Cuba is Still a Beacon for the Progressive World

Elio Delgado Legon

Photo: Robert Hills

HAVANA TIMES — I often come across certain Internet sites that publish articles written by detractors of the Cuban revolution. I say “detractors” to avoid calling them something else, as these characters are constantly playing into the enemy’s hands by making statements about our political and economic system.

It doesn’t bother me, just as it doesn’t bother our main leaders either, that differing opinions should be expressed, as we cannot hope to have everyone think the same way. But opinions about aspects they dislike about the system, or part of it, is one thing, and opinions based on lies and slander designed to denigrate our revolution (which has cost our people many sacrifices) is quite another.

It is maddening to read paragraphs that speak of “macabre episodes of repression against dissidents, “scandalous convictions for the crime of defending different ideas, fits by leaders that cause unnecessary privation and death and hundreds of thousands of people crossing oceans and jungles, risking it all for a better life.”

Anyone who has no knowledge of Cuban reality and reads paragraphs like that one is horrified and goes away with a completely distorted image of our country’s situation.

How can this person speak of macabre episodes of repression against dissidents when they can write such slanderous statements without being bothered by anyone? Where are the scandalous convictions for defending different ideas if the person spreading these lies isn’t in jail, not because they have different ideas, but because of slander?

Cuba has long ceased to have any prisoners of the type the counterrevolution and imperialism called “political prisoners” or “prisoners of conscience,” when, in fact, those who were once convicted – and those sentences were never outrageous – had broken the law carrying out anti-government activities, acting as mercenaries paid by the most powerful empire on the planet, which makes no secret of its intention of changing Cuba’s political system, or, in other words, restoring neoliberal capitalism in Cuba.

In the same paragraph, there’s talk of unnecessary privation and death, a statement that’s groundless and serves only to confuse and sow doubt in those readers who do not know our reality.

Lastly, the paragraph in question mentions hundreds of thousands of people crossing oceans and jungles, risking everything for a better life.

The figures and words used give the sense of a mass exodus, the kind we might see in Syria, Libya and other African countries, but not Cuba. Everyone has the right to go in search of a better life in developed countries, where the standard of living is higher. However, those who leave Cuba do so lured by the preferential treatment offered them by the United States under the Cuban Adjustment Act, a law designed precisely to prompt such exoduses and to spread propaganda against the revolution through mercenaries of the written word, who write what the empire needs them to write, in support of their anti-Cuba policies.

Those who write such diatribes, however, do not say a single word about the genocidal blockade, the main reason Cuba cannot make quicker progress towards the sustainable development we aspire to and work for, with the solidarity of all the world’s peoples.

Since the triumph of the revolution in 1959, Cuba has been a beacon for all progressive people on the planet. And, even though its detractors claim it has failed, those who know us well and support us around the world insist Cuba continues to be a beacon of dignity and resistance that inspires revolutionaries around the world.

Elio Delgado Legon

Elio Delgado-Legon: I am a Cuban who has lived for 80 years, therefore I know full well how life was before the revolution, having experienced it directly and indirectly. As a result, it hurts me to read so many aspersions cast upon a government that fights tooth and nail to provide us a better life. If it hasn’t fully been able to do so, this is because of the many obstacles that have been put in its way.


20 thoughts on “Cuba is Still a Beacon for the Progressive World

  • March 2, 2016 at 6:48 pm
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    Thank you for the clarification

  • March 2, 2016 at 5:25 pm
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    If Cuba were like Stalinist Russia, a comment to a friend or co-worker could lead to years in a remote work camp. And a public criticism would be unthinkable.
    No doubt critics of the government do not have ready access to a broad audience. But I am happy to see that the contributors to this website are still walking the streets.

  • March 2, 2016 at 6:54 am
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    The site has never been blocked on a widespread basis. At many workplaces self-censorship keeps people from entering into sites that might not be viewed well by the Party people who can review what pages are pulled up. This can vary greatly from office to office. The site is visible at the pay-for WiFi hot spots, likewise for people who have the slow ENET or Cubarte dial up connections at home, issued from their workplaces. Many of our in Cuba readers, including most of the writers, receive the articles in text only format by email.

  • March 1, 2016 at 11:47 pm
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    Although Cuban contributors manage (by hook, crook, or flash drive) to submit stories to Havanatimes.org, access to this site is actively “discouraged” and the site not readily available. The Cuban government can’t shut it down because its not located in Cuba. As for how the Cuban government feels about “opposing points of view, one can simply look at the recent shutting down of the blog “Proyecto Arcoiris” because it dared demanding that the government offer a public apology for those imprisoned in the UMAP camps. Or you can look at the daily manhandling and beatings of the “Ladies in White”.

    I’d be interested in the publisher, Circles Robins”, views on the accessibility of this site within Cuba.

  • March 1, 2016 at 7:25 pm
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    I think the survival of this website suggests otherwise.

  • March 1, 2016 at 3:35 pm
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    “Part of the revolution will be to listen to opposing points of view”. ….I would be careful of spreading that kind of message in Cuba, it’s likely to get you into trouble. Like it or hate it, one thing the Cuban revolution does not tolerate are opposing points of view.

  • March 1, 2016 at 10:01 am
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    After all these years the Cuban Revolution still inspires loyalty. I am inspired by the revolution.
    Part of defending the revolution will be to listen to opposing points of view, including Cubans who are critical of their government. This website does a great service to those who wish to knows what Cubans are thinking.

