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Dariela Aquique: I remember my years as a high school student, especially that teacher who would interrupt the reading of works and who with surprising histrionics spoke of the real possibilities of knowing more about the truth of a country through its writers than through historical chronicles. From there came my passion for writing and literature. I had excellent teachers (sure, those were not the days of the Fast-track Teachers) and extemporization and the non-mastery of subjects was not tolerated. With humble pretenses, I want to contribute to revealing the truth about my country, where reality always overcomes fiction, but where a novel style shrouds its existence.

Don’t Yell at Me…

January 26, 2013 | Print Print |

Dariela Aquique

Nelson Mandela, a leader who didn't need to yell.

Nelson Mandela, a leader who didn’t need to yell. Photo: wikipedia.org

HAVANA TIMES — “Don’t yell at me, it doesn’t make what you’re saying any more right”, goes a line from one of Beatriz Marquez’s songs. It was popular in the 1980s, when I was a teenager.

That little refrain sticks with me like a ring on my finger whenever I read some of the comments in Havana Times. Their tiresome lines are loaded with insults, distain and scorn for the columnists, such as me, who don’t share their points of view.

Insults and disrespect are the tools they usually resort to when they lack convincing arguments, the appropriate language or the capacity to reply. The tones our opponents use are intense, when you read them it seems like they’re screaming at you.

They should be grateful for the opportunity our editorial board gives them, allowing people to express their exasperation. This webpage is a liberal site for the confrontation of opinions, where these are published without censorship, no matter how different they might be.

This is just the opposite of official sites like Cubadebate, where one can hardly ever read opinions contrary to their pages.

Concerning a recent post of mine that referred to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, one commentator (whose name I don’t want to note), couldn’t have been more offensive. This made it even clearer their passion for that leader, someone who also often commits the evil of roaring.

He, in my opinion, is one of the most hysterical politicians in recent years. Let’s recall his speech at the Copenhagen Summit, where after George W. Bush spoke, he said: “It smells like sulfur, the devil has just passed by here.” Or when he uttered curses to other nations, like when he angrily cried out, “I curse you Israel!”

We don’t need leaders who go around being uppity (which of course is characteristic of the new populist Latin American political model and the type of audience to which this attitude is directed).

Let’s remember the remarkable personalities of the politics of the 20th century who have passed into posterity with a great deal prestige. They’ll always be remembered for their poise and amenity as model political figures, both inside their countries and internationally. In this vein, it’s necessary to mention Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Ho Chi Minh and Jimmy Carter.

Each of them lived in different periods and circumstance, but they were respected and loved by their people (even sometimes, like in the case of Jimmy Carter, when they were not very popular). The point is that none of these leaders, with more or less correctness in what they said, never made their points by yelling.

So, my dear antagonistic commenters, please follow their example and “stop screaming at me.”


What's your opinion?

  • Moses Patterson

    Correction: Jimmy Carter was popular. After all, he was elected President of the United States. He lost by a landslide after one term to Ronald Reagan many argue due to the failed rescue of American hostages from the embassy in Iran. Nonetheless, his popularity continued even after his term of office. America, as a whole, became enamored with the neo-conservative tone that President Reagan represented but Carter remained well-respected within the country and abroad.
    The Progressive Movement today appears to confuse incivility with effectiveness and loudness with sincerity. A recent speech by Venezuelan Vice President Maduro began with him screaming insults at the opposition. It appears that he believes that he will be received as more passionate if he yells. Here at HT, Castro sycophants respond to criticisms of the dictatorship by pointing out problems in Canada and the US. Rather than respond to questions, they scream about inconsistencies in US policy.

    • Luis

      It is really difficult to ‘respond to questions’ as:

      1. You really don’t raise any. Just spill old, bothersome propaganda.
      2. Being called a ‘Castro sycophant’ doesn’t help.

      • Moses Patterson

        Luis,

        1. Here’s a question for you: How do you justify the arrest and detention of Ladies and White members who are stopped and beaten on their way to church? (There is ample proof of this on YouTube. Just type ‘Damas en Blanco)

        2. The definition of sycophant: A person who acts obsequiously toward someone in order to gain advantage; a servile flatterer.
        Describe your opinion of Fidel Castro, the author of the policy which provokes my question in #1.

