Foolish Dreaming of Capitalism’s Return to Cuba

Elio Delgado Legon

Billboard in Santiago de Cuba. Photo: Janis Hernandez

HAVANA TIMES — Men come and go, but the Revolution is immortal. Although it might seem like a political slogan, it’s a crushing reality for Imperialism’s wage earners, who don’t shy away from claiming that Cuba’s political system will last as long as those who currently govern the country live.

At the recent Young Pioneers National Assembly, children proved that the Revolution will continue to be defended, with their mature opinions, as they are the future, and they made it very clear that they would defend the Revolution and socialism, and that they won’t be lured by capitalist siren songs.

Because of the normal National Assembly of the People’s Power’s session that took place recently, where Cuban President Raul Castro explained the temporary economic problems that the country is facing right now, Imperialism’s spokespeople have begun to spin a campaign of misinformation in order to create social unrest and uncertainty, not only in our people but also in our trade partners, predicting another Special Period like the one we had to endure in the 1990s, when Cuba lost 80% of its external trade because the socialist bloc and CAME disappeared and the USSR fell apart.

Emboldened by the situation at that time of crisis, the US government tried to finish off the Cuban Revolution by tightening the economic, trade and financial embargo that they’ve imposed on us for more than 50 years. The Cuban people didn’t surrender out of hunger and disease, which was the explicit objective of that failed policy.

The current Cuban crisis doesn’t resemble the one we experienced in the ‘90s in any way. Today, Cuba has trade relationships with countries all over the world and its trade partners are more and more diversified every day.  At the same time it increases its exports, not only goods but also services.

Cuba depended on its trade relationship with the socialist bloc through the ‘80s, not because it was a mistake, like some malicious people like to claim, but because US imperialism left us no other choice when they closed us off from the world, even from Latin America.

Today, Cuba doesn’t depend on one country in particular. It has a lot of trade partners all over the world to whom it sells its products and can buy whatever it needs.

The global capitalist crisis, which began in the US in the ‘80s, affects every country to some extent, and Cuba, also forming a part of this world, can’t escape the ups and downs of this crisis and has to put emergency measures into effect in certain situations. However, it always does its best to try and not affect the population’s basic services, like it is doing now.

To those who are predicting a gloomy end for the Revolution, let me suggest that you don’t get your hopes up, as the Cuban Revolution is stronger than it ever was.

To those who propose that the revolutionary government open dialogue with Imperialism’s mercenaries, I’ll say that no civil servant from another foreign power will be a valid spokesperson for a revolutionary leader.

To those who propose we draw up road maps so we can return to our infernal capitalist past, let me suggest that they print this road map on onionskin paper and put it in their bathroom at home; as I’m sure it’ll be more useful there.

To the revolutionaries who are reading this post, let me assure you that the Cuban Revolution marches forward triumphantly and is stronger than ever in spite of unfavorable and one-off situations, which are temporary and reversible.

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.



35 thoughts on “Foolish Dreaming of Capitalism’s Return to Cuba

  • Even for Elio, this article is over-the-top. His red tinted spectacles deceive him and he faithfully parrots the PCC line.

    Which are the products which it sells to its trading partners all over the world? Coffee? Cigars? and ?

    When Labiofam demonstrated initiative by extending its product lines to include mens fragrances, the whole concept became a fiasco because the first two were named ‘Hugo’ and ‘Ernesto’. Raul Castro then declared that these names were “sacred” and that the initiators would be severely punished – the CEO of Labiofam being Dr. Jose A. Praga Castro, Raul Castro’s nephew who wrote grovelling letters of apology to the Guevara de Serna Lynch and Chavez Frias families denying any personal responsibility. Thus a potential export product was discontinued.

    Elio boasts that the regime can “buy whatever it needs”. This must include that perilously narrow toilet paper from Vietnam, the coffee packed in Spain, the beer from Denmark, Holland, Belgium, Mexico and the Dominican Republic because the state breweries in Cuba cannot meet demand for Buchanero and Cristal. But if the regime (actually GAESA) can buy what the people need, why the constant shortages which the regime itself admits?

