Hey Ozzie 50 Years Is Too Damn Long
By Obi Egbuna, Jr
For those Africans at home and abroad who feel obligated to safeguard and elevate the tradition of uncompromising front-line struggle, our worst nightmare is that genuine freedom fighters will one day become extinct like dinosaurs or volcanoes. The only other thought equally as horrific is if they are replaced by critics, bought and paid for by
our former colonial and slave masters, whose sole purpose is to spread confusion and voice baseless opinions that only expose how truly out of touch they are with the everyday African woman, child and man. It is truly liberating to know that even during our most vulnerable moments the most oppressive forces on earth are having even more difficulty convincing their children that they must carry the torch of genocide, exploitation and fascism to the finish line.
When the commissioner of Major League Baseball, Bud Selig, slapped the manager of the Miami Marlins, Ozzie Guillen with a five-game suspension for expressing during a Time Magazine interview his admiration for Fidel Castro, this reaction exposed that the racist and terrorist Cuban network in Miami is on the verge of complete collapse. At the peak of their political strength and influence in the early 1980s, this network had the muscle to turn a boxing match between Alexis Arguello and Aaron Pryor at the Orange Bowl in 1982 into a huge anti-Cuba, anti-Sandinista event, hoping to garner sentiment for their mission to dispose of Socialism in the Americas. They had a willing partner in Arguello, who not only betrayed the revolution in Nicaragua, but physically fought on the side with the Contras and US Imperialism. In comparison, Joe DiMaggio’s trip to South Vietnam to give the middle finger to Ho Chi Minh or Jackie Robinson’s denunciation of Paul Robeson before the House of Un-American Activities Committee and his condemnation of Muhammad Ali for not fighting in the Vietnam War, seem like small potatoes.
Guillen was born in Venezuela, whose current President, Hugo Chavez, deeply admires Commandante Fidel Castro. Guillen, like Arguello, who when the Sandinistas first overthrew the ruthless Somoza family in Nicaragua used to wear his flag to the boxing ring, was a target for the Gusanos. After leading the Chicago White Sox to a World Series in 2005, Guillen returned to Venezuela with the trophy and visited President Chavez, only to turn around and say he would never vote for Chavez in a million years. These remarks came shortly after Guillen received US citizenship, proving green cards come with a much bigger price—your heart, mind and soul. Since Guillen in 2010 condemned the treatment of so-called immigrants by the state of Arizona, the question must be raised why Africans in the US, who are also protesting the rights of so-called immigrants, are not demanding that they be able to express their own political point of view, as protected by Freedom of Speech, without fear of deportation or any other form of persecution.
We are nearly 60 years removed from the deportation of our Trinidad-born, sister, warrior, Claudia Jones, who was shown the door by US Imperialism for her membership in the Communist Party and her condemnation of US Foreign Policy. Who knows, Guillen may have been briefed by INS about her life story when they learned of his interview with Time Magazine.
Another political milestone in their heyday was when the slimy Gusanos (worms in Spanish) in Miami used the big screen in Hollywood to rewrite the script of the 1932 gangster movie Scarface, produced by Billionaire Howard Hughes. The film was originally centered around the rise of the Mafia in Chicago, but was re-written to highlight how Fidel Castro tricked the Carter administration into granting political asylum to 125,000 Cubans, many of whom had come from prison and mental health facilities. This film has become a cult classic, mainly because of its excessive violence and the film’s main character Tony Montana, portrayed by Al Pacino, who escaped poverty courtesy of the lucrative drug trade. However, what has been forgotten is the purpose of this film—to show depict President Reagan as a hero trying rescue a country 90 miles off the coast of Florida from an evil dictator. The Gusanos in Miami decided to use Guillen’s remarks to rebound from a decade of political embarrassment and to show their benefactors in Washington that they are far from being at the end of the road, even though all evidence at our disposal says otherwise.
Recently, before the Pope visited Cuba, he met with the Gusanos out of courtesy mainly because the Vatican was an ally of the Reagan administration at the height of the Cold War. After listening to the Gusanos’ demands, the Pope still called for the lifting of the US blockade on Cuba, echoing the sentiments of his late predecessor, Pope John Paul II, who in spite of his role in the dismantling of socialism in Poland and Hungary, while rubbing shoulders with billionaire George Soros, openly condemned the US blockade on Cuba. The irony of this is that the Gusanos, who are from the Marielsta generation, never thought
they would live to see the Peter Pan generation, the first group of Cubans to defect after the triumph of the revolution, sit in their backyard and not only call for the lifting of the blockade, but openly criticize the Bush administration for imposing inflexible measures
that limited the ability of the Cubans in Miami to travel to Cuba and see their own relatives. The condemnation of this policy led to the Cuban American National Foundation (CANF) having to publish an article in April 2009 lifting US restrictions on Cuba, it is amusing to watch terrorists pretend to show compassion, when everyone who understands US-CUBA relations understand the diplomatic and military posture can be best described with two words seek and destroy.
