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Have your say: Venezuela...

By Aleksander Boyd

14.07.05 | Whilst having a say about Venezuela, I would like to share with readers an email exchange with Gordon Barnes, Assistant Professor of Philosophy of SUNY College at Brockport. PhD Barnes saw fit to send me a rather pathetic note with respect to Vargas Llosa's article "Che Guevara: The Killing Machine".

gbarnes@brockport.edu wrote:

I have just read the recent article on Che Guevara by Alvaro Vargas Llamosa. I confess that I was completely shocked by the things that Che did. I simply had no idea that revolutionaries actually carried guns and shot people. I thought that they baked cupcakes and held bake sales to try to persuade people nicely. I thought that maybe they rode their bicycles door-to-door, like Mormons or Jehovah's Witnesses, and handed out pamphlets. I had no idea that they fought oppression violently. I would never have guessed that they would respond to centuries of exploitation with violence. I am sure that people in Latin America have no idea about any of this either. So thanks for informing them too.

Sincerely,

Gordon Barnes

Aleksander Boyd wrote:

Yes, especially the sort of exploitation that medicine-student-petit-bourgeois Guevara was subject to eh?

gbarnes@brockport.edu wrote:

No, the kind of exploitation that anyone can see if they just get their head out of their ass and look around.

Aleksander Boyd wrote:

Oh temper!! Indeed, perhaps you should get your head out of Fidel's ass and see the desolation and misery he has brought to his countrymen and many others abroad. Or perhaps you could even move to the paradise island to do some 'philosophical' dissertation on how to dupe PhD graduates and keep them on an ideological leash for 46 years.

gbarnes@brockport.edu wrote:

Have you looked closely at what life was like in Cuba BEFORE Castro? It was the ususal story: a few people with all the wealth, and everyone else poor, illiterate, with no access to health care. As far as what Cuba is like these days, the literacy rate is far higher than it ever was before Castro, and the health care is universal. People are poor, but they have a quality of life that is much better than it was before Castro (unless you are one of the few Cubans who were finally forced to share your wealth with others). Moreover, how much stronger could the Cuban economy be if the United States did not have an embargo in place? Don't talk to me about the Cuban economy as if the US embargo had nothing to do with it. I have an Bahamian Uncle who has visited Cuba many times, and he is always amazed at the fact that Castro can go into the villages and sleep with his own people without any fear. Why is that, do you think ?

The difference between you and me is that I have had a taste of poverty, and I know what it does to people. Unfortunately, human beings are virtually incapable of sympathizing with something that they have never experienced, and so have no idea what poverty is, or what it does to people, and you have no sympathy. Imagine that a man beats his wife for 30 years, and then, one day, she just snaps and shoots the bastard. Is she a vile murderer? No, he deserved it. In the very same way, if you oppress people with poverty from the time they are children, and you do this for years and years, then when they finally snap, they will shoot the bastards. Are they then vile murderers? No, the bastards deserve it.

Enf of messages

Truly exemplary prose and intellectual depth from an Assistant Professor of Philosophy, would you readers agree? He's got a great understanding of what poverty is and an even bigger knowledge about the personal financial situation of people living thousands of miles away. What's with the education system in the US that Barnes-like creatures are allowed to teach and individuals like Delacour or Weisbrot or Wilpert can boast their doctoral degrees to, sort of, 'armour-plate' their irrational predicaments? One has to guess that severity of admission and examination's criteria is a thing of the past in universities across the US. No wonder how another pompous graduate from the American educational system, a self appointed expert in human rights and immigration law, can provide legal counsel on FARA matters to foreign governments. Can I claim my PhD with a Cheerios coupon?

Not all is lost though, according to Doctor Barnes Hugo Chavez's end is near for "...if you oppress people with poverty from the time they are children, and you do this for years and years, then when they finally snap, they will shoot the bastards. Are they then vile murderers? No, the bastards deserve it".



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