    Back in September 2014, Havana Times published a list of products reported by the Ministry for Domestic Trade (MINCIN) to be in short supply:

    Potatoes: Natural Juices and nectars: Soft drinks: Powdered chocolate: Domestic beer: Salt: Toilet paper: Toothbrushes: Toothpaste: Deodorant: Laundry soap: Toilet soap: Razors: Colognes and perfumes: Talcum powder: Batteries for electric motorcycles: 18 and 32 Watt fluorescent lights: Energy saving bulbs: Portable radios: Matches: Grease removing and de-scaling substances: Bleach: Hydrochloric acid: Plastic bags:

    These shortages continue, so who does Elio think he is deceiving? When he says: “The current Cuban crises doesn’t resemble the one we experienced in the 90’s in any way.” he missed out one critical word: “yet”.

    Elio says that the current crises is “temporary” – just how long a period of a temporary crises does he anticipate this time – and how and whom does he expect to resolve it?

    Elio reflects the blind leading the blind when he concludes that:

    “The Cuban Revolution marches forward triumphantly and is stronger than ever”

    There speaks a lemming!

    Reply
    • Dear Brother Carlyle, Let me first applaud Havana Times for featuring this article on its blog. I was a soccer referee in my country for nigh 30 years, so I try to be unbiased in my dealings; Brother Carlyle, you have to swallow your pride and your longing for the glory days of Batista to return. You have to come to grips with the reality, with the fact that the 1959 Cuban Revolution is here to stay and the Cuban people are not returning to the days of Capitalism where people like you oppressed, exploited, suppressed, discriminated against them, held your feet suffocatingly in their throats.

      The Revolution has liberated them from ignorance and disease. The Christians have a song which says, “I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back:” Just so with the Revolution:

      “There will bw no turning back of the Revolution Its MOTTO is, “Forward Ever, Backward Never:” I have advised you before and I do so again, “Jump on the Revolutionary train, it is moving at a fast speed. Stop your dreaming, stop your hoping, stop your longing for the glory days of Batista to return, run fast and hop on the train, We will welcome you aboard for we do not discriminate like you capitalists.By the way, brother Carlyle, I was reading an article on “Poverty–Facts and Stats,” by Anup Shah last updated, Monday January 07, 2013 where it states that 27-28% of all children in the developing world are estimated to be underweight or stunned! It went on further to say that almost half of the world, over three (3) billion people, live on less than $2.50 per day. Eighty percent (80%) of humanity live on less than USC $10.00 a day.

      The Castro’s left their comfort zone to correct this atrocity, this inhumanty and people like you who are devoid of human feeling, hate their guts for performing such a Good Samaritan deed of really liberating their Cuban Brothers and Sisters from this scourge, this human terrorism.

      The Capitalist system has suffered many finacial crises. In the 1930’s when so many persons committed suicide. The latest one which it has not overcome as yet was the mid 2007-2008 financial crisis and you dare to talk about the crisis in Cuba when you have not overcome yours as yet?

      Reply
      • Where do you see in McDuff’s conversation any longing for the days of Batista and his way of running the country? It is not a case of Batista vs Cuba . Facts are facts. Cuba is in short supply of basic items.. I am there all the time, I see with my own eyes. So get some prescription glasses my friend, sounds like you need them.

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        • For Castro sycophants, it’s a zero sum game. It’s either Castro or Batista.

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        • Sister Susan, You have your feet in my throat suuffocating me any you want me to breathe? What has Cuba done to America for America to impose an embargo on it? An embargo which is against the UN Charter of 1948 which gives the Cuban people to pursue whatever economic or developmental path it chooses to pursue. Read the U.N Charter and then come back and hold discussions with me. People like you argue from emotions. Do you know any thing about the Batista era when Cuba was known as the Whorehouse of the world and when all the gambling houses and whorehouses were owned by the American Mafia?

          Do not come with hysterical facts; come with historical facts. Conduct your own research and come again. The people who live on the streets of America, are in short supply of food, medicines, clothing, medical attention. Go and visit them and lend a helping hand. America has been Independent from 1776- 2016, making it Independent for over 240 years and it still has the world’s worst poverty. It has slums which are unbelievable in such a rich country.

          Stop striking out at Cuba; fix America first. Look after those black people who have no hope in America, the so-called land of the free and the home of the brave where Black people with their hands tied behind their backs unable to fight back and are still shot to death. When you have rectified all these atrocities come back and engage me in conversation!

          And, by the way, I do not need prescription glasses; I can see well to read the atrocities committed by America all over the world and I have a heart full of empathy and sympathy for the oppressed and exploited peoples of the world. God in his Infinite Wisdom never intended the Paradise He created called PLANET EARTH to be so unjustly and unfairly governed!

