Thursday, December 20, 2007

Brother, Can You Spare 36 min. Time?

That is the time of a video of a trip to Cuba by south Florida radio personality John "Footy" Cross and Cuban-American sportswear business owner Ignacio Mendez. The video is called Faces of Cuba and the only place it can be found is on the WIOD web site.

I watched it twice, the second time in full-screen mode. Robert M. at Babalu blog reviews the video by writing
Footy's purpose for doing the documentary is plainly stated right at the beginning: an effort to educate Americans about the "desperate imprisonment of 11 million people by a psycho". The piece runs the gamut from shots of Old Havana and other locations around Cuba to Ignacio Mendez's personal journey to visit relatives, as well as a visit to his old family house and school. Intertwined throughout the documentary are Footy and Mendez's feelings about the state of Cuba and note a feeling of hopelessness in Cubans.

In other words, this isn't your typical MSM fluff piece. This is two men's accounts of what they saw and experienced in the real Cuba, not the La La land-like experience most tourists see, nor is it a mouthpiece for a specific U.S. policy towards Cuba. In that sense, it is refreshing and refreshingly honest.

The whole thing is about 36 minutes long, so you'll need a little time to view it in its entirety, but it's well worth it in my opinion. Finally, a note of thanks to Footy for being willing to do this and for being an American who "gets it", and to Ignacio Mendez for sharing his personal story with us.

As Footy mentions during the video, what's going on in Cuba goes against the values Americans hold close, and if Americans really took the time to learn about the truth instead of relying on propaganda, they would feel as outraged and motivated as Footy to do something about it.

So I ask you to spare this 36 minutes because you are not going to know listening to Sean Penn, Michael Moore, or Danny Glover. You also are not going to know the real Cuba spending more than 36 minutes at one of these yahoos movies.

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