‘Back to the past’

NEW YORK — The movie is about to be released. It’s titled “Back to the past” and its leading man is Carlos Curbelo, the young Florida Republican just elected to Congress. We haven’t seen it yet, but I dare to say that it won’t be amusing.

It begins with the ending of “The one-day flower,” another film, still being shown, whose main character is Joe García, the Democratic Congressman defeated by Curbelo on Nov. 4 after spending only two years in the House of Representatives.

For a moment, García seemed to personify a Cuban-American vision that was a little more realistic about U.S. relations with Cuba, but only for a moment. He turned out to be a middling actor whom the public — I say this with sadness — had no qualms abandoning in favor of someone with the same ossified mindset we’re accustomed to see in Cuban-American politicians. No question about it, the new movie is a return to the past.

That’s what came to my mind on Sunday [Nov. 9] when I watched on Univisión an interview by journalist Jorge Ramos with Curbelo, the latest addition to the fauna of Cuban-American politicians in the Republican Party.

In it, Curbelo, much too stiff for his 34 years, expounded his viewpoints about immigration and U.S. relations with Cuba, issues of vital importance for those who he must represent in Washington.

“The U.S. Constitution says very clearly that it is Congress’ duty to legislate,” the brand-new legislator said, referring to the possibility that President Obama might act on his own on immigration before year’s end.

And he added that he only hoped that the President would not violate the Congress’ authority because, according to him, there is a willingness on the part of Republicans to go ahead with immigration reform.

Although not ready to play hard ball, Ramos — half surprised, half skeptic — asked very gently, as if unwilling to wrinkle the starched Curbelo’s suit or his expression, if he “really” believed that immigration reform could be approved in the next two years.

“As you know, it was John Bohner who blocked it in the House, and he’s a Republican,” Ramos said.

“I’m confident that we’re going to pass immigration reform in the next two years,” answered Curbelo quite seriously. “The Republican Party understands its importance.”

Of course, nobody believes that — neither Ramos nor the Univisión audience, nor anyone who has followed the trail of the aforementioned reform in the House of Representatives with a Republican majority. Not even Curbelo believes it.

The reality is that the newly elected functionary fools nobody. In the interview, he simply repeated the fallacious arguments prepared by his party for public consumption (the “talking points”), intent on preventing Obama — if the President eventually decides — from keeping his word and, faced with Congress’ inaction, unilaterally alleviate the legal situation of millions of undocumented immigrants.

carlos-curbelo-1Besides, reversing the old adage that says that “blood is thicker than water,” Curbelo made it clear that his attitude toward Cuba is not only anachronistic but also contemptuous toward the land where his parents were born.

“It’s a regime that daily opposes the interests of the United States,” he affirmed with moralizing solemnity. “As citizens of this country, we have to make sure we defend the interests of the United States. How are we going to make unilateral concessions to a regime that has caused so much harm to Latin America?”

Young in years but older than Methuselah in mindset when it comes to the land of his parents, the new Congressman is one more denizen in the shameful fauna of those who want Washington to maintain its failed 52-year policy, while saying that they want to help the Cuban people.

Curbelo knows Cuba only through photographs. He may not know it, but, in that island that he hopes to continue mistreating with a pitiless blockade and all kinds of subversive plans, his attitude is called hypocrisy.

Yes, the movie is about to be released. Its title is “Back to the past” and Curbelo’s performance fools nobody. That’s why I dare to say unequivocally that it’s not going to be amusing.