Cuba (New Mexico) Applies to USAID

by NELSON P. VALDES

“U.S. government hypocrisy has grown so pervasive over the last decades that it provokes yawns and glazed looks.”

– Saul Landau

Dear President Obama,

I want to send you this letter for two reasons.

First, because here in Cuba, New Mexico me and my family voted for you. We all are in favor of a change we can believe in. And we need it!

Second, because me, my family and neighbors were happy, impressed and a little surprised to learn that despite all the school closings in Chicago and the over 50,000 homeless people living in the streets of New York you thought of us, Cuba residents and American citizens.

We were amazed when we learned that you said, “Cuba’s future must be freely determined by the Cuban people. Sadly, that has not been the case for decades, and it is not the case today. The people of Cuba deserve the same rights, freedoms and opportunities as anyone else. And so the United States is going to continue supporting the basic rights of the Cuban people.”  And we say AMEN!

We could not have said it any better. You cannot believe how many times our political/voting rights have been violated and our ballots lost. Imagine we are asked to vote only on where the speed traps that finance our small towns us should be! Yes, we want our rights, freedom  and opportunities.

We got together with a lot of our friends – here in Cuba everyone knows everyone else – and we have decided to send you this formal letter to let you know that we want to be considered for the USAID CUBA Program. We understand that the money is over $50 million. We know that there are other towns called Cuba in Alabama, Missouri, New York, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois and Kansas. But we are the FIRST to apply.

Now, we do need humanitarian aid. And we have more than our share of our relatives in jail because of the lopsided justice system that we have in this county. Let me tell you of our needs: here is Cuba we have 64.5 rapes per 100,000 [it is 27.5 for the country]. And you will be scared to visit us if you knew of our assault rate! It is 2,065/100,000. That is 9 times what the US has. You know what it is for burglaries? Zero. We have little to steal from each other. Our overall crime index is 2,387/100,000. The country’s is: 1,610. So you get an idea of our serious problems. [1]

We understand that your department of state has a County Report  on the violation of our rights, but our state officials claim they have no such document. Please send us one.

We are excited that there is money for democracy promotion in our county too. We cannot run for elections because we cannot afford campaigning. And also, politicians in New Mexico don’t get paid except when they go to Santa Fe which is only about six weeks out of the year. So, they have to do favors to their friends to get kickbacks; but you sending us money so that we can really build and practice democracy is wonderful.

Someone called us and said that there is even some money for newspapers, internet connection and the “free flow of information.” Let me tell you, that will be welcomed here too. The Albuquerque radio stations seldom say anything about us, and the papers do the same. And we cannot afford our own radio station or weekly reader because our literacy is no good.

We know that there are other places around the country that also call themselves Cuba; but we are really deserving of your aid. Why? Because we have sent a lot of our kids to every war you in DC have declared. We did so even before we were state. When America went to war with  Spain, in1898 we were there! That is why Cuba the island is called that. Your heard of the  Rough Riders? Those were our great grandparents; we still save their regimen recruitment call “to be composed exclusively of frontiersmen possessing exclusive qualifications as horsemen and marksmen.” McKinley went to war down south. We named one of our counties with his name. Teddy Roosevelt led us, and we named another county after him as well. And do you know that the first military governor of New Mexico was Colonel Leonard Wood [from the first New Mexico Volunteer cavalry]? And what we got since? Poverty:49% in 2009 [23.5 % for the state]. Do you realize that residents with incomes below 50% of the poverty level account for 17% of us Cubans in NM! Not even the black residents in Washington, DC has that! Oh, we have a significant share of Indians [My grandson tells me I should write native Americans]. OK, you know the figure? 54% of us live below the poverty line.  Yes sir!

We need some of that money for some schools and teachers. Do you know that our illiteracy is very high, but even when we manage to go to school and graduate from high school you know how many of our HS graduate are unemployed? Sixty percent Mr. President.! And do you know our poverty rate if we don’t have a high school diploma? 77.4%.

We are so glad you are no longer doing what all those rotten politicians were doing up to now – spending our money in foreign aid abroad.

And don’t believe when you read that the United Nations says that Cubans have a 100% literacy and that we have more university graduates than any other county anywhere, or that we have won every major math competition with high school students from Latin America. We don’t compete in those things. We are in such bad shape that just a few days ago our fire chief lost his own home to a fire. [2] Maybe with your help we can escape gambling, welfare,  dependency and early death.

