HAVANA TIMES — “Don’t yell at me, it doesn’t make what you’re saying any more right”, goes a line from one of Beatriz Marquez’s songs. It was popular in the 1980s, when I was a teenager.
That little refrain sticks with me like a ring on my finger whenever I read some of the comments in Havana Times. Their tiresome lines are loaded with insults, distain and scorn for the columnists, such as me, who don’t share their points of view.
Insults and disrespect are the tools they usually resort to when they lack convincing arguments, the appropriate language or the capacity to reply. The tones our opponents use are intense, when you read them it seems like they’re screaming at you.
They should be grateful for the opportunity our editorial board gives them, allowing people to express their exasperation. This webpage is a liberal site for the confrontation of opinions, where these are published without censorship, no matter how different they might be.
This is just the opposite of official sites like Cubadebate, where one can hardly ever read opinions contrary to their pages.
Concerning a recent post of mine that referred to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, one commentator (whose name I don’t want to note), couldn’t have been more offensive. This made it even clearer their passion for that leader, someone who also often commits the evil of roaring.
He, in my opinion, is one of the most hysterical politicians in recent years. Let’s recall his speech at the Copenhagen Summit, where after George W. Bush spoke, he said: “It smells like sulfur, the devil has just passed by here.” Or when he uttered curses to other nations, like when he angrily cried out, “I curse you Israel!”
We don’t need leaders who go around being uppity (which of course is characteristic of the new populist Latin American political model and the type of audience to which this attitude is directed).
Let’s remember the remarkable personalities of the politics of the 20th century who have passed into posterity with a great deal prestige. They’ll always be remembered for their poise and amenity as model political figures, both inside their countries and internationally. In this vein, it’s necessary to mention Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Ho Chi Minh and Jimmy Carter.
Each of them lived in different periods and circumstance, but they were respected and loved by their people (even sometimes, like in the case of Jimmy Carter, when they were not very popular). The point is that none of these leaders, with more or less correctness in what they said, never made their points by yelling.
So, my dear antagonistic commenters, please follow their example and “stop screaming at me.”