Friday, November 02, 2007

Cuban cambio

At first glance, it seems like a straightforward story—young Cuban dissidents wear a rubber Lance Armstrong-type bracelet with the word “Cambio” (change) on it and then get arrested.

But wait, most kids wearing them did so for fashion reasons and have no interest in politics.

''Some people wear the AIDS ones which are yellow,'' González said. 'These are white, but in the schools a lot of kids wear it backwards, so you can't see the word `change.' For a lot of kids, it's nothing but a distraction. It doesn't matter to them if it says change or anything else.''

In other words, they aren’t “dissidents” at all, though the Cuban government rounded them up anyway for “social dangerousness.” So it is dangerous to be an unwitting dissident.

Then the story takes another, much weirder turn, as we discover that Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutiérrez wears his bracelet all the time, including in bed. No, I did not make that up.


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