Monday, March 5, 2018

Professor Jorge Dominguez is wrong on sexual harassment and wrong on Cuba.

Can rationalizing the behavior of tyrants lead to a deterioration in personal behavior?

Jorge I. Dominguez in Havana, Cuba in October 10-12, 2002
Harvard Professor Jorge Ignacio Dominguez is in the news. He has been placed on leave amid sexual misconduct allegations. The allegations stretch over decades into the present. The Chronicle of Higher Education has published an extensive article on the first allegation that was made in 1983 by a junior professor in his department.

The Harvard professor, it appears, has been exposed as a decades long sexual predator, but what of his academic work? Capitol Hill Cuban referenced a CBS article where Dominguez described Cuban dictator Raul Castro as "a very practical man... a problem solver," and claims that he is a "reformer."
The same article reports that Cuban dissidents, among them Oswaldo Payá, had "issued statements saying the government has not done enough and all political prisoners should be released," and Payá, in a press release, expressed anger that visiting Vatican Foreign Minister Dominique Mamberti is not meeting with opposition forces during his visit here."

Prior to his 2012 death Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas who in 2002 had won the European Union's Sakharov Prize, and been nominated for thee Nobel Peace Prize after mobilizing tens of thousands of Cubans to petition the Castro regime for human rights reforms, is rarely, if at all mentioned by Harvard's resident Cuba scholar. 

This blog has cited Professor Dominguez on four occasions over the past decade, and one of them was a correction for a factual misstatement made by the Harvard academic. The first was in 2009 where he is cited describing the cost to Cuba of the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. In 2010 Dr. Dominguez was referenced in a program for a Catholic Social Week in Cuba at Casa San Juan María Vianney.  It was the kind of program that martyred Cuban dissident and Catholic layman, Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas, would criticize in March of 2012 as part of the process of fraudulent change.  Payá was murdered by General Raul Castro's agents on July 22, 2012.

On July 31, 2014 Professor Dominguez was interviewed on PBS and downplayed and misrepresented the outlaw nature of the Castro regime. Nevertheless, he unintentionally exposed the dangerous complacency of the U.S. government in its relations with the Castro regime. On August 4, 2014 a correction was issued, challenging the Dr. Dominguez's claim that "the number of political prisoners is effectively zero." Eighty six current political prisoners were then identified, a partial listing, and there are still political prisoners in Cuba today in 2017.

Ann Louise Bardach in a August 14, 2015 article in Politico, "Obama's Favorite Castro" quoted Jorge Dominguez, who she described as "Harvard’s resident Cuba scholar" in which he favorably compared Cuban military prowess to American and Russian failures during the same period.
 “In the 1970s and 1980s, the U.S. lost the war in Vietnam and the Soviet Union lost the war in Afghanistan,” . During the same period, however, “the Cuban Armed Forces won the three wars, [that] they fought far from home in Angola and Ethiopia.”
However, Professor Dominguez fails to mention that the victory in Ethiopia consolidated Mengistu Haile Mariam, a genocidal war criminal, and assisted in the murder of tens of thousands of Ethiopians, including the execution of 1,000 children, many below the age of thirteen, whom the communist government had labeled "liaison agents of the counter revolutionaries." Castro's troops helped to exacerbate the famine that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives by "poisoning and bombing waterholes and machine gunning herds of cattle.” Or that the "victory" in Angola imposed another dictatorship there.

These omissions by Harvard's Cuba expert can be partially understood by his apparent blind spot for dictators. Dominguez traveled to Damascus, Syria in April of 2011 to deliver the keynote address for the Harvard Arab Alumni Association's event "under the esteemed patronage of Her Excellency Mrs. Asma al-Assad, The First Lady of Syria."

This fondness for despots, who have no limits, may also explain the difficulties Professor Dominguez is having at Harvard. The Assads and the Castros of the world don't have to worry about sexual harassment policies when they are committing mass murder. Harvard's soft spot for left wing academics may also explain why this alleged sexual predator was able to operate for 35 years after credible allegations were made, and he was found culpable but was allowed to stay on.

No comments:

Post a Comment