Sunday, December 28, 2014


MONEY MONEY MONEY / Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo and Clive Rudd
Posted on December 27, 2014

How to Raise Funds: A Manual for Cuban Democrats

Clive Rudd, Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

The successive "investigations" (or filtrations of intelligence) of the
Associated Press (AP) and other media, that try to demonize the material
support of Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and governments in
solidarity with the democratic cause in Cuba, is not a new phenomenon
nor is it exclusive to the free world.

The Cuban government has known how to utilize the attacks on the funding
for democracy. This has been at the expense of committing historic
malapropisms that defy any comparison with the fundraising done by José
Martí and his Cuban Revolutionary Party, or even by Fidel Castro in his
insatiable quest for dollars in Mexico, Costa Rica and Venezuela (which
was then not to fund anti-government propaganda but to buy weapons and
train armies and, in short, impose violence for life on our society).

The new form of expression of this demonizing campaign (which
essentially plagiarizes the methods employed by the Havana government)
is led by the AP and The New York Times (NYT). There are many other
"useful idiots" but their voices don't resonate as much. Since the time
of the Sierra Maestra and the bad reporting by Herbert Matthews,
Castroism has been a series of blows to maudlin effect on North American
public (shameless) opinion.

It is obvious that the message of these hegemonic media cannot be so
clumsy as that of the Havana dictatorship, being that they convey
between the lines a subliminal message to the Good Capitalist of the
North: "The donation of funds by the US Agency for International
Development (USAID) and other organizations to support democracy in
Cuba, far from achieving the desired objectives, is counterproductive
and useless."

This message is more than well-known. It is the same argument employed
with impunity to lobby for the lifting of the embargo: "The embargo
doesn't work and therefore should be lifted immediately and

All right, then. In the name of the Cuban and North American peoples,
thank you. However, the problem lies in that to defend this argument of
inefficiency, there need to be firm proofs, not opinions. Also, the most
solid proofs are achieved by comparing the initial objectives of a
program with its final results. Here is where things get tough because,
for a serious news medium to say that a program was "amateurish and
profoundly unsuccessful," there must be access to documents that have
gone cold and are now obsolete (which the AP has been able to gain) but
there also must be investigative reporting done that includes access to
all or the major parties involved in the matter, including the Cuban people.

As has been known from responses of certain parties included in the AP's
last crusade, all indications are that there have been lies or results
have been fabricated to rate these USAID programs as "profoundly

According to his interview in the El Nuevo Herald newspaper, Aldo
Rodríguez, leader of the musical group Los Aldeanos, did not receive one
cent from USAID, he did not compose his songs at the request of this
agency, nor did he receive a laptop from subversive foreign elements —
three assertions made in an "objective" piece by AP.

These campaigns of the AP, in symbiosis with the Cuban government, to
demonize fundraising in support of pro-human rights projects on the
Island, have media reach precisely because the national public is a
captive audience under the monopoly of the State, and also because it is
not common for us Cubans to do public fundraisers, as occurs in any
democratic country of the world.

In countries where there are free elections and institutions,
fundraising rules and regulations have been created and there are even
specialists trained in the technique of quickly and effectively raising
monies for political campaigns and the propagation of ideas. This is a
subject yet to be included in the curriculum for Cuban democrats and any
other social actor who will not want to submit himself to a despotic
governmental dictum.

It would be most useful for our civil society, inside and outside Cuba,
if we would create a sort of manual for raising funds legally and
efficiently to support the alternative projects on the Island. Thus, we
Cubans would be the ones to judge which citizen initiatives have been
successful and which ones not so much, as we learn from their results to
improve those methods of collecting, distributing and utilizing funds
for democracy in Cuba. The ends justify the means.

Cuba's solvency was always handicapped by Castroism. Only a
poverty-stricken people is vulnerable to enslavement. At the beginning,
it was accomplished through ideological class hatred. Currently, in
Castroism's latter days, it is done through paranoia about a foreign
conspiracy (even though Havana has received funding from the United
Nations as well as from Qaddafi's criminal regime).

Therefore, People, perhaps it is time for us to behave less as secret
victims and more as modern members of a global economy, transparent in
its accounts and convinced of the legitimacy of its anti-totalitarian
mission, beyond the laws of Castroism and the media campaigns that prop
it up.

Enmeshed in the Raul regime make-believe reforms, we Cubans should not
lose our focus to a Fidel who is as much fossil as fatal. Despite the
pathetic AP and the NYT, our radical redemption still goes by this
watchword: "Within the dictatorship, nothing; against the dictatorship,

*Translator's note: This last line is a riff on Fidel's famous/infamous
statement, "Within the Revolution, everything; outside the Revolution,
nothing," from his so-called "Speech to the Intellectuals" delivered in
June 1961.

Translated by: Alicia Barraqué Ellison

26 December 2014

Source: MONEY MONEY MONEY / Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo and Clive Rudd |
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