Wednesday, December 31, 2008


[This is something from several years ago which Robert Cruz--a friend since childhood--asked me to send him ... after discussion of a multitude of things during a long phone visit yesterday. It is summary of a 20-page report and related thoughts, which I might post herein later (after a bit of editing).]
¿Es Cuba?* ¿¿O …, Es el Mundo?
(Pavel Martinka’s draft of an essay written after his "recent" 2006 visit to Cuba: Stories for his children and theirs—and for others who might significantly help to change the world in which they live)
Major Impressions

A Model for Realizing Sustainable Community?? Cubans are living a very low input life-style that is peaceful and relatively crime free, and that has a great foundation of holistic education and adequate health care for all--and that is developing urban and organic agriculture. It is of course highly significant that their premier politician has gained the honor and respect through the Revolution of most of the Cuban population, and he does govern as a dictator and the system is totalitarian . Therefore, there are well-enforced limits to consumption, movement and development by humans. As I listened to my primary host (Dr. Rafael Ojeda) in Cuba in June of 2006, walked the streets of La Habana, watched the Cuban television channels, and participated in the meeting on Desarrollo Local, I could not help but think that this is perhaps a type of system much of the world may have to utilize to curb consumption, population growth, and anarchy in order to achieve maximum protection of our essential natural resource base and relative equity and justice for all, i.e. what might be called Positively Ethical Applied Community Ecology (PEACE).

Respect for Fidel and the Revolution. Cubans-- … like Brazilians, Mexicans, Nicaraguans, Poles, Ukrainians, and US citizens, ... --are beautiful and imperfect people using a functional but imperfect socio-political/economic (ecological) system in an attempt to achieve quality life. A huge majority of those over fifty who were the have-nots during the Fulgencio Batista years and previous years of U.S. colonization (the have-nots were by far the majority) have a tremendous respect and loyalty to Fidel for all his wonderful efforts. Younger Cubans may have respect for and loyalty to Fidel, but are more likely to overtly complain, to want considerably more, and even to attempt to flee Cuba. (For instance, I recently had a young Cuban student, Lisette, in my biology class who is probably in her early 20s. She credibly painted a very dark and deprived picture of her starving childhood in Cuba.)

What Right Does the U.S. Have to Decide for and Punish Others?!! It really is a
“ mortal sin” (or part of our/U.S. children’s “original sin”) to exert power over nations with economic/trade sanctions, embargos , , attempted assassinations and invasions, and trumped up-charges against alleged terrorists --all of which stifle charitable assistance and serve to “ostracize” the government and people of Cuba—truly creating a tremendous hurt to the flesh and stomachs--and hearts and souls--of millions of innocent people. We should work hard at lifting economic sanctions against Cuba and at serving up justice to all the Cuban people, including the Cuban Five.

What We Might Do That Would Be Positive for Both Cuba and the U.S.? We could learn from Cuba a considerable amount about education, health care, organic and urban agriculture, living a low-input, energy-conserving lifestyle, and dealing with crime and terrorism. And since they are a nation with a biocapacity – ecological footprint deficit, they could certain benefit from some of the 33% of the world’s resources we (the U.S.) exploit and utilize (greedily--as 5% of the world’s population).

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