Birth Of An Empire
By Rosa Mariam Elizalde
23 December, 2006
Vidal was in Cuba for five days, following a frantic and packed program
that took him from the University of Computer Sciences, the Latin American
School of Medicine, the University of Havana's main campus, to the National
Ballet School, from Old Havana to the park in honor of John Lennon where
a bronze replica of the lead Beatle is found, seated as if he were a
For the brief span of an
hour, Gore Vidal agreed to chat with us for this interview. He is the
most erudite American writer of his generation and the most corrosive
critic of the present Republican administration. But Vidal does not
simply speak to us. He interprets what he says. Modulating his voice,
he brings to life George W. Bush, Eisenhower, FDR, an obscure Pentagon
bureaucrat, and even himself, mocking all of them with the irony contained
in a visage that belies his 81 years of age.
He is more interested in
being remembered as an historian than as a novelist. Although his works
easily triple his age (we can find in his bibliography novels, tragedies,
comedies, memoirs, essays, film and television screenplays), he has
a singular obsession: the loss of the Republic. "The main bit of
wisdom that I learned from Thomas Jefferson, and he from Montesquieu,
is that we cannot maintain both a Republic and an Empire simultaneously.
We have been rapacious imperialists since the Mexican War in 1846."
The Birth of an Empire
RM: In Inventing
a Nation: Washington, Adams and Jefferson, you talked about the first
imperialist war in modern history, with the intervention of the United
States in Cuba. Was the island the desired treasure?
imperialist history started long before. It was inevitable that the
original English settlers, not to mention the Dutch and the French who
occupied the eastern seaboard of the US, would look west where there
was more wealth. It's curious that the only American president that
liked democracy, Thomas Jefferson, was the first to push the limits
of the Constitution. We have to recognize that our founding fathers
hated democracy and they hated tyranny so they made sure we wouldn't
have a Hitler and we wouldn't have chaos, which is how they thought
the Athens of Pericles was. Ironically the third president, Thomas Jefferson,
who gave us our identity in the declaration of independence, had recourse
to weapons. He not simply told us that all men are created equal, but
that they have inalienable rights: life, liberty and the pursuit of
happiness. No government had ever said that before. So we began in a
rather special place, it didn't last long thanks to Jefferson, he bought
up that which is now 20 States and made the famous Louisiana purchase.
Millions of people were added to the US because of the vast amount of
land that he bought, rather illegally. And so, we just aimed west and
inevitably we were going to turn imperial against our neighbors. The
first of our neighbours that we attacked was Mexico in 1846 en route
to what we really wanted which was California and that was at the time
of President [James] Polk.
RM: Up to that time the Americans had been furious
land conquerors, but only in their own continent.
first deliberate imperial president, (Jefferson was a reluctant imperialist),
was Theodore Roosevelt, and he was looking around for more property
to add to the US, which is where Cuba comes in. Theodore Roosevelt was
ambitious and very imperial. In the summer recess of those golden days
(I was brought up in Washington DC) the heat was so great that the entire
government left town, we've never had such peace, such prosperity as
when the American government was on vacation. During that time however,
something happened on this island when a certain battle ship of the
US was sunk and the yellow press of William Randolph Hearst blamed it
on the Cubans, because in back of the Cubans was the Spanish Empire
which was our real target. Cuba was used to inspire an anti-Spain sentiment
that would justify the involvement of the US in the war. Hearst claimed
that he had made it up, but it was actually Teddy Roosevelt who pulled
the strings of those events. First as William McKinley's vice president,
and later, when he died, as president of the United States. So, Roosevelt
and several friends, one of them Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, very powerful
in the Senate; and another one, Henry Adams, our great philosopher of
history, they decided that we really should expand. Adams said, "Whoever
controls Shanxi province in China"-which is now Manchuria and parts
of Korea-"controls the world," because it is the richest section
in minerals, in mining, in energy and the Chinese empire was crashing.
All of Europe was trying to get a piece of China and we decided we'd
get our piece.
was a stepping stone to reach the Philippines.
That's when we made an alliance with the Philippine insurgents, revolutionaries,
who wanted to separate from Spain in order to have their own republic.
