Thursday, April 9, 2009

A letter to my "representative"

Regarding your recent visit to Cuba:

Congressman Cleaver,

--Who provided your translator?
--Who planned your itinerary?
--Who invited you to speak in the Episcopalian Church? Did you seek out the church or did the church call you?

I am sad and sick at heart to hear you say, “We’ve been led to believe that the Cuban people are not free, and they are repressed by a vicious dictator, and I saw nothing to match what we’ve been told.” I ask myself, how can our congressman be so naive as to believe this? Did you not study communism in school? Have you forgotten what years of life and freedom have taught you? The problem with Communist dictatorships is that there is no FREEDOM of anything. Dictators can be as charming as anyone and they are experts at arranging pleasant, charming demonstrations of magnanimous gestures but they are not experts at allowing their citizens to speak freely or express dissent. Did you do ANYthing in Cuba that was not arranged for you by someone else? Did you ever stray from your schedule or speak with someone not provided for you by Fidel or Raúl? How is your Spanish? Do you know enough to know if your translator was truly translating or if he/she had instructions to only translate what was pleasant and polite? I won't drag this on any further, you understand my point. The next time you praise a dictator with, “He’s one of the most amazing human beings I’ve ever met,” please remember that many people felt the same way about Adolf Hitler.


Jennifer Ort
Spanish Teacher and Mother
Kansas City, MO