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Whack the dog Whack the dog
by Thanos Kalamidas
2007-03-12 10:14:29
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There is an old story about a servant who was very badly treated by his master. The story says that the master was giving him the hardest jobs, never paid him well or appreciated him and that often when he was returning drunk he was hitting him. The man was so tired and angry with his boss that every night he was going out in the garden and he was…kicking the boss’s dog!

How did I remember reading this story? It was while reading the news that the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Lithuania and Slovenia are forcing the next major EU meeting for the Union to take a harder position against Cuba. Their excuse is to ‘force the Cuban regime into reforms that will protect human rights’ and their decision obviously matching Washington’s decision to take a harder stance against the Cuban leader and a more active involvement with Cuban’s internals.

I’m not going to talk here about the US obsession with Cuba. They even have a special committee in the foreign office that does nothing else than plan the end of the Cuban regime. And I’m not going to judge Castro who is undoubtly guilty of human rights violations, such as imprisoning, torturing and often killing any opposition. And I’m not going to say that Cuba is far away from Europe so the EU has no business with the other side of the ocean.

What I don’t understand is the motives of all these former communist countries with Cuba. From where I stand it looks like they are trying to prove that they are not communists anymore and they can hit any former comrade. Furthermore, they are obviously having a lot of anger for the USSR and because the USSR doesn’t exist anymore and they definitely cannot hit Russia, they are after Cuba.

It might sound very simplistic but this is the only way I can understand it. The former communist countries ….whack the dog! Being for so long under the USSR dominion, countries like that must still feel the shadow of the former super power. They must feel that Russia is a sleeping giant nobody should underestimate. Still, except complaining or put occasional vetoes like Poland did lately with the energy agreements between Russia and EU, they cannot do much more.

Russia in the era of the globalization, a system America has blessed so much, is a partner. Putin often sits at the same table with the leaders of the EU and it is a huge market for the European products - never forget the energy market and the dependence of a lot of these countries from Russia on many levels. Too difficult and too complicate to go after them. And then this is Russia, not USSR, Russia is trying equally hard with them to cut off the USSR heritage. Somehow they are…in the same boat!

Of course, there is always the other side I mentioned in the beginning, they have to prove how loyal they are to their new protector. After all, of them are joining NATO, after dismissing any connection with their historic past they have to prove once more how loyal they are by adopting American policy for Cuba. Pity they are missing the point.

The point is they don’t need a protector, they don’t need a new pimp, and they are members in an alliance that guarantees their equality and participation in the decisions. They don’t need to exchange the old boss with a new one who can not be better or worse since it is another…boss and they should stop whacking the dog!

    
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