We promised them we would do it, we would have a "noble" movement
in the United States called Cuba Libre, which was the official motto
of the Spanish American War, which in the end had nothing to with Cuba
Libre, which ended up as a rather disagreeable drink of rum and coca
they went marching off to war
GV: So he
went to war; the first thing Roosevelt did -McKinley was out of Washington-
was to send our fleet to Manila, to
"help" the insurgents. He lied to them. He made them think
that we were going to establish a Philippine government and then we
didn't, so Spain is now finished as an imperial power. The United States,
with McKinley and Teddy, opened a new stage of imperial American expansion,
and continued the greatest comedy in our history.
Hypocrisy is always terribly
funny. McKinley said "I got down and prayed to God, after we seized
Manila. What am I to do now with these people, these poor people? What
will we do for them?" And he said, "God spoke." (It sounds
very familiar today), God spoke to him and said, "We must help
these people and we must Christianize them." The Secretary of State
responded, "Mr. President, they're already Roman Catholic,"
and McKinley said "that's what I mean!" So there we were on
a religious mission in the Philippines on the edge of the richest section
of China and that was the first great imperial adventure in the midst
of which Cuba was no longer 'Libre'. The United States was already occupying
it and Puerto Rico also. We were taking over much of the Caribbean and
we retained it for a long, long time, under special mandates and so
forth and so on.
your years in Guatemala you established a friendship that warned you
of US intervention in that region. Did you see it coming?
I thought that our expansion was finished in 1898. Between 1846 when
we got Mexico, 1898 when we destroyed the Spanish Empire and we got
the Caribbean and we got the Philippines, which was really what we wanted.
I just thought why would we do that? After all we had conquered Germany
and we'd conquered Japan, we were occupying both countries and each
one was a world and not just a nation. We had the first global empire
thanks to President Roosevelt, another imperial Roosevelt, Franklin
Delano, and he knew exactly what he was doing. He wanted to destroy
European colonialism wherever it was; the United States would then take
over with some sort of mandate to "look after" the countries
that we had "liberated", as he liked to put it. And that got
us, formally, into the business of empire.
Mario Monteforte Toledo,
a good friend of mine, was vice president of Guatemala and he was also
in charge of the assembly there, the Parliament. He used to come to
Antigua where I had a house. He was living in Guatemala City where the
government was, and he said "well we don't have much longer you
know," and I said "what are you talking about?" and he
said "your government has decided to seize Guatemala" and
I said, "oh, come on, we just got Germany, we just got Japan, what
are we going to do with Guatemala? It's not worth our while!" Oh,
he said, "It's worth the while of the United Fruit Company and
they control these things." And this is the first time I understood
hemispheric politics. Yes, I knew about yanqui imperialismo, I knew
all about that, but I thought much of it was exaggerated and you know,
we had conquered the world in 1945. It was the end of the pretensions
of the European powers and also of Japan so I said "Well Mario,
I don't believe it," Well he said, "as we are speaking President
Arévalo," a very nice man, and elected as a pure democrat,
with a small "d", and Arévalo had said, "well
we've got to have some revenues, and the United Fruit Company has never
paid taxes. We're going to tax them minimally on the bananas and so
on that they sell all over the world. We make nothing, they make everything."
Simultaneously, the ironies of history, Henry Cabot Lodge- son of the
Henry Cabot Lodge who was a Massachusetts senator, who was in favor
of the conquest of the Philippines-, called President (Dwight David)
Eisenhower, and said Arévalo and his group in Guatemala are "communists"
and they are going to seize all the lands of United Fruit.
We know what happened afterwards.
They forced Arévalo to leave Guatemala and then it finally came
to a head in 1954 when the freely elected president of Guatemala Jacobo
Arbenz was dismissed by the American Ambassador, John Peurifoy, and
General Carlos Castillos Armas was put in his place, and from that moment
on we have put nothing but warlords in charge of Guatemala. It's been
a bloodbath for its citizens for most of these years. It is better now,
but it's still not very good.
Mark Twain said after our refusal to grant free government to the Filipinos,
"the American flag should be replaced not with the stars and stripes,
forget them, it should be the Jolly Roger, the skull and crossbones,
because we bring murder wherever we go."
RM: in The
Golden Age you said FDR could have avoided the Pearl Harbor attack that
took the US out of its peaceful isolation and decided its entry into
the war. To what extent is that true?
nations, like individuals, tend to work from templates; there is a plan
in their heads which worked once before and may work yet again. We've
always found that whenever a president is murdered it's always a "lone
crazed killer" who is evil. He does it for no reason. No reason
is ever given because we might find out what the politics behind it
were. The American people are never told the politics about anything.
