Spanish Minister offers a hearty Fuck You to Cuban political prisoners.

I was originally going to post this in MPSIMS, but I felt it needed to have some expletives to convey how I felt, so here it is. My first post as a paying member, and it’s in the Pit, this may be a bad start.

Since I seem to be the only Cuban on this board I have taken on the burden of bitching about all things Cuban. On that vein, for the past two days Spain’s Foreign Minister, Miguel Angel Moratinos, has been visiting Cuba. This is significant because it is Spain’s first opening to Cuba since it led an effort in 2003 to condemn Cuba for its crackdown on dissidents. As soon as the trip was announced there were a number of critics, in and out of Spain, because Cuba has continued to harass political dissidents, and most of those arrested in 2003 continue to serve time in prison. The Moratinos camp tried to assuage their critics by emphasizing that the protection of human rights would be part of his agenda.

Two days and several media events later Moratinos is ready to leave Cuba and holds a press conference flanked by Felipe Perez-Roque, Cuba’s own Foreign Minister. The reporters there ask them if human rights were discussed, Moratinos self-satisfyingly answers that of course, that discussion was part of the agenda and that Cuba has agreed to work on promoting human rights worldwide. Huh?? The reporters, press him on that answer, specifically asking him if the fate of the jailed dissidents was discussed. Perez-Roque jumps in and says :

“It was not on the agenda, it is up to legal Cuban bodies to deal with it. This is not a matter we discuss with other countries. It is an internal problem in Cuba.”

Bad enough, but then he adds that Cuba’s political prisoners are:

“…mercenaries financed by a foreign power to subvert the internal order”

The quotes are in two separate links because most of the stories in english only have the first part of the quote, although most of the articles in spanish have the full exchange.

So there you are, in 2003 Spain’s government is outraged by Cuba’s treatment of political dissenters. In 2007, Spain’s government does not give a rat’s ass any more.

To summarize my feelings, Mr. Moratinos, I shit on your mother, I shit on your mother’s mother, I shit on the hour when you were born, go to hell you son of a bitch and I hope you find Franco there and the old man bends you over and sticks his entire arm up your ass. Perez-Roque, there’s absolutely no reason someone who looks so much like a syphillitic frog won’t get his when you arrive in hell.

I wish I could swear more fluently in English, I really do. For now just imagine me gesticulating wildly and a stream of insults in spanish with lots of rrrrrrr’s, hard jjjjjj’s and pppppp’s flying from my mouth.

How is Franco going to make room for his arm with Moratinos’ own head already firmly implanted there?

Well, our government is funding Cuban dissidents. From last August:

Surely, some dissidents refuse this dirty money. Which ones?

I don’t know, why don’t you ask them? Oh that’s right, you can’t, Cuba does not allow reporters to interview political prisoners, in fact, according to Perez-Roque there are no political prisoners.

And so the fuck what?

Cuba is a totalitarian dictatorship, and you call providing support to people resisting the dictatorship “dirty money”?

What kind of an idiot are you, anyway?

First non-pit business: Lalenin I am glad you decided to join. I really enjoy your posts and I learn much from them.

Do not apologize for the lack of cursing it is over rated anyway. Your rant was good and informative; these are the best pit threads. The Spanish Foreign Minister appears to be acting like a typical politician. The dissident’s lives are obviously less important now that Spain sees more commercial value in Cuba. Similar to how most of the world is happily dealing with China.

I look forward to any comments Nava might have on this as are most prolific poster from Spain.


I think his head is up Castro’s ass, so there should be no problem.

I for one have no complaints.

Sure, but you have no idea how much is lost on the translation. It’s like reading Hemingway translated into Spanish, good; and reading him in English, whole different flavor.

Strange, that’s how I pictured the dude with the arm up his ass.

(Btw, I’ll be looking for your posts more often. That was pretty darn interesting. Well done.)

Look, lalenin, what else could you have reasonably expected? Do we (the U.S.) raise a fuss about imprisoned dissidents when we do trade deals with China?

We’ll, what would you have us do? Invade? Sorry pal, just not our style anymore.

