Saturday, June 13, 2015

Saturday commute cviii: Friend of mine's off to Cuba

    One of those snatch-n-grab runs
    for the weekend, soon to become
    second-nature to us all, unless
    some benign quota is imposed on
    the ransacking hordes of devel-
    opment consultants. All of this
    represents less of a volte face
    than it would seem. The politic-
    al zealotry to exploit expatri-
    ate resentments is, naturally,
    indistinguishable from the one
    most avaricious to assist our
    former satrapy in resembling
    its accommodating, passive past.

    A reasonable deference to do-
    mestic sugar interests, banana
    and tobacco lobbies, union pen-
    sion funds, distilleries, and
    an export-import bank or two,
    and Cuba should swap present
    crutches for some hand-me-down
    prosthetics any day. For now,
    who wouldn't take a weekend
    to discover the native dance?

    I admire this voyage, and I
    respect it mightily. It re-
    calls a journey I took to a
    nearby island, Jamaica, when
    she was being ground beneath
    the heel of another bland em-
    bargo, against bauxite, cen-
    tered very near to Coward's
    Firefly, insulting the master,
    to destroy a peaceable gov-
    ernment led by a socialist
    Anglo-Jamaican patriot schol-
    ar from the LSE. Kissinger
    triumphed in that noble con-
    test, and pointedly, the
    neo-Tory who came to power
    next, was the first to be
    hosted by Ronald Reagan at
    a State Dinner in the East

    Yes; that's what I thought.

    If the Obama government's 
    rapprochement with this ex-
    traordinary State; if, in-
    deed, her people's willing-
    ness to endure such genera-
    tions of such cruel offense 
    for their undiluted taste of 
    sovereignty, should precipi-
    tate, upon a weighty iron's
    cautious lifting, a 3rd Nobel
    Peace Prize -- the one for
    Iran may come first -- then a
    swindle would proclaim itself.
    But, should this government
    defer to native pride, native
    values, native genius, then in 
    every school from the Keys to 
    our Back Bay, Cuban-American
    children might demonstratively 
    restore the dignity of a smile.

    Its pleasure, its warmth, its
    glorious dispelling of inhibi-
    tion, are that close. And its 
    claim to share our provenance, 
    and gain a joyful chorus, a-
    wakens every buried prayer. 

    This, we've traveled for.


Michael Manley
The Politics of Change
  A Jamaican Testament
André Deutsch, 1974©

Michael Manley
A Voice at the Workplace
  Reflections on Colonialism
  and the Jamaican Worker
André Deutsch, 1975©

Adam Kuper
Changing Jamaica
Kingston Publishers, 1976©

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