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Some Remain More Equal than Others in New US-Cuba Policy

By: Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo - @OLPL - Jun 24, 2015, 2:05 pm
The Cuban government will soon reopen its embassy in the US capital.
The Cuban government will soon reopen its embassy in the US capital. (Il Vecchio e Il M)

EspañolA revolutionary rumor in Washington, DC, can be filtered through congressional offices the same way it can from the dozens of Castroist NGOs that exist in the capital. It’s the sort of rumor that leaves no room for doubt: later this month, or in early July, the Cuban embassy in the United States will reopen at 2630 16th Street NW.

Countless state security agents who work at the Cuban “consulate” spent an entire week digging a hole for a flag pole in the mansion’s garden. It’s a residence that the Castroists stole from the republic’s treasury and the Cuban people. In practice, however, there never was a “consulate,” since the building has always functioned as one of the most important embassies in DC.

Once finished with the flag pole, the diplomatic police sang the Cuban national anthem. It wouldn’t surprise me if the song ends up on the Billboard Top 100 or featured on MTV. On December 17, 2014, US President Barack Obama said “we are all Americans” when he announced his policy shift towards Cuba. However, the real corporate trend in the United States is that “we are all Castroists” now, beginning with certain sectors of the Cuban exile community.

Roberta Jacobson, the ever-smiling US Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, has negotiated with Cuban spies Gustavo Machín and Josefina Vidal, among other diplo-criminals. Both men are members of the Cuban Interior Ministry and were caught red-handed and expelled from the United States in 2002 and 2003, respectively, for their links to Havana’s espionage network within academic institutions in the United States and the Pentagon.

They gathered at a DC bar called The Partisan, and over drinks and selfies sealed their secret deal with the Castro regime: no pro-democracy Cuban activists will be invited to the opening of the new embassy. To ensure this, the US State Department will keep the launch date secret, and the FBI will keep a close eye on the entire block. They’ll do all they can to prevent any demonstration against this “New Deal.”

Congressmen from both yanqui parties made their way to the pub like flies at a marketplace. The crème de la crème of the pro-communist lobbyists in the US Congress were joined by representatives of the recently launched anti-embargo (read: pro-dictatorship) coalition Engage Cuba. And at the head of the table sat the chief of the Cuban Special Interests Section in Washington, José Ramón Cabañas, who way before December 17 was traveling the country — from Pittsburgh to Tampa, and back to New York — asking for foreign investment and credit in exchange for the island’s slave labor.

The Cuban magnate Carlos Saladrigas, member of the executive committee of the Cuba Study Group and the man who is expected to succeed Raúl Castro, has summarized his allegiance to the regime with a slogan as wise as it is cynical: “For Cuba, China is better than North Korea.”

This is the real United States of America: a country on the verge of executive tyranny, whose leaders and achievers tend to be resentfully anti-American, conspiring against their own country — whether they know it or not — and harming the nation’s reputation as a superpower and example for the world. They may finally achieve this during the current administration.

For pro-democracy activists both on and off the island, the war is no longer against the dynastic and despotic regime of Revolution Plaza, but against the indifferent and indecent establishment of the White House and State Department.

Like the last supper in George Orwell’s Animal Farm, the executioners in green “Hecho en La Habana” guayaberas and their accomplices in “Made in Washington” suits join together to celebrate their post-Castroism future.

The apostate giggling of Roberta Jacobson and Josefina Vidal are suddenly interchangeable masks. There is no doubting the transformation of their faces. George Orwell could have summarized this as well, but only 50 years before: “The Cubans outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

Translated by Adam Dubove.

Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo is a Cuban writer and photographer, a visiting fellow of the International Writers Project, and an adjunct professor at Brown University. Follow @OLPL and his blog Lunes de Post-Revolución.