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No Gas in Florida: Give Truth a Chance

No Gas in Florida: Give Truth a Chance

Photo by el-toro | CC BY 2.0

As I heard Florida’s governor demanding gas, I wondered why they don’t learn from Cuba, and send buses. Cuba was there in the CBC newscasts about Florida. It was the country under the satellite image, under the “lingering” eye of category five Irma. For hours, that awful image was in the background as the CBC anchor kept returning to Florida’s need for gas.

They won’t learn from Cuba. And it is not because Cuba is part of the world’s “left-overs”, who don’t count and whose ideas don’t count either. It’s not even because of Cold War mentality. The problem is deeper. It’s about culture and truth. In short, it’s about a culture that denies truth.

The popular cultural anthropologist, Wade Davis, says cultures teach us about humanness.[i] He claims to catalogue cultural wealth to know what it means to be human. He gives a platform to cultural representatives expressing “the better angels of our nature”.

He doesn’t catalogue the culture of imperialism. And he gives no platform to the cultures of resistance long opposing it. He writes, “Within this diversity of knowledge and practise [of cultures] … we will all rediscover the enchantment of being what we are, a conscious species”.

Well, not all.

Cuban scholar, Juan Marinello, writes that one of the great puzzles about Cuba, for its enemies, is how ideas have survived. Somehow, in the late nineteenth century, with the US in economic glory, Jose Martí, independence leader, knew Latin Americans could be modern and free without following the US.

And he grasped something not then expressed, which 60 years later would galvanize the poor on three continents: anti-imperialism.  Many who study Cuba fail to understand, or even to ask, how such ideas remained motivating through six dark decades of US cultural imposition after Martí’s death.

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