May 15, 2006

Fans Of Chavez

Maybe the best thing I've read on the web this year. Ian Buruma in the Sunday Times Online.

When the Cuban novelist Reinaldo Arenas managed to escape to the US in 1980, after years of persecution by the Cuban government for being openly homosexual and a dissident, he said: “The difference between the communist and capitalist systems is that, although both give you a kick in the ass, in the communist system you have to applaud, while in the capitalist system you can scream. And I came here to scream.”

One of the most vexing things for artists and intellectuals who live under the compulsion to applaud dictators is the spectacle of colleagues from more open societies applauding of their own free will. It adds a peculiarly nasty insult to injury.

Buruma begs the political left he clearly identifies with to find a principled footing in world affairs. Great read.

Posted by dan at May 15, 2006 7:10 PM