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    Casting the Blame in the Same Old Direction

    Casting the Blame in the Same Old Direction

    November 30, 2012

    Dariela Aquique

    HAVANA TIMES – Our media's obsession with justifying the unjustifiable

    seems to have no end, always putting the blame on the same guilty party:

    that consumer society; those countries where state power is based on the

    dispute and succession of this or that political party; those rightist

    governments; those class societies; that perpetual enemy, that…!

    We know all too well that each of us human beings is a kind of

    receptacle for good or for evil. The spice of the story lies in which

    of these elements will predominate in our actions. This goes beyond

    questions of society, or of who's in the government.

    Throughout the history of humanity, criminals, the corrupt, the

    unscrupulous have existed, as well as those of good faith, the honest,

    and the virtuous. This was true during slavery, under feudalism, in

    capitalism and in socialism.

    For that reason, it's outrageous to cast responsibility solely on the

    social and contemporary climate, even though these certainly exert some

    influence. I'm one of those who vote with Marti's assertion: "I believe

    in the betterment of humanity and in the usefulness of virtue."

    This is what leads me to disagree with an article titled, "Pablo

    Escobar's Show" written by Javier Ortiz and published on November 13 of

    this year in the Culture and Opinion section of "Cubadebate". In this,

    the author attempts to excuse the atrocities committed by the well-known

    drug lord with paragraphs like this:

    ..Pablo Escobar didn't become what he was by pure evil, independently of

    the fact that he may have had the cerebral chemistry of a born criminal.

    It was the result of his era, the perfect pairing of the violence in

    Colombia with the demand for drugs in the United States. He himself did

    not forget the class and country he had been born into, and constructed

    a good number of social projects that earned him the affection of the

    lower classes in Medellín, the city that was the seat of his cartel…"

    Even though the man had his positive traits, it was quicker and easier

    for him to follow the path of drug trafficking and crime than that of

    honest work.

    My feelings about this article were similar to those I harbored a few

    years ago when I saw the movie "The Broken Gods", a fictional

    feature-length film directed by the Cuban filmmaker Ernesto Daranas, and

    produced by ICAIC in 2008. At one point the actress portraying the

    teacher Laura is discussing the topic of her thesis before a tribunal

    and offers this discourse:

    …Frustration – that's the word that defines 1910. An unsatisfactory

    independence and two North American interventions had humiliated the

    national self-esteem excessively. Then this man arose who seemed

    capable of recuperating our damaged virility with the unzipping of a

    fly.. Alberto Yarini y Ponce de León appeared to rescue a part of our

    honor by defeating the French who dominated the prostitution in San

    Isidro, Havana…Finally a Cuban had won a war against a foreign power.

    And, for further glory, even gave his life "for the cause"…

    As you can see here, too – although masked by the subtlety and sarcasm

    that any Cuban script must utilize in order to be screened – they

    pretend to excuse the greatest Cuban pimp of his time under pretext of

    the wounded national ego.

    I've used these two examples to demonstrate how, be it in an article

    referring to a foreign TV series or in the lines from a movie character

    who narrates passages from our history, the blame is always cast in the

    same place.

    And that speech, although well written, doesn't convince me. People are

    responsible for their acts. The situational context, though it can

    influence, is not the determinant factor.


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