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          • Kennedy, for a lot of us the United States is not the center of the earth. Your calling the United States “America” shows your disrespect for the rest of the continent which is also America. Canada is America, Mexico is America, Costa Rica is America, Peru is America. And as to the United States, good luck with fixing it since that seems to be your number one concern.

          • My humble apology brother Circles. Historically, I know that the United States is just a part of the American continent and as a professional, I should have refrained from following the multitude in referring to it as America! Thanks for the correction! I always strive to present historical facts to my readers; it is not that I am anti- the USA, but rather against the hypocritical foreign policies, its disrespect for International Laws and Treaties and its assumption that it was divinely ordained to be the World’s Policeman. Just imagine that a country which was born out of a Revolution, turning around and brutally destroying all other Revolutions when it should be demonstrating appreciation and support for others who want to rid themselves of their Colonial Masters as it did in 1776: Thanks again Brother!!

          • If I recall correctly, the American (pre-dating the USA) revolution was a protest against paying tax.

            “Taxation without representation is tyranny.”

          • It was not the US which destroyed the Hungarian revolution in 1956 and it was not the US which destroyed the Czechoslovakian revolution of 1968, it was the communist USSR which rolled in the tanks Mr. Kennedy Earle Clarke
            China followed suit when its own students protested.
            You are obviously suffering from myopia and should seek treatment otherwise as a claimed Republican you might make a slip of the pen in November and vote for a minor degree of sanity rather than the narcissistic Trump.

          • My humble apologies, brother Carlyle, it was not the US, it was the US Central Intelligence Agency which has uprooted many Revolutions the world over and which has supported the Somoza’s, the Suharto’s, the Pol Pots, the Raphael Trujillo’s, the Augusto Pinochet’s, the Ferdinand Marco’s, the Idi Amin’s, the Batista’s, the Baby Doc’s who oppressively trodded on their people’s human rights, who were the worst of the worst dictators of the world.

            What is galling to you, is that the Cuban Revolution of 1959, halted the Imperialist Expansionist policies of the USA in Latin America. The people of Cuba, having tasted real freedom, were prepare to defend it with their very lives. Those Cubans who flee to the USA, will soon to be frustrated when they discover that the USA is no El- Dorado. That they have been ensnared and re-enslaved by the capitalist system.

            Capitalism breathed its last breath in Cuba in the year 1959 and, like Lazarus of Biblical Fame, it would never be resurrected from the dead! Capitalism was built from Slave Labour and Cheap Labour after slavery was so- called abolished. The prosperity of the USA is built from slave labour, cheap labour, prisoner’s free labour, the exploitation of the labour from Mexico, whose lands were grabbed from them. Just imagine, yesterday those lands belonged to them, today, they entered their own lands illegally and became aliens to be exploited of their labour; Will Havana Times deem this post eminently fit to adorn its pages?

            The USA has also prospered from the the illegal aliens who, through the advertisement of the USA as the land of hope came to dream the invisble, expoitative, unattainable USA dream, only to realize the exploitation of their labour which falsely prides itself as the champion of human rights abuses when it is the worst abuser and exploiter of human beings, Vehicles and othe mechainical devices are powered either from solar energy or some form of fuel. The economy of the USA is driven or powered either by cheap labour, slave labour or exploitative labour. How can a Just God ever favour such a country never mind to bless it, eh?

          • Kennedy, your comments are sometimes published for nothing at all to do with adorning the pages of Havana Times. They are approved when you don’t go too far off the subject at hand (often not the case) and keep the insults down. As we have reminded you many times, there are many publications dedicated to criticizing the United States government and policies. We happen to focus on Cuba.

          • The us needs to improve but it not like you say it is. You can get as good as health care as in Cuba now. Many items are cheaper in the US. than in Cuba now . Many people in the US make $8.00 per hour and have 2 part time jobs. They live in a trailer park with airconditioning a fridge microwave and share the trailer with another family, they still live better than 90% of the Cubans today.

