Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Havana, here we come

Like the good Stalinist that he is, Fidel Castro has traditionally divided Cubans living outside the island into two groups: the “bad” Cubans and the “good” Cubans.

The bad Cubans, which are in the majority, are normally referred to as the “Miami Mafia”, a generic term that covers anyone who has ever dared criticise the regime, regardless of where they live, their background or their politics.

Bad Cubans are invariably portrayed by the official media as supporters of Fulgencio Batista (seriously!). Or as greedy “mercenaries” who can’t wait to return to the island so they can rape and pillage at will, forcing children to beg in the streets, encouraging prostitution and barring working class Cubans from the best and most luxurious hotels and resorts ... Hmmm, sounds like Cuba today, no?

Anyway, the good Cubans as far as Havana is concerned, are a small but active minority that engages directly with the regime’s hierarchy and who are careful never, ever to criticise the Castro brothers.

Well, you will be happy to hear that the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs has just announced that about 150 good Cubans have been invited to Havana later this month to discuss matters of mutual interest with representatives of the regime.

According to Carlos Zamora, head of consular affairs at the Ministry, the good Cubans will come from all over the place, including the United States, Mexico, Canada and Europe.

Among the topics for discussion: the US trade and commercial embargo and its impact on the island (tick); plans supposedly drawn up secretly by George W Bush to invade Cuba and rape and pillage, etc (tick); and ways of countering the “lies” and “fabrications” told about the regime by those nasty imperialists and their lackeys, like the BBC and The New York Times.

It should be a fun meeting and we look forward to the deliberations and the inevitable communique.

PS: One interesting figure revealed by the Ministry: about 20 per cent of Cubans living outside the island visited Cuba last year which, the officials claim, is about the same number as in previous years.


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