My new friend Eric joins me at the dinner table tonight.
I’ve asked him to introduce me to the filmmaker and he’s promised he will.
She has not yet arrived but when she does, we move to the
table where she sits with another u.s. member of the film crew. I’m thrilled to meet
her and tell her that, even though I’ve always wanted to come to Cuba, her
movie really inspired me to get here.
Before Eric could sit down, a Cuban man, who was in the
original film, joined us. It was interesting talking with him, although until
he left the table, he dominated the conversation.
He is very worried about the impact of more u.s. tourists to
Cuba & believes it is the government’s goal to accommodate 10 million
tourists a year – which doubles the population of Cuba; and increases the
disparity now growing in recent years between those that live close to tourist
areas and those that don’t.
He also talked the impact of global warming that Cuba is
already facing with the rising seas: their fresh water aquifers are being
infiltrated by salt water, and already many crops are being negatively
impacted, like potatoes and yams.
He is a physicist and when he found out I’m from California,
he talked about how he was invited to California in 1999 when Enron & Texas
destroyed our energy supply with their greed and shenanigans.
He said the u.s. people did not phrase the problem
correctly: it was not Texas or Enron or what’s-his-face, but the system of
delivery of energy itself.
Which led to a discussion about the 2nd grape boycott when
we found out how much wineries were destroying the earth with the methyl
whatever they were dumping on the ground to grow grapes supposedly better and
more rapidly than growing organically.
He parroted the mantra of George Lakoff - and others when the elections were 'lost' to Bush - about how the left
doesn’t use the same brilliant techniques as the right to convince people to
join the movement.
Of course I tried to claim it wasn't 'techniques' that pushed Bush to power but the Supreme Court, the purging of Black voters in Florida for the first 'election', not to mention the sketchy electronic voting machines.
He claimed boycotting grapes was not the issue: ending the
use of pesticides was. I tried to explain to him the United Farm Workers
movement which had an enormous successful grape and lettuce boycott several
decades ago, so people already were clued in to a grape boycott.
He didn’t think people understand what the issue is if it’s
a grape boycott but a pesticide boycott is much clearer – which is probably is
– and we need to use the same marketing tactics as the right.
I tried to tell him those people have millions upon billions
of dollars to sit the average u.s. schmo in a room and inundate them with
clever programming and brilliant lies to see what they will fall for or not.
Our discussion became more heated as he insisted the left
must engage in the same verbal marketing tactics as the right.
I tried to tell him that maybe the simple truth might
prevail at some point. But he wasn’t having it.
He got up for more food and I was able to talk with the two
other womyn briefly before I had to leave. I’m very happy to have had this
experience. I can’t wait to see the new film!