28.3.09

Don't Ask Stupid Questions

The technology is terrific; the problem is human. One can with not much difficulty imagine José Marti and Antonio Maceo armed with cellphone video cameras mobilizing insurgents remotely and live, or even texting warnings to the King of Spain and General Weyler. Sure their videos and messages would have been intercepted but at least the mainstream media wouldn't have so easily been able to customize an insurgency narrative that could subsequently be used to justify a US military occupation.

What's being debated today of course is not a US military occupation of Cuba but something far more lucrative: a full fledged multi-billion dollar US tourist invasion, perhaps even led by one-sided activists such as Yoko Ono's US based sister. Not at Placetas, Cuba. No, that is not a tourist destination yet. The mainstream media has something far better for now: New York's 'Chelsea Visits Havana'.

The US President now is of course a black, not McKinley, and he doesn't seem to be buying the story to the dismay of US and international Cuba investors who have been foaming at the mouth as they jockey for position to trade tourism, culture, food, cattle, nickel, cigars, sex, sex changes, genetics, genetic parts, and energy with the 20th and now 21st century's version of Valeriano Weyler.

No, Yoko, or Yoko's sister, supporting a tyranny wasn't John Working Class Hero's idea of love. He was for the life of the people Yoko, not for perpetuating tyrannies. How could you possibly have gotten them mixed up?

Others of course think differently. They believe that art and cultural exchanges will transform the tyranny, not legitimize it while institutionalizing repression, which they contend is no different in Cuba than in China, Bush's Guantanamo or even much of the rest of the world.

Indeed at Havana's 2009 Biennial which opened Friday there is even a painting of torture chambers in Cuba, the U.S.S.R, Argentina, Chile, the Pentagon and the US Guantanamo base! How's that for freedom of expression? Yes, Cuba is so free that they allow, after negotiations 'of course', a painting depicting Villa Marista, a former Catholic School turned torture chamber by the Fair's sponsor. Yes, the same Castro we all know, or no, his brother, or well, no, both and either. The point is that any Cuban (allowed in) and any tourist can sip on a Cuba Libre (rum and Coke) while beholding a painting depicting a Cuban torture chamber, right inside Cuba, with the torturers themselves sponsoring the event, and the tortured, perhaps alive or being crushed just a few miles away. Hey, some might even think: this is even better than abortion on demand (yes, that's legal in Cuba too, just like the US. So much alike now, see!)! How's that for change?

--Can we also get a video of those Cuban State Security forces surrounding those 5 supposedly non-violent protesters in Placetas?

--No, no and no. Period. That's real life stuff. That's not allowed. Just art. Just fiction.

--Could some newspaper perhaps send one of those journalists covering the Biennial or the US Art Fair to Placetas to at least take pictures of the siege?

--No.

--Why not?

--Look, bloggers are already covering it.

--But they are not there! Why can't US and International newspapers there take some pictures and videos of what's happening in Placetas? Maybe even interview both sides?

--Because........Hey look, below you can watch a video of the 5 fasting protesters before they were supposedly surrounded by 'State Security' and as they were being carried out of a nice Cuba hospital by their friends as they left of their own free will. Yes, free will. Free will. Free will. They're free, free, free. Take a look.



--But how about a picture of what has happened to them since?

--Well, ah, you can look at them in the Herald, They've published a picture of Antunez, their leader, resting happily on a cot. You can see it for yourself here, that is, if the Herald's link still works. Yesterday, they pulled the Spanish version of the story from circulation. No, I don't know why.

--Yes I see. I saw it. But that seems to be the same as one of the frames on the video. How about the New York Times? Aren´t they covering what may be happening in Placetas?

--The New York Times already did in 1897. You can see that here.

--So who is covering it now?

--What do you want? Everyone's at the US Cuba Art Fair or at the Biennial. Look, if you want a video on Antúnez under siege in Placetas we already published one above. It's an 'exclusive' from americatv.com.

--But where does the video show the State Security Forces surrounding them? What about the siege?

--You ask too many stupid questions. I already told you the mainstream media doesn't cover that. They are completely booked covering the Cuban Art Fairs! That's the future, get it? Once Antunez and the other 4 surrender or die perhaps Placetas can become a tourist destination too. If he's still alive then, Antúnez might even be able to earn some money signing autographs. Heart buried, like Geronimo, remember? How can you be so thick skulled?

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