Since the Gusanos seem to be such fans of Hollywood they should remember Al Pacino’s character Michael Corleone in Godfather III portrayed by a real life Gusano terrorist sympathizer, Andy Garcia, tell his nephew, “Never hate your enemy. It affects your judgment.” This would help them understand and appreciate Ozzie Guillen’s
statement about Fidel. The governments of Cuba and Venezuela have a medical project called Operation Miracle, which has helped thousands of Venezuelans who were on the verge of going permanently blind regain their eyesight. Did Gusanos apologists, such as ESPN analyst Dan LeBetard, ever consider for a second that one of those Venezuelans could be a relative or life-long friend of Guillen? What if Guillen made those remarks about Fidel after learning he lifted the pro-US Batista regime that placed a ban on Nicholas Guillen, the African revolutionary poet born in Cuba that prevented him from re-entering the country? It is a well known fact that Nicolas Guillen was appointed President of the National Cuban Writers Union and was declared by Fidel the Poet of the Revolution.
During the kidnapping of Elian Gonzalez by the Gusanos in 2000, Commandante Fidel Castro stated while addressing the Organization of Caribbean and Latin American Youth, that “In the four months Elian was being held in the US against his will, the average
US citizen learned more about Cuba than they had in 41 years, which proves our neighbors to the North will lose the War of Ideas in the 21st century.” Because Guillen has a reputation as a loose cannon, the Gusanos feared he would challenge the very foundation of their existence and the world would see they no longer have the political clout to do anything meaningful about it. While Guillen’s five-game suspension helped the Gusanos gain 15 minutes of fame, the fast track approach to propaganda by the US Imperialist media apparatus will make this issue a distant memory by the beginning of June. With all the political muscle the Gusanos claim to have here in Washington, Guillen’s punishment is the equivalent of the Ku Klux Klan putting a cross on your yard without setting it on fire.
By claiming his admiration for Fidel stems from his ability to survive for nearly 60 years, Guillen accidentally brought attention to the Gusanos terrorist cells that still exist in Miami during an election year and the role they played in the 638 assassination attempts on Fidel’s life since 1959. At the present moment, CANF is still adjusting to their attempted political makeover, which has them trying to distance themselves from their associations with naked terrorists like Luis Posada Carrilles and Orlando Bosch, whose main purpose in life was to put Commandante Fidel Castro in a pine box and be hailed as heroes by US Imperialism for their efforts. The Gusanos in Miami, who repudiated Guillen for his remarks, would have preferred if he followed the example of Carrilles, a Venezuelan-born Cuban who was directly involved in the Bay of Pigs invasion then and received training at the School of Americas in Fort Benning, Georgia, between 1963 and 1964. The Cuban American National Foundation now claims in their mission statement that change should be non-violent and meaningful, reflecting the natural and inalienable rights of the Cuban
people. It also states that change must come from within the island, not forcibly imported from abroad. This had to anger the terrorists in Miami who view Posada Carrilles and Bosch almost in the identical manner that Christians and Muslims see their prophets in the Holy Bible and Holy Quran.
The posturing by CANF illustrates how eager they are to sweep under the rug that this year marks the 20th anniversary of their decision to develop a paramilitary wing to compliment the work of the Coordination of United Revolutionary Organizations (CORU), which was run by Bosch when the leadership of CANF arrived at the conclusion that lobbying the US Congress in order to bring about a regime change in Cuba was not enough and more militant action had to be taken. The political highlights of Bosch’s career as a terrorist were pardoned by President Bush in 1990, including his role in the bombing of a Cuban airliner that claimed the lives of 73 people and in 1976 when Bush headed the CIA and refused a request by Costa Rica to have Bosch extradited for his role in masterminding that cowardly act of aggression.
We as Africans must understand how the efforts by US Imperialism to shield Bosch and Posada Carrilles from the appropriate form of punishment for their sadistic crimes are inextricably linked to Mumia Abu Jamal sitting on death row and the threats to have Assata Shakur extradited from safety in Cuba to return to her old prison cell in the US. The Congressional Black Caucus members who supported the Bush administration’s call to have sister Shakur extradited gave the lame excuse of not knowing Assata Shakur and Joanne Chesimard is the same person. What this reveals is that any statements they make concerning normalizing relations with Cuba are lip service at best or a chance to be in front of a camera.
For the pro-terrorist Gusanos in Miami the year 2011 will generate bitter sweet emotions for many years to come. While Carrilles was acquitted on all charges of terrorism and aggression in the beginning of April 2011, their beloved assassin Bosch was not only laid to rest, but from the looks of things, these events marks the end of an era for Miami as a haven for Cuban terrorists. The decision by the Gusanos to bash Guillen like a piñata at a birthday party was aimed at diverting attention from the case of the Cuban 5, whose international support is an extension of the world’s diplomatic corp. that have repeatedly and uncompromisingly called for the lifting of the US blockade on Cuba. The courage and patriotism of the Cuban 5 comes shining through as a beacon of light at a moment in history when US Imperialism is using the banner of Homeland Security to deny people their basic civil liberties and maintain their tradition of bombing countries that incur their wrath. Their courage also puts a rather intense microscope on a terrorist network in Miami that has direct ties to the White House, Congress and the Military Industrial Intelligence Police Complex. The Cuban 5 issue also spells disaster for the US government’s public
relations apparatus as it pertains to the immigration question. It is clear for everyone to finally see why citizens of Cuba have for all intents and purposes been exempt from the standard immigration procedures to which citizens are subject to from other nations of the world. There should be a slogan posted on the wall of INS headquarters that states “All Cubans ready to engage in countless acts of terrorism against Cuba are welcome,” with pictures of Carrilles and Bosch right next to these words. This would accurately reflect Cubans who live by the slogan coined by the founder of CANF Jose Mascanosa,“From
Proletarians to Profiterians.”
