Cuban politics is not American politics

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TO FILE. The author of the letter says: “Cuba’s problems are much more complex than the cartoons that American political groups paint. Unbeknownst to many, Cuban politics is not US politics. (AP Photo / Desmond Boylan)

Desmond Boylan

The voices of thousands of Cuban demonstrators who took to the streets on July 11 are silenced. The American right is co-opting its voices to demand that the American government inflict punishment on the Communist regime through sanctions and even military intervention. The American left twists its message into a complaint primarily about economic hardship – hardship which it says is entirely the product of the US embargo. What is being silenced? A wide range of different types of criticism inside Cuba that have little or nothing to do with the United States and its foreign policy. Protesters call on the Cuban government for freedom of expression. They demand the release of the imprisoned political activists. They demand equal access to essential goods which are currently only available to those who receive foreign exchange from abroad. They demand recognition of the need to fight racial and LGBTQ inequalities in Cuba. They ask the government to invest more in the immediate needs of the population and less in the construction of hotels. Cuba’s problems are far more complex than the cartoons that American political groups paint. Unbeknownst to many, Cuban politics is not US politics. Cuban protesters are not fighting for or against the hopes and dreams of the world’s conservatives and progressives, but for theirs.

Maité Cruz

Schenectady
Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Union College

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