  • February 26, 2016 at 12:16 pm
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    It is so easy to love the Cuban system from afar! A system they would not bear living under for just a year. Nobody has a war on the Cuban people but against a dictatorship that has been in power and crushing all who dissent for more than half a century.

    As you approve of the Castro’s being in power for so long and having just one party; Would also enjoy having just the Republican Party as the legal one in the USA and G.W. Bush as President for 50 years? I am sure you would be as delighted as Cubans are with the Castros.

  • February 25, 2016 at 9:08 pm
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    We agree on the need for democracy.
    Without an economic democracy , there can be no political democracy.
    IMO, Cuba must abandon state capitalism for a democratic economy in order to achieve a democratic/socialist society.

  • February 25, 2016 at 5:53 am
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    There are three observations that are relevant here:

    (1) Even on the socialist Left, and by that I mean people who support the Cuban Revolution and oppose US imperialism, I think you will find a large number of them, if not a majority, believe that the Cuban government should go MUCH further in the direction of opening up the political system — without necessarily agreeing on what that opening, in detail, should be.

    In Cuba they would be what the British call ‘the loyal opposition’. And I think this tendency would grow dramatically if the embargo were ended.

    (2) That it should be ended, if for no other reason than that it has not worked, perhaps has even worked in the opposite direction from the intention of its supporters, is a consensus that stretches from the Left, through the Center, and is making rapid strides in the Right.

    (3) What proponents of such opening up need to start thinking about, and discussing, is a certain unspoken fear, held certainly by supporters of the political status quo in Cuba, and probably by many others who do, or would, favor political liberalization.

    We can put it in the form of a question: suppose Cuba adopted a mulit-party system, a free press, etc.

    In other words, suppose it adopted the same system that holds sway in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador: would the eventual social outcome be similar to that in those countries?

    If not, why not? (Put another way: what must the Cubans do to assure that if they adopt the ‘American-approved’ political system, such as exists in, say, Honduras, they don’t then also get massive violent crime, drug gangs, corrupt politicians and state officials, children sleeping on the street, and all the rest of it?)

    Because if there is no credible answer to that question, then a lot of people are, understandably, not going to be enthusiastic about supporting the desired political changes.

  • February 25, 2016 at 12:07 am
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    Has has the internet? He must be blowing more than Cigars…..

  • February 24, 2016 at 10:40 pm
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    Not everybody.

  • February 24, 2016 at 10:29 pm
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    Anti-revolutionary and proud. Actually sad because of what Cuba has become. But I’ll wear the anti-revolutionary monicker with pride! I’m sure Moses does as well

  • February 24, 2016 at 7:44 pm
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    A Cuba unleashed from embargo and with a real democratic economy we can agree on. Workers need to own their wages and be allowed to decide how to live their lives.

  • February 24, 2016 at 12:45 pm
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    I guess, Moses, that everybody that doesn’t embrace your anti-revolutionary propaganda is a “fool AND a liar.”

  • February 23, 2016 at 9:15 pm
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    We agree.
    End the embargo and normalize and then let Cuba’s state capitalist economy rise or fall of its own merits or faults.
    Personally I am more concerned with the institution of Poder Popular which is fine as written and/or any steps toward democratic processes in the PCC which has ossified in a totalitarian form. They may not be brutish isolationist Stalinists but they most definitely are elitist Leninists .
    They may or may not have lost interest in socialism ( democratic economy) .
    We’ll only know after normalization .

  • February 23, 2016 at 9:08 pm
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    Unless and until the United Snakes and people like Moses call off their war on the people of Cuba for not wanting the free enterprise (neo-liberal) capitalist economy that has half the world which lives with that system doing so on US$2.00 per day, anyone who spends more time criticizing the under-siege Cuban government more than the U.S. imperialism which has been involved in many such interventions ( over 70) is just a supporter of imperialism : the enforcing of neo-liberal capitalism on the world.
    Clearly, the far greater evil is U.S. imperialism whether it is the Cuba/U.S. relationship or that of the Third World and the United States after World War II.
    Indeed, Cuba alone in the Third World stood up against the United States and for over 50 years surviving bombings, Playa Giron , biological warfare, economic hardship where no other nation of similar resources was able to do it. .
    Theirs is a great historical achievement .
    No small credit to Fidel, a marvelous speaker and professor.

  • February 23, 2016 at 7:18 pm
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    Elio, pal, you have to be kidding! I guess this is the main reason tens of thousands are swimming to your shore to live in Cuba. You can do better than this.

  • February 23, 2016 at 3:55 pm
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    Well, Elio has simply outdone himself. What a load of bio-organic fertilizer. No political prisoners? No mass exodus? But what really triggered the gag reflex is where Elio writes “it doesn’t bother our main leaders either, that differing opinions should be expressed”. I have more respect for Castro sycophants who admit that there are political prisoners, acknowledge almost a third of the country has fled and finally admit that opposition to the Castros is not tolerated. I heartily disagree with the beliefs of the Castro bootlickers that tell the truth, but I respect their honesty. Elio is both a fool AND a liar.

  • February 23, 2016 at 2:28 pm
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    Failed economic model. People leave because it is a dreadful experience. Not what Marx had in mind. The embargo needs to come down to expose the fraud that it and not incompetence is the problem.

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