          • Brother Steve, You are judging a man by the material things he possesses; the Cubans on the other hand judge according to the service he renders to his fellow men? The American and othe doctors in the capitalist world, fleece their patients in order to become millionaires. The Cubans go about it as lending support to their fellow men. They volunteer to travel to countries who are hit by natural disasters and they render service to the affected! They go as Medical Brigades to those countries whose people have never enjoyed the privilege of ever visiting a doctor in their entire lives. Are they not billionaires in human compassion? Must everything be measured in dollars and cents? Must the Mother Theresa’s be forgotton for their humanitarian work? The bank robberies, the holdups, the murders are all means of ensuring that the people involved are counted because of their worth in dollars and cents. Why should aa person be working three jobs in the land of plenty? What has happened to the pillars of the eight hour day, 8 hours for work, 8 hours for recreation, 8 hours for rest? Dollars and cents but no health and he still cannot purchase health insurance?

          • You say “…Cubans on the other hand judge [their worth] according to the service he renders to his fellow men” hahaha. It is clear you don’t know Cubans.

            And Cuba sends their “medical brigades” not out of any humanitarian concern, but as a way to raise hard cash. Truly selfless motives can be attributed to Médecins Sans Frontières, who’s doctors volunteer their, time, energy, and wealth, in the service of others.

            ….oh, look Kenedy, another boat load of Cubans fleeing your paradise, just landed on Miami Beach.

          • I could be much richer if I made different decisions in the past 15 years. A very good friend of mine who is a doctor in Canada (who lives in $500,000 home with some solar panels) spends 6 to 8 weeks a year in very poor countries and takes over older medical equipment and relation of mine who is both a RN and a paramedic and has both jobs in Canada. I have both lived and worked in homeless shelters for short period of times. True I often work 80 to 100 hours per week but that so I can pay my bills support my father who has parkisons and my wife who still lives in Russia. I do not own an expensive car (basic pickup WT) I drive truck and always carry extra basic canned foods for myself and give to people living the streets. I have more respect for what people do with their lives than the type of house or other toys they have. I never stay expensive hotels or eat high end meals. Many of these Cuban doctors have not even seen some of the basic medical items that I have taken from Canada. Their heart is in the right place but I was shocked at the lack of items like cold packs to work with. I do not know what is like in the US. but in Canada everybody get the medicine they need even if they can not afford it. If you want to only have one part time job and think you should earn a good living you are so wrong. If you choose to work hard have 2 jobs and do good for your family and others you will be ok. The insurance industry is not fair or are the banks sometimes. I have been a volunteer in very bad areas along with troops from the army helping out. I have AHD that allows me to 3 or more days with out sleep. I sometimes get asked to help out after bad things happen. I have been told many times I am too kind and look for the best in people. I can not agree with your comments.

          • Are you kidding me? At least pretend to know what you are talking about. Well, at least you gave me a chuckle.

          • Americans did not need to go to Cuba to find a whorehouse. But obviously you have never visited other countries (and I include Cuba) when you stupidly state that the US has “the world’s worst poverty.” That is a reflection of ignorance.

            Time for you Mr. Clarke to read the US Government’s Cuban Democracy Act and in particular Section 1708(b)(3) and 22 U.S.C. (section) 6007(b)(3) which clearly defines the conditions under which the embargo can be lifted.
            When you have done so, please record your opinion of the merits or demerits of those conditions. Only then, will you for once (perhaps for the first time) know what you are talking about. Mindless repetition of the Castro family’s communist regime propaganda is non-constructive.

            If as you appear to indicate, you believe in a God, then how do you manage to support the ex-communicated Fidel Castro’s ruthless legacy of multiple affairs (four children by four different women in 1956), of executions, of persecutions, of hatred, of the insatiable thirst for power and control, of the pursuit of nuclear conflict – which even Nikita Kruschev deplored and over-whelming arrogance?

            Perhaps you may eventually when better informed use the pages of Havana Times to discuss Cuba. It is irrational to endeavor to utilize the UN in support of your arguments about Cuba until the Castro regime adopts the UN Charter of Human Rights.

            Your antiquated arguments appear to be based upon Batista – who left Cuba on January 1st, 1959. He is dead! Cuba’s current problems are a consequence of the Castro dictatorship and as I have written here before, ALL dictators are evil!

        • If you so vehemently attack the Castro’s who have introduced free medical attention, free education, social security for all its citizens, free housing for all its citizens, privileges which were not enjoyed under the Batista dictatorship, it means that you are inhumane, that you are an oligarch, that you are not intersted in the upliftment of your brothers and sisters the world over, that you are selfish, that you are brutal. Personal wealth is not an indication that prosperity exists in the country. One man can have his pockets filled and running over, but, what about the thousands who are starving, the thousands who lack medical attention, the thouands who are living on the streets homeless and shelterless and without any hope whatsoever?