Guillen’s revelation about his admiration for Fidel frightened the Gusanos because the next words out of his mouth could be that maintaining the blockade against Cuba was absolutely racist and ridiculous. These words would create a platform to fight the blockade right in the Gusano’s backyard, making their worst political nightmare come true, protests and teach-ins about the blockade in the same place that the bulk of the assassination attempts of Fidel’s life were planned. This would have been even more humiliating than when Elian Gonzalez was snatched from the Gusano’s clutches as a result of President Clinton yielding to international pressure when he instructed Janet Reno to arrange the child’s departure from the landof the Gusanos.
The African community in the US must collectively acknowledge that our efforts to fight for the lifting of the US blockade on Cuba have been both casual and inconsistent. What makes this extremely troubling is the special and unique ties we have to Cuba that predate Fidel, Che Guevara and the July 26th movement overthrowing the Batista regime in 1959. As we are almost six months into the 50th anniversary of the US blockade on Cuba, a question that can be posed to our most visible organizations and spokes people is this: In 50 years have there been at least 50 protests, demonstrations, or press conferences to voice our displeasure with this policy? If the answer is no, then the main reason must be our reluctance to yank out the sweet tooth we have for JFK, who imposed the blockade in 1962 or to condemn those white liberals who convinced our people that political salvation lies in the bosom of the democratic party. Another crucial reason is our failure to realize that the blockade represents diplomatic terrorism of the highest order in that it has cost a country with a 60% African population, a country committed to free health and education, over $96 billion dollars that would have been invested in expanding on the already high-quality programs that are the staple of their revolution.
While many of us have defied the travel ban on Cuba, unfortunately having the monstrous blockade lifted is not a priority item on national agenda. This implies that for many of us a photo-op with Fidel was more of a motivation for taking the trip, as opposed to serious planning to return to the heart of Babylon with a new found commitment to defend Cuba’s integrity and sovereignty. Undoubtedly, because the US is in the middle of a presidential election, we can expect President Obama to put on an academy award-winning performance for the Gusanos that exceeds the showboating he did four years ago when he stated that in his lifetime “Cubans have not experienced Democracy or Human Rights.” This erroneous statement received a response from none other than Fidel himself.
The most valuable lesson Obama learned is that Fidel has maintained the tenacity that first gained international attention when he and his comrades were waging war on the Batista regime from the Sierra Maestra, and that making baseless comments when trying to score points with terrorists in Miami will not be tolerated. Whenever the bitter and vindictive reactionary Carlos Moore resurfaces and launches self serving attacks on the Cuban revolution, under the guise of representing Spanish speaking Africans born in Cuba, we only Africans in the US do their homework and refuse to allow themselves to be used as pawns in a game they obviously do not understand. There is no country in the Western
Hemisphere where Africans and Europeans co-exist that racism does not exist, the real issue is what genuine steps are being taken to eradicate racism, any Africans in the US who would are willing to get in the foxhole with Mr. Moore concerning this matter are not capable of identifying a nation more committed to this task than Cuba. The 60 individuals who were coerced and manipulated into signing their name to the ridiculous statement entitled “Acting On Our Conscience A Declaration Of African American Support For The Civil Rights In Cuba in 11/30/09,exposed one thing for the African community, they have lost the will to stand with the world majority and fight for the lifting of the blockade, therefore instead of appearing as outright agents of US Imperialism help create a masquerade and smoke screen that you are still fighting the good fight.
The African community should shower Ozzie Guillen with high praises for his apology to the Gusanos because if he didn’t mean what he said, he should have never made the comments in the first place. Those of us who consider Fidel the modern day John Brown or our favorite American President (when we use the true definition of America, which is the Western hemisphere, instead of what Democrats and Republicans believe) feel Guillen should have stuck to his guns. When he left Venezuela for what he was told is the land of milk and honey, he should have called INS and asked what the hell happen to his freedom of speech? If Guillen gets the urge to honestly express himself about the blockade but get cold feet when confronted by the Gusanos, we have a simple message for him HEY OZZIE 50 YEARS IS TOO DAMN LONG!
Obi Egbuna, Jr., is a US-based member of the Zimbabwe-Cuba Friendship
Association and the US Correspondent to the Herald (Zimbabwe’s National
Newspaper). Mr. Egbuna is also a frequent contributor to Your World News.
His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.