Friday, February 21
The View from Cuba: A police state is as a police state does
Joel McNally, Shepherd Express, January 23, 2003
In the distance, we can see the buildings housing more than 600 prisoners in wire-mesh, single-cell cages. None of the detainees has been charged with any crime. But all are being held indefinitely, possibly for the rest of their lives, without any right to a trial or even legal counsel.
We are on Cuban soil, but it is not a Cuban prison camp. It is the notorious Camp X-Ray, operated by the U.S. military at its naval base at Guantanamo Bay. The base is surrounded by more than 70,000 land mines. If you move the viewer to the right of the prison compound, you see the ultimate symbol of U.S. occupation, an 18-hole golf course. [...]
Cuba clearly has made economic progress from the starvation depths of a decade ago, when it lost the financial support of the collapsing Soviet Union. It has entered into joint ventures to develop tourist resorts with Canadian, Italian and Scandinavian companies. It has even begun exploring for oil, which some believe could end the U.S. embargo once and for all.
That has led to a joke Cubans tell about Fidel Castro getting good news and bad news. The good news: "We've discovered oil!" The bad news: "The Yankees are coming.