So we've always had this reluctance. Our rulers don't want us to know
why things are done.
So Roosevelt, with the best
will in the world, saw that Hitler would be dangerous not only to Europe
but in the long run to the United States; after all we are a mercantile
power. We trade. With Hitler in charge of Europe, life was going to
be very difficult for us. Eighty percent of the American people in 1940,
and I was one of them, were against going to war in Europe against Hitler.
Roosevelt did the next best thing. He was our great Machiavelli, who
knew more about how the world worked than any previous president, and
Roosevelt, who saw that sinking our ships, which got us into war against
Germany in 1917, was not going to get us into the war against the Germans
in 1941. He needed something to cause an important trauma and made the
Americans' mind up regarding the war. Therefore, he provoked the Japanese
into attacking us at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
It was a brilliant plot and
it worked. The Japanese had just signed an alliance with Germany and
Italy, the Tri Partite alliance. If anyone attacked one of the three
the other two would come to their aide. It was a defensive, not an aggressive,
treaty. The Japanese realized that Roosevelt had them in the bag. He
had given them an ultimatum, one: get out of China; well they'd already
created a country called Manchuria, out of the northern part of China.
They had been trying for years to conquer China, and now they get orders
from four thousand miles away, "get out!" He said, if you
don't, I will turn off all of your benzene, particularly aviation fuel,
which they needed for war planes, and for war ships, and scrap metal,
cause they had no supplies.
Everybody thinks, how crazy
it was for this little country to attack such a big country as the United
States, well they weren't crazy, what they intended to do, was give
us a big shock, which would make us think about other things for a time,
by attacking, sinking the fleet at Pearl Harbor. During that period
they thought it would take the United States a year to build another
fleet, which was about right. They would then go south to Java and Sumatra
and seize the Dutch oil fields, taking Singapore, Malaysia, everything
else along the way. It was a good plan and it worked, but Japan had
no idea of the speed with which we could re-arm. Roosevelt did. Remember
we were once a great industrial power. We're not anymore. The first
sign of our industrial power was assembly line automobiles, and steel
plants. We could do everything fast. We turned out thousands of B-17´s,
the flying fortresses. This was indeed the plane that won, for the United
States at least, WWII.
were a privileged observer of that pre-war period.
GV: I was
raised in Washington D.C. during the Roosevelt administration. So Roosevelt,
during our economic depression, designated 8 billion dollars to re arm
the United States. 1940 marked the end of massive unemployment. For
the first time in years, people were quite content, because we'd had
the depression and we were on our way to have the greatest war machine
on earth, something which has since become a curse.
RM: Do you
blame Harry Truman for the United States becoming the authoritarian
country it is today? Many Americans do not share this opinion. George
W. Bush, for example, has said recently that the man who dropped the
bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a good president.
remember two things: most Americans have no information at all on history,
on geography, or on what's going on in the world. They don't know about
these things. Roosevelt had made arrangements so that we would detach
the colonies from France, Holland, Portugal. By 1945 when the war in
Europe and in Asia ended, we would get them, and we would become their
masters. Americans knew none of this, and they still don't know. They're
not taught this; the rulers do not want them to know it.
Truman was personally rather
popular. He was a nice little man. He knew nothing at all about geography,
history, religion, he knew nothing. Behind him he had a Prince Metternich,
who was Dean Achinson, the Secretary of State, a great international
lawyer. And he knew everything. He was the one who then designed the
totally militarized state that emerged by 1949/50 under Harry Truman.
And it all comes down to one document, the National Security Council
document number 68. There were several points. We were to be forever
at war with somebody. We were going to fight communism everywhere on
earth even if it didn't threaten us. It was a holy war, just as now
we've made one on terrorism and Islam, equally stupid and equally irrelevant.
The man who should have been
president in 1945 was Henry Wallace. However, he was replaced by a Mr.
Nobody, a southern right winger named Harry Truman, from Missouri; who
took over the government when Roosevelt died on April 12, 1945.
So we got a terrible president
because he was so bad that they built him up into an idol, everybody's.