        • Luis

          1. You don’t. But there’s no ‘ample proof’ of something that can be described as a harsh ‘beat-up’ also. This is the way of the propagandist: take a fact that can be used against your opponent, amplify it 100% percent and repeat it ad-nauseam.

          2. Fidel is, along with Mandela, one of the last living statesman of the 20th century. He’s not perfect. Made many mistakes he has made. But he’s someone I got to respect, not ‘flatter’ in order to gain any advantage. You on the other hand can be be perfectly described as an Uncle Sam sycophant according to your definition.

          3. Do not address me again.

  • Hubert Gieschen

    Now we have with Luis another one who when he cannot win an argument prefers to abandon the playing field. i just hope you never hold power over other human beings.

    • Moses Patterson

      The reality is ‘Luis’ is probably some 22 year-old kid in an olive green uniform who works for the Castros in counterintelligence. They use these internet savvy guys to troll the internet looking for anti-Castro comments. To ‘Luis’ credit, like most of these youngsters, they are fairly well-read in socialist dogma and have been given cheat sheets full of anti-US news events. They know the headlines but lack the real story. They are never permitted to admit anything negative with regards to the Castros so they resort to personal insults and deflection. If you say Cuba lacks toilet paper, they respond with drone attacks in Afghanistan. I lived across the street from the parents of a young man who also has this job. Because he could read and write English so well, his parents has high hopes that he would work in tourism in order to make a good living. By his own choice, he eschewed that option for the “prestige” of a job in counterintelligence. I suspect ‘Luis’ is from among this lot.

      • Griffin

        …either that, or he’s a 32 year old kid in an olive green Che t-shirt, hunkered down in his parent’s basement.

        Just remember, you’re not allowed to address him anymore. At least not in the cafeteria or during class.

        • Circles Robinson

          This is for Griffin, Luis and Moses, it gets very old for other readers (and for editor) to see you attack each other time and time again and steer ever further from the post at hand. We will begin editing out any reference to the other of you in the future. I hope you will understand. It would be better if you excersized some self control.

      • Luis

        And you are probably a 40-year old geezer working for the Marti network – or even the US Government given the fact that you reproduce word-by-word the Washington discourse – being paid to mash the internet with old-school propaganda and hate speech (we all remember the period when all you did was shout death-wishes on Fidel). This is so common. You and Griffin may even be the exact same person under different ‘personalities’, as you showed up at the exact same time, ruining the debate on HT English section.

        This is so common. Here in Brazil we had a case of a blogger by the name of ‘Gravataí Merengue’ who was found out to be working for Soninha Francine’s office to bash her political adversaries online.

    • Luis

      I did not ‘lose’ or ‘win’ anything – I answered Moses questions. I just don’t want to be bothered by propagandists anymore.

  • Griffin

    Dariela,

    I won’t yell at you, but I will politely say I am no fan of Ho Chi Minh or Jimmy Carter.

    Ho Chi Minh was a disciple of Soviet Communism. During the post-war period, the Viet Minh, under Ho’s directions, slaughtered thousands of non-communist Vietnamese nationalists. Were it not for the Communist Viet Minh, the US never would have been drawn into the war in Indo-China, and France would have withdrawn anyway. The people of Vietnam have paid a terrible price when ruthless Communists like Ho Chi Minh seized power at any cost.

    Carter’s presidency is generally considered a failure and while he does have his fans, he also has his detractors and ranks as a middling President at best. I dislike him for his weak defence of the US hostages in Tehran and the increasingly antisemitic tone of some his recent publications and commentary. In his book “Peace not Apartheid” some sections seem to give justification to Palestinian terrorism.

    Your main point about the curse of demagogic rulers is very true. It never leads to good when an angry politician shouts at his audience and sets one group of people against another. Angry leaders who shout about “sulpher” or “Paredón!” do not preach to our better angels and inevitably bring ruin to their nations.

    • Luis

      Ladies and gentleman, here ‘Griffin’ just justifies the murder of over 3 million Vietnamese people who just fought for having a future of their own. Many from the ‘torture from the skies’, as I like to call napalm. On a ‘Ho was a bad commie’ basis.

      No more words.