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      • Let’s hope the revolutionary train goes off a very high cliff in the near future. Present Cuba does not need Capatilism to opress its citizens, the Castro revolution and dictatorship has archived this for the last 50 something years. Our crisis here will pass; and others will come and go as opposed to the Cuba crisis which has been in rock bottom and the Castros keep on digging.
        This ideology of the revolution is absorb, and only those that have never suffer thru it, can only fantasize about its greatness. Do you think if you worked as a soccer referee in Cuba, you could now afford a computer and Internet access so you put down your silly thoughts on a $10 peso a month pension?, do you think the writings of Anup Shah would be available for you to read in Cuba?.
        I am assuming you do not reside in Cuba, and if you have visited you have had money in your pockets; if you do reside in Cuba, I must again assume you do this because is cheaper than in your own country, so you too are exploiting the people of Cuba.

        Reply
      • Initially KennedyEarle Clarke, I was going to ignore your claim to be unbiased because you had been a soccer referee for 30 years. But upon reflection thought that as I have been swimming for well over twice that period and as Cuba is an island, I thought that my qualifications to respond about the reality of Cuba were at least equal to your claim to being unbiased.

        Secondly, I wish to deny to the wide world your claim that I am your brother. That to me would be cause for despair.

        Thirdly, I have only ever expressed the view that dictatorship is evil, whether it be that of Batista who has been dead for many years, or that of the Brothers Castro who still exert dictatorial power and control of Cuba including my numerous family members.

        If you had any knowledge of the reality of Cuba, you would know that the three billion (I take your figure) people who live on less than $2.50 (US dollars) per day include the people of Cuba who exist on some 33 cents per day. The Castro family communist dictatorship has totally failed to (I use your own words) “correct this atrocity, this inhumanity and people like you who are devoid of human feeling” praise and support their tyrannical power and control over the people of Cuba.

        The Castro brothers are practicing what you correctly describe as “this human terrorism”.

        Mr. Clarke, it is time for you to study Cuba and the reality of life for Cubans, rather than pursuing views without basis. To suggest that prior to the Castro revolution the people of Cuba were liberated from “ignorance” demonstrates an view of the history of the people of Cuba that exposes your own deep ignorance.

        Finally, remember when trying to shove your unmitigated communist drivel down other peoples throats, that some of us actually have homes and families in Cuba and that our views unlike yours are based upon experience and fact.

        Reply
  • “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”

    Indeed, Cuba offers health care, education, and safety in a way that surpasses by far every Latin American nation, aside from many other countries in the world.

    I can’t wait to visit Cuba. Castro won, he achieved something enormous and I hope that future Cuban generations will understand what this entails and will fight constantly not to be re-colonized and oppressed once again by the US and its corrupt allies.

    Let’s hope this improvement in relations with the US will bring needed trade and opportunity for both countries, and especially Cuba, but that it will not be a Trojan horse. The US doesn’t operate in Cuba’s best interest and it will always work to destroy it (which could happen by re-colonizing it) because Cuba represents the example that the US says could never be possible.

    Reply
    • Castro did improve many things for the average Cuban, no one is denying this. But like many megalomaniacs, dictators, egotists, or whatever word most befits a man with a vision who finds himself in the position of power and then decides to abuse that power…… Castro and now Raul, at some point lost touch with the people , and fail to validate or reward hard work , forcing people to turn on each other, steal and to silence them . I seethe when I as a foreigner, a tourist, a visitor with only the best intentions, become a victim of this government’s stupidity, lack of compassion and firm grip on power. I have never visited a country yet that forces me to tears, to anger and fear like this country , so I cannot imagine the depths of despair the Cubans must sink to. I do not break any laws of humanity or of the country but if find as many visitors, this inept and power hungry government makes up rules to suit their needs . This is not government , this is dictatorship. Pure and simple.

      Reply
    • Absolutely nutty! It is clear that you have never been to Cuba. Cuban “health care, education and safety” does not surpass comparable services in Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Panama, nor Costa Rica. While Cubans do not pay at point of service, there are costs, sometimes significant, in receiving quality services. Furthermore, in each of the areas you listed, outcomes continue to deteriorate rapidly. The US has no intention to “re-colonize” Cuba. Finally, only a fool would believe that Castros Cuba is an example of anything that the US would fear. Unless by that you mean a fear of despots, crumbling infrastructure, and a hopeless future.

