Week 12: Hero – Barack Obama

by Ray_North on March 22, 2016

Cuba_USA_HeroThis week’s hero is the President of the USA, Barack Obama.

At the moment when I think of Barry O, I think two things: first, I think, (scrunched up disappointed face), ‘oh what a disappointment that was,’ then, I think, ‘fuck me, I wish he was staying for another term.’

History will probably, just about, on balance, be kind to Obama – he has done a few good things, health care, economic improvement (just), not invaded anywhere (just), and he’s not done a few things that many wished him to, health care, economic improvement (just) not invaded anywhere.

It was a presidency that was blighted by the situation he found himself in and the intransigence of the Republican Party on Congress – which, we, of course, now know is certifiably bonkers.

In the last few weeks however, there is a feeling that Barack is doing a few things that he really would have liked to do a bit earlier in his term – Guantanamo Bay being one, and, pleasantly, the final reconciliation with Cuba being the other.

No American President has set foot on Cuban soil for 87 years. That’s a long time, even Mrs North couldn’t sustain that kind of mood. It’s a sad hangover from the Cold War and the years of American paranoia – Barack Obama to his credit has ended this, in the last week he’s gone to Havana, shook the hand of Raul Castro and said warm and happy things to the Cuban people.

However, although Obama is the recipient of our hero of the week award, for me (and I was the dissenting voice on this issue this week), it was Raul Castro who was the real hero – Raul didn’t simply fawn to the US, nor did he apologise in any way for the way in which Cuba had been run for the last sixty years, he set out a few home truths defending his country’s record on healthcare, gun control and economic fairness and pointing out a few things to the President, saying:

“We defend human rights, in our view civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights are indivisible, inter-dependent and universal. Actually we find it inconceivable that a government does not defend and ensure the right to healthcare, education, social security, food provision and development.”

Well said Raul, and well done Barack for having the gumption to go there in the first place.

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