II only watched for a few minutes, but Matt has a penchant for contradicting himself: first he shows a jazzy powerpoint slide of how good Havana would look if only the USA would bring trade and prosperity, and then he mentions that nearly every other country in the world cn trade with Cuba.
Yet people only earn fifty cents a day. Why is that?
Matt just can’t seem to get it, so let me spell it out for him: Because COMMUNISM DOESN’T WORK, Matt!
To the editor:
I felt enough had been written about the Princeton Public Library’s recent “human rights” film festival. However, since three letter writers have chosen to keep the subject alive, a response is warranted.
One letter denounced “hard-right anti-Castroites” who protested the inclusion of pro-Cuba films. Well, if it is “hard-right” to loathe a dictator who brooks no dissent, jails political prisoners, and has clung to power for a half-century, I plead guilty.
A few questions for the writer: Does this make you a “hard-left pro-Castroite?”
Should you have mentioned that your wife organized the festival?
Among those “hard-right anti-Castroites,” do you include the elderly man who spoke about his years in Castro’s prisons?
Finally, does Cuba, which Human Rights Watch calls the “one country in Latin America that represses nearly all forms of political dissent,” really deserve to be lauded in a festival about “human rights?”
Festival organizers even embellished their films with a guest speaker:- a particularly noxious woman who would not even concede that Castro’s gulag is less than democratic. For the former prisoner, it was literally insult heaped upon injury.
Another letter praised the festival’s “courageous” pursuit of free expression. With apologies to Warner Wolf, give me a break! “Courage” implies steadfastness despite a threat of harm, such as daring to dissent in Cuba, or boarding a raft hoping to reach Florida.
In the case of our film festival, a few activists used other people’s money (taxpayers) to show films promoting their own world view. Attendees learned about the plight of the millionaire Dixie Chicks, whose “rights” were apparently trampled when radio stations refused to play their music.
At last year’s festival, we heard that corporations, by their very nature, are “psychopathic” and in need of therapy. Yet each year, festival organizers are praised by their colleagues, and letter writers commend their “courage.” My point is that ascribing “courage” to people who dabble in radical politics insults to those who actually deserve that adjective.
It is vitally important to mention that in the festival’s three years, there has not been one offering about the Muslim/Arab world, where “rights” are truly in short supply.
What about the right of a female to drive, to study, to avoid genital mutilation? The right of an Israeli teenager to have pizza without being vaporized by a suicide bomber? The right to publish cartoons mocking the “prophet” Mohammed? Not a syllable in three years. Is it because these “courageous” librarians are afraid to offend Muslims, who fight back with fatwas? Is it because condemning Islamic abuses doesn’t mesh with their world view, in which the West is the source of all evil?
If the festival organizers want “dialog,” let it commence. We might begin by asking whether Princeton’s overburdened taxpayers wish to subsidize a festival that is less about “human rights” than it is a pretense for promoting a political agenda. And, oh yes, those “psychopathic” corporations might consult their therapists about the wisdom of supporting people who loathe their very existence.
Paul J. Budline
Update, 4PM: Val Prieto and I were Captain Ed’s guests, and you can listen to the podcast here. We discussed the many inaccuracies and omissions from the Today Show, not the least of which are the imprisoned dissidents, like Vladimiro Roca and Oscar Elias Biscet, Coco Farinas (who’s protesting for access to the internet) and also dissidents like Martha Beatriz Roque Escabello and Ladies in White (wives, mothers, and sisters of 78 dissidents who were imprisoned for distributing books). Later in the program Dymphna and Ziva called in.
Great news for Maria Conchita Alonso fans, she’s producing a documentary and will be in a movie about Venezuela.