Everybody who knows nothing admires Harry Truman, and they don't know
why. He's just such a nice little man. He was a nice little man, but
he ended the Republic and set us on this wave of conquest. He went yelling
and screaming to the people that the Soviet Union was on the march,
that they were about to seize Greece, that they were immediately going
into Italy, they could then cross over to France, and cross the Atlantic
at any time. We hear echoes of this in the current little man, Mr. Bush,
who says: [imitating GW Bush] "well we can't fight them over there
we're going to have to fight 'em over herefight them over here"
We don't have to fight them; they have no way of getting here. But no
American can ask questions like that because they will be thought unpatriotic
to your own words, "the Oklahoma City bombings in 1995 are explained
according to a law of Physics: there is a reaction to every action".
You were speaking about the hatred spread by the United States around
the world and in its own country. Was this a prophecy?
I wouldn't directly connect it with what happened on 9/11. What happened
after McVeigh did what he did, except that we now know that he really
didn't do it by himself, somebody else was involved, quite a few people
were involved. But essentially the Clinton administration and we
now look back on it as being a very American one, in the best sense
of the word-drew up his Draconian rules about terrorism in the United
States just to get revenge on the ghost of Timothy McVeigh.
And that became the USA Patriot
Act. After 9/11 happened the Bush Administration found these papers,
from the Clinton administration in the Justice Department. They activated
all of them and that is the USA Patriot Act. It has just about removed
our Constitution. It just annulled everything about sacred liberties
and that was the result of McVeigh.
A child of five who knows
nothing about the law can tell you that 9-11 requires a police response.
We've been hit by the Mafia. You can't go to war without an enemy nation
to attack. You can't have a war without a country, try and explain that
to an American, I don't think they know what a country is. We certainly
know 80% of them believe that Saddam Hussein that had a country called
Iraq was working in tandem with Osama Bin Laden, who was living in a
beautiful palace in Pakistan and Afghanistan. It's all nonsense. They
had no connection the two. But Bush wanted to complete the work of his
father, and to show that he was bolder than his father, he would be
"Bush of Baghdad" not quite Lawrence of Arabia. Americans
think they are the same person, and that both of them attacked us on
RM: A recent
CBS poll shows that 75% of the population in the US is not in favor
of him or his policies. His popularity has plummeted to historic levels.
Will Bush be the most hated president in US history?
I said I am not a prophet that doesn't mean I can't occasionally guess
what's coming. I knew that what those they call the neo conservatives
in the United States (the old word that was used to describe them was
"fascist"), they want to use American power in order to get
the corporations which are generally gas and oil to maximize profits.
They want to manipulate the constitution so that it is rendered meaningless.
They want supreme power, and circumstances allowed us to elect a man
that's a real fool, literally a fool.
If the American people had
a free press, an alert media, he could never have been elected anything.
He's not competent; if you listen to him talk for ten minutes its clear
he doesn't know what he is talking about. He's desperately trying to
read a teleprompter and nothing really makes sense, and without one
of his advisors he can't face anybody when it comes to a question.´
Since Woodrow Wilson left
the oval office in 1921, no US president writes his own speeches. The
president reads what other people write. Sometimes the President agrees
with it, and sometimes he doesn't. Eisenhower used to read his speeches
as if he were discovering something new on the paper. During his first
presidency, the country was astonished when he said in the middle of
a speech: "If I'm elected president I will go to.Korea!?"
He was serious. Nobody had said anything to him before that surprise.
But anyway, he went to Korea.
Well had the American people
seen that and if we had a media that was interested in the Republic,
and not in profits, the whole story would have been different; after
all, Albert Gore did win the election in 2000 by the popular vote, some
600,000 votes ahead of Bush. And eventually the intervention of the
Supreme Court into that election falsified the entire election. So we
became overnight a banana republic without any bananas to sell. And
that is our problem at the moment.
Bush administration has led the country into such a disaster that Fidel
himself said recently that he believes the United States public will
oust President Bush before he finishes his term. Do you see this happening?
people running the Bush Administration are so mindless and radical that
they're apt to start bombing Russia, or start bombing Iran. They would
have to start a diversion, so they can scream: "true patriots come
to the aid of the Commander in Chief in war time" [imitates Bush].
That's their rubric. Well that's all nonsense. In other words, they
create events. They create panic.
Two days after 9/11 there
was somebody in the government saying, "it's not if they attack
again, it's when!" The nonsense had already begun. Then we say,
well it's been seven or eight years and they haven't attacked and they
say "well that's because of the precautions that we take at the
airports oh! You don't like them! Because you have to take your shoes
off, but at the same time that is what has saved you from an attack."