We are so glad that finally someone in the US government is paying attention to OUR OWN REAL CUBA!

Nelson P Valdés is Emeritus Professor of Sociology and director of the Cuba-L Direct and of ZunZum Project, Inc.

Notes. 

[1]

http://www.usa.com/cuba-nm-crime-and-crime-rate.htm

 

[2]

http://www.kasa.com/dpps/news/krqe_news/region_3/cuba-fire-chief-loses-home-to-fire_6267167

 

 

 

 

Nelson P. Valdes is Professor Emeritus at the University of New Mexico.

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
September 01, 2015
Michael Schwalbe
The Moral Hazards of Capitalism
Eric Mann
Inside the Civil Rights Movement: a Conversation With Julian Bond
Pam Martens
How Wall Street Parasites Have Devoured Their Hosts, Your Retirement Plan and the U.S. Economy
Jonathan Latham
Growing Doubt: a Scientist’s Experience of GMOs
Fran Shor
Occupy Wall Street and the Sanders Campaign: a Case of Historical Amnesia?
Joe Paff
The Big Trees: Cockburn, Marx and Shostakovich
Randy Blazak
University Administrators Allow Fraternities to Turn Colleges Into Rape Factories
Robert Hunziker
The IPCC Caught in a Pressure Cooker
Robert Koehler
Sending Your Children Off to Safe Spaces in College
August 31, 2015
Michael Hudson
Whitewashing the IMF’s Destructive Role in Greece
Conn Hallinan
Europe’s New Barbarians
Lawrence Ware
George Bush (Still) Doesn’t Care About Black People
Joseph Natoli
Plutocracy, Gentrification and Racial Violence
Franklin Spinney
One Presidential Debate You Won’t Hear: Why It is Time to Adopt a Sensible Grand Strategy
Dave Lindorff
What’s Wrong with Police in America
Louis Proyect
Jacobin and “The War on Syria”
Lawrence Wittner
Militarism Run Amok: How Russians and Americans are Preparing Their Children for War
Binoy Kampmark
Tales of Darkness: Europe’s Refugee Woes
Ralph Nader
Lo, the Poor Enlightened Billionaire!
Peter Koenig
Greece: a New Beginning? A New Hope?
Dean Baker
America Needs an “Idiot-Proof” Retirement System
Vijay Prashad
Why the Iran Deal is Essential
Tom Clifford
The Marco Polo Bridge Incident: a History That Continues to Resonate
Peter Belmont
The Salaita Affair: a Scandal That Never Should Have Happened
Weekend Edition
August 28-30, 2015
Randy Blazak
Donald Trump is the New Face of White Supremacy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Long Time Coming, Long Time Gone
Mike Whitney
Looting Made Easy: the $2 Trillion Buyback Binge
Alan Nasser
The Myth of the Middle Class: Have Most Americans Always Been Poor?
Rob Urie
Wall Street and the Cycle of Crises
Andrew Levine
Viva Trump?
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
Behind the Congressional Disagreements Over the Iran Nuclear Deal
Lawrence Ware – Marcus T. McCullough
I Won’t Say Amen: Three Black Christian Clichés That Must Go
Evan Jones
Zionism in Britain: a Neglected Chronicle
John Wight
Learning About the Migration Crisis From Ancient Rome
Andre Vltchek
Lebanon – What if it Fell?
Charles Pierson
How the US and the WTO Crushed India’s Subsidies for Solar Energy
Robert Fantina
Hillary Clinton, Palestine and the Long View
Ben Burgis
Gore Vidal Was Right: What Best of Enemies Leaves Out
Suzanne Gordon
How Vets May Suffer From McCain’s Latest Captivity
Robert Sandels - Nelson P. Valdés
The Cuban Adjustment Act: the Other Immigration Mess
Uri Avnery
The Molten Three: Israel’s Aborted Strike on Iran
John Stanton
Israel’s JINSA Earns Return on Investment: 190 Americans Admirals and Generals Oppose Iran Deal
Bill Yousman
The Fire This Time: Ta-Nehisi Coates’s “Between the World and Me”
Scott Parkin
Katrina Plus Ten: Climate Justice in Action
Michael Welton
The Conversable World: Finding a Compass in Post-9/11 Times