Praising Cuba's "Dialogue" Without Democracy, "Business" Without Property Rights

Tuesday, November 25, 2014
There's an old saying in Spanish -- "pasar gato por liebre" ("trying to pass off a cat for a hare").

That's precisely what two articles, one in The New York Times and another in the U.K.'s Guardian, sought to do this week as regards Cuba.

In the first, The New York Times profiled the founders of "Cuba Posible", a new project by the former editors of the Cuban Catholic Church's magazine Espacio Laical, where they'd infamously advocated for a "loyal opposition" to Castro's regime.

It was an article full of praise for their apparent efforts at "political dialogue" -- and then, a key disclosure:

"Cuba Posible does not advocate democracy, [one of its two founders] said in a telephone interview."

Sounds like more "loyal opposition" to the dictatorship.

The best response came from Cuban blogger, Walfrido Lopez, who noted:

A space is either free and open, or it’s not a space.

Couldn't have said it better.

Meanwhile, The Guardian ran another all-too-familiar article praising Cuba's new "businesses," with particular (silly) regard for its artisan cheese shops.

And then, a key disclosure:

"In a sense, of course, it’s all more appearance than reality: the shops are all owned by the government, and the shopkeepers pay a lion’s share of their profit to the state."

Oh yes, that "small" detail.