Well, prove it! We can't prove it, they retort, without revealing our
secret sources. It's circular.
I hope that the Democratic
Congress which comes in, with the chairmanships of congressional committees,
including the Judiciary, gets every last one of them under oath before
Congress to answer these questions.
would be necessary to re-establish the Republic?
to the great words of our greatest president, Mr. Franklin Delano Roosevelt,
at his first inauguration. The country was collapsing, economically
the banks were coming down, money was short, and he struck a great political
note which other presidents have generally imitated until we get down
to this junta he said [imitating Roosevelt] "We have nothing to
fear but fear itself." That is the basis of the Republic. Don't
be taken in by fear. There are people who make money out of fear. That's
their job, just to frighten.
I'm not for real revolutions,
because they always bring you the opposite of what you want. The French
Revolution brought the world Napoleon Bonaparte, Louis XVI after all,
was not as bad as that. So you very seldom get what you want if you
have a violent revolution. I think we're going to have one due to economic
There was a headline in one
of the big American papers the other day that the army was begging the
administration for money. They don't have the money to make fools of
themselves in Baghdad. They've got to raise it somewhere; we have no
tax revenues because all the rich people have been exempted from tax
as well as corporations. It used to be that 50% of the revenues of the
Federal government came from the taxes on corporate profits. Its about
8% now, they've just eliminated it. Corporations don't pay tax and rich
people don't either. So they've not only helped all their rich friends
who now have enough money to finance the Republican Party with billions
of dollars so they can tell lies about anybody in the country and pretend
that the patriots of the country are traitors. It's a very good trick
both economically for them and it's a bad trick on us real Americans,
we don't like it. We've lost the Bill of Rights; we lost the Magna Carta,
on which all of our liberties are based for 700 years. No, it's not
been an amusing time.
WE HAVE A CRISIS
RM: In your
memoirs, you mention that during a conversation with JFK he told you
about his plan to assassinate Fidel, and that his alliance with the
extreme Cuban American right had become a nightmare for him and his
brother, Robert. Are these groups related to their deaths?
it had total control, I think it is much less now, Kennedy had to give
his life for it, you know. Though the assassination we now know was
done by Mafia, out of New Orleans, and a man called [Carlos] Marcello
was in charge of it. They were trying to get Bobby Kennedy. Marcello
who was the boss of New Orleans and also of the Havana casinos at one
point, [Santos] Trafficante who ran the Mafia in Tampa Florida, said
we've got to get rid of Bobby, they have this recorded, the FBI. We've
got to get rid of him, and Marcello said, "if a dog bothers you,
you don't cut off the tail," and that was the death sentence for
is you perception of the true influence this Cuban American community
has had on US policy towards Cuba in the last 40 years?
managed to have an enormous influence on the country, and I think this
is less now. This has always been a very corrupt state; Florida has
been a corrupt state from the beginning, from the days of the confederacy.
The addition of a bunch of angry Batista lovers did not help the political
situation down there, and a lot of these people had a lot of money or
they made a lot of money and could be counted upon to support anybody
who hated Castro and hated what is being done in the modern Cuba and
they'd vote for him. Florida is a big state, it's a key State. We have
something called an electoral college which often decides elections
and it has so many voters which are based on how many representatives
get elected to Congress and so on. Well Florida is beautifully situated
for any demagogue who appeals to the Batistaites, or just anybody who
still wants to fight communism. They're still marching, and they're
going to arrive on the beaches in no time at all. They are very slow
to understand, obviously, partly because they've been misinformed, misinformed.
By their government, by the media, which worked with the government.
And so we have a misinformed population and Florida is still one of
the first places candidates go to and try and get votes. But it's much
less now, so, count on that, it's a bit of luck.
It's a very complex 18th
century machinery to keep us from having democracy. Our founders didn't
like democracy, I find I often have to repeat that a few times, but
they didn't like it. And now of course we're bringing democracy to Iraq
and all these other countries who are longing for it.
and lies have kept five Cubans unjustly imprisoned in the US. Could
you comment on what you know about the case and your opinion on it?
