could have been more enlightning. Saturday, November 12, 2007 will go down in the history of Our America as the day of truth. This ideological Waterloo occurred when the King of Spain asked Chávez abruptly, "Why don't you shut up?" In that instant the hearts of all Latin Americans quivered. The Venezuelan people, who on December 2 will answer "yes" or "no" [to Chávez's constitutional reforms that would allow him to remain in power indefinitely], was profoundly moved to realize that they were living anew the glorious days of Bolívar. The betrayals and low blows which our bosom friend receives on a daily basis will not change the feelings of his Bolivarian people towards him.

On his return to the airport in Caracas, from Chile, having been told from his very lips of his plans to mix freely with his people, as he has done so many times before, I understood with absolute clarity that, given the present circumstances and the far-reaching ideological victory obtained by him [at the Ibero-American Summit], a paid assassin of the Empire, a debased oligarch influenced by the Empire's propaganda machinery, or a mentally disturbed person, might try to put an end to Chavez's life. It is impossible to dismiss the impression that the Empire and the oligarchy have led Chávez up a blind alley putting him well within the reach of a bullet.

In Venezuela's case, victory will not be turned into a terrible setback but into an even greater victory, in order to prevent imperialism from leading us to the suicide of our species. We must continue fighting and running risks but not playing Russian roulette every day nor heads or tails. No one can escape mathematical calculations [of probability].

Under such circumstances it would have been preferable to use modern means of communications to transmit to the world live and direct the debates of the Summit."
Fidel Castro Ruz, "Reflections" of the Comandante," November 12, 2007

3:35 am  
Blogger Henry Gomez said...

Dead on correct. Luis, you'll remember that several months ago you posted an item about how Cuba condemned Canada for human rights abuses and Canada like Spain has been very friendly to Havana. It goes to show you that Castro, Inc. doesn't mind biting the hand that feeds it, especially since there have never been consequences for doing it.

3:44 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cuba only bites the hand that feeds it selectively. It would never bite the hand of Chavez, just as it never bit the hand of the Soviet Union. The dictatorship only plays hardball when it knows it won't cost much, if anything.

5:17 am  

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