Simply playing realpolitiks and being damn smart about it. It’s all about positioning ourselves – and our firms – in an advantageous situation in the clearly dying days of the current regime. We are already Cuba’s third largest trading partner and there’ll be a wealth of opportunities opening-up as soon as the regime ends its terminal phase. Jockeying for position if you’d like to use another term.

And, BTW, after the US, we have the largest Cuban community in the world – so its not like we haven’t done our share.

Well played, actually. Or don’t you think the Cuban exiles – or more likely, the sons and daughters of same – are not readying themselves to economically invade and divide the island’s resources as soon as Castro kicks the bucket?

Oh, and what BG said.


BTW, had you been keeping up at all with the Spanish economy, this wouldn’t come as a surprise at all. Here’s a good piece to get you up to speed:

The Rise of Spanish Multinationals: On the Move in a Global Economy

And then you have this:

The U.S. and the EU: Arm Wrestling over Cuba

Won’t bother quoting but its worth the read…

Hold on, that is exactly what Spain had done. That was in fact the stated policy of the Spanish government. This trip by Moratinos is an about face from that previous policy, in essense the Spanish government just decided that their previous moral stance was outdated. It may may a pragmatic position, but it stinks.

Sure, I have no problem with Spain’s trade with Cuba. But this trip by Moratinos was a reversal of Spain’s policy, since 2003, of making discussions of the fate of political dissidents part of trade discussions. With this move the Spanish government has pretty much declared that policy dead, good for Spain, more money, bad for Cuban dissidents, one less voice to speak for them.

Actually we do. The Chinese typically do not respond consistently or well to our efforts, but at least the item is on the U.S.-China agenda.

I’ll add one more thing to this discussion, I find it interesting that the division in the EU on how to deal with Cuba, former communist countries like Czech Republic and Poland are in favor of pressuring Cuba on human rights, but the older members of the EU seem to be less concerned about the issue.

Unless what ensues after Castro’s death is civil war, which is always a possibility when a regime collapses, and does not make for a good business environment (unless you’re a black marketeer).

Judging by the history of post-Communist periods elsewhere, when the pie is divvied up, the exiles will have to get in line behind high-ranking Party officials.

Well sure. Ever since we got rid of Aznar and the PP, Spain’s foreign policy made a complete about face, from being the US’s second toady (Blair being number one with a bullet) to turning back to where our true interest lie: the EU. And one of our most important and natural roles within said EU is to be the leaders and liaisons to everything having to do with Latin America.

BG, I was discussing the issue with a Cuban lady who was here on a short visit. She’s a lawyer by training and a retired member of the Communist Party. She explained to me how Cuba was relatively well-off up until the fall of the USSR (makes obvious sense) but how the American embargo had really hurt since. She happened to agree with me that if said embargo had been lifted, odds would have been rather good that the system would have crumbled and/or morphed into more a social democracy – which is what she hopes will happen after Castro’s demise. After listening to her for a couple of hours, I realized how precarious the situation is inside of Cuba today. I ended-up giving her one of my laptops for her grandkids, had to write a letter to the Cuban embassy asserting it was a personal gift and not something she got on her own. Rather an emotional moment for both of us…

Ironically, I countered with pretty much the same arguments you’re making here and a bit more: that is, those that have been overlooked for so many years (including many inside the Armed Forces themselves) would use the opportunity to make a power-grab for themselves. However, after the dust settles, don’t forget that what Cuba needs the most, no revolution can provide: and this is cash. That’s where foreign investors come in – whether it be from Spain, the US or the Cuban descendants I alluded to earlier. Hopefully she’s the one that’s right though – I’d hate to see yet another vicious and bloody revolution break out – and they can make some sort of peaceful transition into a social democracy.

One last point: our prior policy of simply not talking to the regime, was doing precious little (read: nothing) for those very same vociferous dissidents. At least now, by opening-up diplomatic venues it is something that can be placed on the agenda when the time feels right.

The Spanish foreign minister referred to Cuba’s political prisoners as “…mercenaries financed by a foreign power to subvert the internal order.” Surely, refusing US aid would ensure that their cause is “pure.”

Spain is looking out for its own interests. Not toadying to a special interest group. But–without Florida, where would Bush be? He’s got to stay in good with the folks who helped put him in the White House.