Progressive Independence

Michael Kwiatkowski

Michael Kwiatkowski
Ohio, United States of America
May 18
I'm a Green Party member in Ohio, and active on several blogs that include my own. This year I am helping to spread the word about Green and other Third Party candidates for public office.

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APRIL 20, 2012 11:46AM

Guillen should be defended, not punished.

Rate: 4 Flag

Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen did something taboo in America: he spoke in positive terms of Fidel Castro, a leftist leader who defied the U.S. corporate agenda for decades.  For daring to exercise his First Amendment rights, Guillen was raked over the proverbial coals and forced to issue an apology.  When exactly did it become unlawful to speak one's mind in this country?

The fact is that, contrary to what the corporate-owned media has most Americans believing, and contrary to what capitalist Cuban exiles would have us believe, Castro is one of the more beloved figures in many parts of the world.  Cuba under the Castro government has sent doctors, nurses, and medical equipment to nations around the world, exporting his country's excellent health care to the needy.  His government also supported people fighting to break free from oppression, such as in apartheid South Africa, while the U.S. has installed and propped up brutal dictatorships from Pinochet in Chile to the Saudi monarch that have slaughtered thousands.

For daring to defend Castro against critics, Ozzie Guillen was ordered by his employers to grovel before the public and offer up an apology, lest he lose his job.  Worse is that too many people in this country have no problem with that.  Regardless of what one thinks of Fidel Castro — and there are undoubtedly legitimate claims of corruption during six decades in office, not to mention the suppression of internal dissent and not allowing democratic elections — the fact is that we are supposed to enjoy the freedom to say what is on our minds no matter how unpopular or distasteful.

When we target those who say things we don't like for punishment, we enable a frightening trend in this country toward a hideous double standard in which only a privileged few get to enjoy civil rights at all while everyone else is denied even the most basic ones conceived.  Rather than punish Ozzie Guillen for stating his opinion, we should be protecting his right to express it.

A good read on this subject may be found on Black Agenda Report's web site.

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Although I was once an all-star basketball player AND still hold the record for being the youngest junior varsity basketball coach in NJ high school history, sports in general has become MUCH too commercialized for me; and my game, basketball has been perverted.

It used to be played, much like a jazz quintet, with five people working in concert (so to speak). Now, like so much of american society, it's all a me, me,me game.

Nevertheless, I wanted to stop by and voice my disapproval of this archaic, cruel, and inane boycott of a country, that despite whatever its difficulties may be, STILL manages to send doctors to treat others in foreign lands far more than america, and at one time lead the world in such an endeavor.

Thank's for a sane view on Castro and the Guillen "controversy." Like everything else, if Americans knew the truth, they would be appalled at the lies they have been told, but the power structure knows this and will do whatever it can to hide the truth.
[r] well said, Michael!!!! I have read some of Castro's essays on information clearing house and he exercises a strong moral compass in analyzing US war criminal behavior that is amoral. long time propaganda travelling through younger American generations. best, libby
It is hard to tell what he has been doing thanks to the US propaganda but Castro and the Cuban government have sent doctors to Venezuela and trained others and they have offered low income people lower prices on heating oil in New England when US oil companies refused to do so.

This has been reported in a low profile manner and probably not at all in many parts of the country.
I hope you don't mind if I comment on your 'who decides who is "viable?"' post here since comments are now closed.

If we had a diverse and sincere democracy they would enable the public to participate in the interview process with as little organizational input from the media as required and they would give a minimum time to all candidates in the race or give the public more information on where to go for this information. This could and should include going down the list of presidential candidates at Project Vote Smart.

By refusing to give sincere candidates any coverage they clearly indicate that they don't want democracy.
Yeah, sorry about having to close that thread. It was clear that liar-boy Frank was simply going to keep trolling it and contributing nothing of value. But you do raise a good point: election outcomes today are not decided by the voting public, but by a tiny minority of elite business interests that decide which candidates we are allowed to know about, which ones we're allowed to vote for, and who is allowed to vote.

America stopped being a democracy decades ago.