April 9th, 2014
The actual cause of US isolation from the rest of the world
Cuban poet, Jose Marti, once described US leaders as "butterfly politicians who alight only upon the surface of things and pass judgment on the basis of mere appearances and results, blind to the fact that the one way to right wrongs is to eradicate their causes."
Although Marti wrote this back in 1885, his description still rings true, especially when considering this country's illegal blockade of Cuba. On the surface, the blockade is about "upholding human rights," but no one in the world believes that. This last year, The UN General Assembly condemned the US blockade in a vote of 188 to 2. Only that notorious violator of Palestinian rights, Israel, joined the US in opposing the resolution.
People in the world do see gross violations of human rights taking place on the island of Cuba, but only in that infamous part still owned by the United States. Guantanamo has become the the Twenty First Century's most recognized symbol of torture, indefinite detention, and mindless brutality. If our politicians cared about human rights, they would close this base and release its prisoners.
When will our leaders consider the actual cause of US isolation from the rest of the world? In our obsession with militarism and our continual violation of international laws and standards, we have become a pariah in the family of nations. Ending the blockade of Cuba and closing Guantanamo Prison would help appearances, but the root cause is something much more insidious, and that is our reckless pursuit of empire.