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Cuba, the President and "Guasinton"

Those of us who suffered directly or indirectly from the consequences of communist rule in Cuba are traumatized. We have developed a hyper sensitivity to the word "socialism," a type of post-traumatic stress disorder that sometimes steals our ability to exercise our political judgment.
Opinión
Pedro Freyre
Pedro Freyre is a Miami-based attorney.
2020-10-20T13:05:51-04:00
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U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks in honor of Bay of Pigs Veterans in the East Room of the White House on September 23, 2020 in Washington, DC. Crédito: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

As a child I remember a friend of my father saying “don’t worry, we are going to 'Guasinton' to ask the Americans to solve the Cuban problem“.

So it was, and so it continues to be. This hope, that in some fashion the solution to Cuba’s problems resides in Washington or 'Guasinton', has deep roots in the soul of Cubans and Cuban Americans and does not lack a semblance of logic.

Many presidents of the United States, not to say every single one since William McKinley, has promised to do something to “solve the Cuban problem“. One of them got on a horse and charged up San Juan Hill with a sword to evict the Spaniards from Cuba.

Others sent battleships to visit the port of Havana to intimidate the caudillo of the moment. Another one; young, handsome and a gifted orator, sent a brigade of Cuban patriots to the island and left them high and dry at the Bay of Pigs.

And so it goes. With the passing of time we learned how to play the political game in our beloved adopted country, and Cubans that we are, we punched above our weight, electing representatives and senators and being so brazen as to nominate not one, but two candidates for the presidency. And with the passing of time, the Cuban problem continued without solution in Washington, but those who aspire to find a job in Washington also learned how to play with the vote of the Miami Cubans.

The rules are very simple; all you have to say is that Fidel (or nowadays his political heir) is to blame for everything, the candidate will get “tough“ with the Cuban regime, and his or her opponents are socialists, meaning communists. This last rule is important to remember.

Those of us who suffered directly or indirectly from the consequences of the political social and economic disaster which results invariably from the application of Marx‘s philosophy to government are traumatized. We have developed a hyper sensitivity to the word "socialism," a type of post-traumatic stress disorder that sometimes steals our ability to exercise our political judgment and makes us vulnerable to this last rule of the game.

Like Pavlov‘s dogs, we hear the word and we immediately begin to do as we are told. Our personal interests are cast aside. Do we have medical insurance? do we have a job? do our children have a future? are we at risk because the pandemic has been mismanaged? These concerns are forgotten because someone identified his or her opponent as a communist.

Today, in this terrible 2020 which we all want to forget, the game begins anew. Once again an American President in Washington shows up in Miami surrounded by local admirers. They praise him in a language that he does not comprehend and which he despises, and in a theater, to be sure a very appropriate venue for this most theatrical of Presidents, he promises once again that the time is at hand, that he will get tough on the Cuban regime. He, who according to himself only knows how to win, will win this game, and his opponents are of course communist.

And we, dreamers that we are, fall under his spell and we forget that this President is more similar to Fulgencio Batista and Gerardo Machado, Cuban dictators of old, than the worst nightmare we could have imagined.

By invoking the magic words, this President, angry, corrupt and spectacularly inept captures us under his spell. His many failings are forgotten and excused. And 2020 continues to move forward with 200,000 Americans dead from Covid, without universal medical insurance, and with the unemployment rate at 10%.

His sexist, racist, and anti-Hispanic words and actions, and his support of brutal dictators from the right and from communist countries, Russians and Koreans, are rendered without importance because after all he is in 'Guasinton', his opponents are automatically and magically communists, and he who according to himself, only knows how to win, will finally solve the Cuban problem.

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