Friday, July 22, 2005

Because the scribe lives in a 19th century universe where the things that writers and intellectuals say, think, and script are of incredible importance to society, he’ll feature a manifesto signed by some of today’s most interesting thinkers and reported, not in the American media, but in Mexico’s “La Jornada.”

The cosignatories are South African Nobel Prize for Literature winner Nadine Gordimer, the North American anarchist philosopher Noam Chomsky, French journalist Salim Lamrami, and two Nobel Peace Prize winners, the Guatemalan writer Rigoberta Menchu, and Argentine architect Adolfo Pérez Esquivel.

Their topic of choice is the United States’ base and prison at Guantánamo, Cuba.

Gitmo, as military-types like to call it, exists as a result of the Spanish-American war which, these people point out, was started by the U.S. just when Cuba was about to break free from Spain. President McKinley declared war on Spain, quickly dispatched of the declining imperial power, and imposed upon the newly “independent” nation an ultimatum that it sell or rent to the United States a place to locate a naval base should it so desire.

And desire it did, offering $2,000 in gold annually for use of the land it chose. the scribe read in the American media recently that the U.S. rents the base from Cuba, which seemed kind of odd given that the superpower has blockaded that country into poverty for 45 years now.

According to the manifesto, Cuba stopped accepting the $2,000 bucks upon the Communist Party’s takeover of the tropical isle, which makes a little more sense.

And here’s the scribe doing a little translating from the document, which originally ran in “Granma” the state-run newspaper there in Cuba Linda:

“The use to which this robbery of sovereign territory has been put, at the end of the day, is a cause of shame and disgrace for the U.S., as it is for the rest of the world, which, intimidated by American power, has chosen to overlook the flagrant implantation of a prison by one country in another’s.

“Human rights are often violated in our world, the result of conflicts of tremendous religious or factional complexity and to which it is very hard to find just solutions. Guantánamo is a clear exception. The solution is simple...that the United States abandon Guantánamo unconditionally. Now!”

We here at highwayscribery wholeheartedly agree. Let’s put an end to the torture, imprisonment with impunity, and stand for the rule of law like a real democracy.

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