viernes, 3 de julio de 2015

Living Off Others

Living Off Others / Fernando Damaso
Posted on July 2, 2015

Fernando Damaso, 26 June 2015 — The five spies, transformed by decree
into "heroes," have proved quite expensive, both to the Cuban people and
the American taxpayers.

First, it cost to train, relocate, and "plant" them" in the United
States to carry out their espionage work. Second, it cost to discover,
prosecute, and sentence them to prison terms. At this stage it also cost
to pay the lawyers who defended them.

Their years in prison cost the American taxpayer, who had to pay for
accommodation, food, medical care, clothing, bedding, toiletries,
internet use, etc., and cost the Cuban people, who paid for multiple
trips by their family members, including their clothing, shoes, hair
care, and other details, so they would look good abroad and before the
media, going and coming. Add to this the costs of the national and
international campaign "demanding" their release, rebranding them as
"counterterrorists," plus fees for lawyers who continued pursuing their
cases for years.

When they were released by agreement between the governments of both
countries, it seemed we could at last take a rest from them, but it was
not to be: they have maintained their presence at every kind of
event—political, cultural, educational, scientific—as well as sending
them on "tours" around the world, as if they were a musical group. I
would say that they are "in the soup," to use a phrase from the past,
except this dish has now disappeared from Cuban tables for lack of meat.

After touring several countries in Latin America, they began a 21 day
"African tour" that will run until July 8. I don't remember any veterans
of the "the foreign wars" in Africa (and there were many) making this
kind of "tour," still less that they received this kind of special
treatment. Although they say that "the tour" is in response to
invitations, we all know they don't include expenses, which, as always,
will be paid by the Cuban people.

The large amount of financial resources spent on "The Five" would have
been far better spent on repairing schools, hospitals, roads and
sidewalks, and building houses.

As publicized so far, we know that one of the five holds the position of
vice president of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples
(ICAP). Another has been recycled as a poet and painter, and a third as
a cartoonist, both pretty bad indeed. What the other two are up to is
unknown. On the whole, except for one, they don't seem to be working.

It would be reasonable, given the time elapsed, if they decided to stop
living off others and the public purse and began working for real. Given
the proliferation of musical groups in the country, and considering that
they are already members of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba,
they could become a quintet, in the style of Los Cinco Latinos, Los 5U4,
The Formula, or The Jackson Five. They already have a stage name: Los
Cinco or The Five, whichever they prefer.

Source: Living Off Others / Fernando Damaso | Translating Cuba -

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