I read the preamble and something just snapped in me and I thought, "I need to break this down so any liberals who read this will understand just how stupid it sounds." So here goes.
"We are in Cuba, a country that approaches the celebration of 50 years of its revolution. Cubans describe the present period as a “Kairotic” passage, a time of crisis and opportunity."One should check out various meanings of words before they use them. The Urban Dictionary defines the WCC's term Kairotic as "used to express gayness or queerness or just to make fun of people who you don't like." To be gracious let's just accept the idea of a critical time. When has Cuba, the U.S., or any other nation NOT been a time of crisis and opportunity?
"The people’s suffering is acute because of the U.S.-imposed blockade and the general forces of empire. By “empire” we mean the complex and dynamic international regime of power anchored by the United States, with its military power, neoliberal globalization, racist and patriarchal ideologies and policies of environmental degradation."Wow, what a mouthful! I cannot believe someone actually wrote this down let alone, apparently believing it to be true. Let me say, I am a registered Democrat, a Johnson, Kennedy, and Carter Democrat and even I know this stinks like a load of horse*(*@$%.
U.S. imposed blockade—what the heck? The U.S. have not been turned back ships or surrounded Cuba since 1963 missile crisis. Since the authors and others can travel to Cuba it seems some nations, Mexico and Canada, to name two, are obviously not part of the great U.S. "empire".
Complex and dynamic international regime of power anchored by the United States—this belief is right up there with those who think we the moon landing was fake, World Trade Center was destroyed by the CIA, and that Professional wrestling is a real sport. Is there no nation that is outside the reach of Darth POTUS?
Where is the outpouring of sympathy, help, aid, money, technology and the like for Cuba from those equally free-minded nations of Iran, North Korea, China, Argentina, Venezuela, Russia etc.? Oh yeah, Cuba doesn't have any way to pay for the aid and even in would-be communist nations like China it's all about the return on investment.
It's military power, neoliberal globalization, racist and patriarchal ideologies and policies of environmental degradation—yeah, and we talk funny too. They're right about the military power. The U.S. has the only "blue-water" navy in existence. We have the ability to drop a bomb on almost any place in the world, tell you when we're going to do it and there is very little the one being targeted can do about it. When it absolutely, positively has to be blown up over night we can get the job done in a dozen ways. In spite of this great ability, and in spite of the fact that Cuba is only a few miles from our mainline we've not done this. We've not threatened it since the 60's and there is no interest in or desire to even entertain the idea.
As far as neoliberal globalization how much international debt does Cuba owe? I don't think neoliberal is the cure all for what economically ails the world but I do believe it has a greater potential than the 70+ years of failure we saw in the socialistic economy of the USSR. Even China has adopted a much more neoliberal approach to its economy in the past decades. Why would the last bastion of Communism succumb to capitalism? Could it be because it works?
I believe it is sad that the charge of raciest and patriarchal would be used considering the nature of Latin culture and the emphasis put on being macho. Certainly the U.S. has issues, but we're miles ahead of honor killings for a daughter's dating a non-Muslim. Our nation has not broken into tribal factions over elections like Kenya, or nationalist warfare as in Serbia or into armed camps as in Lebanon. I can't help but ask the authors what have non-raciest, egalitarian nations like Denmark, Switzerland and France done to improve the situation in Cuba?
In the arena of environmental degradation we are all to blame. It's not a U.S. thing. How many of the 23 signatories to this document do not own autos, refuse to use florescent lights, and insist on non-plastic computers? The answer is ZERO. Consider the Kyoto Protocols which allow China and India to make no reductions at all to the greenhouse gas emissions. And China is putting a new coal plant in operations every week.
In spite of these forces of empire and Cubans’ relentless suffering, isolation and impoverization, we have been inspired by the ways Cubans persevere in struggle, embodying joy and resistance, dignity and self-esteem.There is some fun stuff in this statement. First of all it makes Cuba and U.S. sound like a Star Wars movie. Secondly, it seems sad that a visiting group should be inspired rather than shocked about what has happened to their sisters and brothers in Christ. Personally, I find it rather insulting to describe the Cubans with the terms they did. What did they expect to find when they went there—depressed, zombies with no sense of pride or hope? Does that hit anyone else as a bit pretentious?
In the present moment, for example, Cubans’ earlier revolutionary successes in agrarian reform have been set back by the empire’s brutal blockade, other international developments, and by tensions within the country. Still, Cubans press forward with ongoing reform, inventively crafting new modes of agro-ecology.Does anyone else wonder why "tensions within the country" surfaces only here in the preamble? Empire is used three times with definitions which are at best mean-spirited. Yet the 40 years of dictatorial rule is simply called tensions.
With Rev. Brown I'd have to say, I love to see my per-capita money at work in such a wonderful endeavor of fairness and justice. [choke, choke, cough, laugh]