Dropping Beef Billboards

Finnnnally, the US decides to turn off their electronic news “zipper” on the fifth floor of the sea-front American Interest Section in the Cuban capital. If you don’t know about the beefing billboards between United States and Cuba over the last several years, it’s a childish battle of “one-upping” the other country by dissing the other nation on the public street of Malecon in front of the US Interest Section in Cuba. It’s sort of a squabble between grown up men in government trying to “one-up” eachother through the use of political propaganda.

( “Mr. Imperialists, We Absolutely Have No Fear of You ” reads Cuban Billboard. Looks like Schoolhouse Rock, eh?)

The American electronic ticker boasts alot of pro-democracy and human rights messages. Don’t get me wrong, I wholeheartedly side with anything freedom related, it’s just that these messages can sometimes come off as “holier than thou” and tends to rile up the Cuban government thus making them create retaliation billboards to defend their system. It’s a never ending dueling game, and its just silly.

(The news “zipper” on the American Interest Section Building in Havana)

Anyway, the Obama administration just recently turned off an electronic sign at the U.S. diplomatic mission in Havana. He just shut it down. A US spokesperson, Ian Kelly, said, “We’re trying to do all we can to promote the free flow of information between the U.S. and Cuba,” he said. Kelly also added that President Barack Obama’s decision in April to allow U.S. telecommunications companies to do business with Cuba would do more to boost the flow of information to the island.

(Cuban erected 2005 Billboard Criticising the US Government)

This type of olive-branch-extension only works when its both ways. Recently, Kelly pointed out that Cubans had dismantled “a few very negative billboards and graffiti” around that area. The US viewed the removal as “a positive gesture.”

Kelly says the American government is continuing it’s strategy of peace-building with the island nation. “We are looking for ways that we can do that in the best way possible. And we just felt that these dueling, disparaging — well, disparaging is the wrong word — but these dueling billboards, if you will, were not serving the interests of promoting a more productive relationship,” Kelly said.

A first step is a first step.

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