GV: I know
of the case through lawyers, not through the media. And it seems another
stupid thing our government is doing. It is my understanding that President
Clinton and President Castro got together on this one, to try and stop
the terrorists in Miami who were bombing tourist offices to discourage
tourism to this country. The two presidents were in agreement that this
was a bad thing and that they should try and stop it. So Clinton put
the FBI on it and I don't know what Castro did, but he went along with
it and then the FBI suddenly starts to arrest five Cubans who were dedicated
to protecting Cuba and innocent tourist owners of tourist agencies from
terrorism, from bombers.
We love imprisoning people
almost as much as we like the death penalty which is just the brightest
star in our diadem. So you have a country mad about torture, murder,
and execution, lifelong sentences in prison. The mindset is all there,
it goes back to I'm not going to go into the background but it is protestant
Puritanism: everyone must suffer, if they've done anything wrong. If
you're rich God loves you: that's the proof. And if you're poor, he
doesn't like you: that's the proof. It's not a healthy mindset for any
people and I'm afraid the State of Florida has got a great many of those
people as well as what they've picked up from the Batistaites.
So, the Five, the Cuban Five
as they are known in legal circles in America, I think are all in prison
with what seem like eternal sentences for having obeyed two presidents
one here and one in America to stop these crazy bombers from killing
And the government that will
do that, knowing the consequences, you know our government in not as
stupid as it seems, it does evil things because that's the way you keep
control. Don't think they didn't learn a lot from the twentieth century
dictatorships. And so it is very important that they behave like this
to insure that we don't stop the people who are bombing the tourist
agencies in Miami. We are now almost lawless because we've lost so many
of our protections under the Constitution. So we have a crisis of law,
a crisis of politics, and a constitutional crisis.
Stone was recently sanctioned by the US State Department for violating
the blockade against Cuba. His crime was traveling to Cuba to make two
documentaries about Fidel. Are these measures constitutional?
Well of course it's a violation, as the first amendment grants us freedom
of speech, the fourth amendment of the constitution is the bill of rights,
which guarantees our rights to assembly and so forth. We have had since
9/11 a coup d´etat in the United States, the first we've ever
had, in which a group of rather dishonest oil and gas people were able
to seize the power of the State and by so doing they ended up with the
Congress in their hands, they ended up with the presidency and much
of the judiciary and much of the courts. It happened very fast. It's
quite unique. It will be a great story one day at the moment it's just
something the people don't understand. What they've never seen before
doesn't exist really. Well they're seeing it now, in situ, as archaeologists,
and it's a very unpleasant sight. Out of that come the sanctions, as
you put it, on Oliver Stone, who has every right to make any movie that
he wants to make and in whatever circumstance, as long as he breaks
no laws, and no laws have been broken here. They [Bush and Cheney] just
don't like it, oh! My goodness me!
you afraid of any reprisals against you when you return to the US?
GV: I trust
they'll never like anything I say or write or do.
RM: One last question. You've
been here for a few days already. Is Cuba anything like what the media
presents to North Americans?
Are you crazy?!!! NO! We're told everybody hates it here; everybody
is starving to death, and they put out stories in Cuba on how they have
wonderful doctors but in fact they are terrible doctors and nobody goes
to them, any Cuban who is sick goes to the Mayo Clinic in America!
There is no lie that our
government will not tell and has not told. So no correct picture gets
through. One of the reasons I'm doing television here, is I feel every
now and then I do have some audience out there. I can talk about what
I've seen. I've seen the influx of doctors, would be doctors into Cuba.
I've been in that building which used to be a Russian Naval Base, and
is dedicated to teaching a whole generation about medicine, about community
services, something Americans hate, you know, everybody is help for
himself, grab all the money you can and then run away, to Tahiti or
someplace. I was talking to 8 or 9 Americans from New York, Massachusetts,
who are studying medicine here. I said, "well, is it as good as
they say," they said, "oh yes it is, its rather better, better
than anything we could get at home, going to ordinary medical universities."
Why don't we do the same for the health of our people and other countries?
I see what you've done with medicine, from Africa to the deepest Amazon
We had a great Constitution,
and a great legal system. Only by the restoration of that can we have
a country with aspirations and with indeed successes like Cuba. Don't
think I don't get extremely jealous for the United States, since I am
a super patriot; I get very jealous.
Rosa Miriam Elizalde
is a Cuban journalist living in Havana. She is the editor of Cubadebate,
a Cuban online publication, and she has a weekly column in Cuba's daily
newspaper Juventud Rebelde. She is the author of several books, including
Los Disidentes, Chavez Nuestro and El Encuentro.
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