      Reply
      • Brother Moses, if you did not jump on that anti- Cuba, anti- Nicaragua band wagon, I would be gravely surprised? Why is it Americans travel through Canada and Mexico, in order to access Professional Medical attention as good as that in the USA and sometimes even better and at half the cost in the USA? I have traveled on planes with them from Mexico and I have met them on the roads in Cuba and, because of the English in a Spanish speaking country, converse with them to find out that they are visiting because of the exorbitant cost of medical attention in the USA.

        I have spoken as well to Canadians and one of them told me that she has even met a boyfriend in Cuba and she is not returning to Canada right now. If you were to place the comments made about Nicaragua under a pane of glass, (never mind a magnifying glass), you will very quickly discard the whole thing as tripe, slander, trash, dust, anti socialism, which was said about Cuba many moons ago concerning its free medical service. Just a recurring decimal of slanderous rubbish. That person should observe for themselves the appalling state of the Government run hospitals in New York and Florida?

        Brother Moses Patterson, visit these institutions for yourself and prove me wrong? If I am, you will never see my writing on this blog again? But present historical truths and not hysterical facts. Do not polish up the facts, do not dilute the heart wrenching facts you will discover! Present them in their naked and brutal truth!! I challenge you brother Moses! I challenge you!! Most of the Doctors who work in these hospitals do so, because they run away from the high insurance costs of operating a private practice.

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        • People leave the US seeking medical services in Mexico for two basic reasons. Lower costs and/or non-traditional experimental treatments. Medical care in the US, despite the oftentimes unjustifiable high costs, remains cutting edge. The US can boast of being home to more Nobel laureates in medicine than any other country in the world. But I digress, this is Havana Times. I am not going to take your silly challenge. I’m not even sure what it is anyway. If you are so unhappy with life in the US, why do you live here. The Castros love folks like you.I challenge you to live there 6 months. How ’bout it?

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        • I do so hope that Moses is able to prove you wrong and relieve us all from your communist repression supporting blather.
          When you met all these supposed medical services seeking US citizens “on the roads of Cuba”, were you thumbing lifts? If your imagination repeats the experience, refer them to the ‘Clinica Cira Garcia’ in Havana which only provides services to foreigners and the conditions are very much superior to any of those available to Cubans.
          The relief provided by you Kennedy Earle Clarke if ceasing to contribute to Havana Times would be greater than taking a dose of syrup of figs!
          I guess that as Moses is your brother and you have even claimed me as another, you must be mulatto? (The regime wants to know the colour of everybody’s skin).
          I guess you must have been frustrated when you found that the Canadian lady already had a boyfriend. That’s life!

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    • To summarize: Ignorance is bliss!

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    • I live in Nicaragua and on the surface you might also applaud the free healthcare there – until you see it. When you’re really sick you go to the hospital in the nearby city, but bring your own sheets, chair (if you expect visitors), and food (yes, food is provided but the locals say they can smell the cockroaches in it). Expect 8 people sharing a small room. A friend needed a biopsy for cancer and the “free” system did not include the $25 needle for that, and the nearest source was 50 miles away. Wrong diagnoses, sometimes fatal, and very bad medical advice are common.

      I don’t know Cuba and can’t say that things are the same, just that things may appear to be one way on the surface and horribly different in a socialist country, perhaps recognized only if you are there for more than just a “visit” and see beyond what outsiders are meant to see.

      Reply
  • Elio, the Castro elite is planning the transfer from state capitalism to a capitalist oligarchy. Capitalism never left Cuba. It went from open capitalism to state capitalism. Cuba is Stalinist and never was socialist. The workers don’t own anything and are treated as slave labor even being rebnted out with the largest part of their salaries.
    As far as your view of the Cuban youth goes: two 13 and 14 year olds are the last of the “deserters” escaping from a junior baseball team in the Dominican Republic. What little indoctrinated and scared kids yell is irrelevant. Their dreams of a free life in la Yuma is what you don’t see.

    Reply
  • Elio writes, “Today, Cuba doesn’t depend on one country in particular. It has a lot of trade partners all over the world to whom it sells its products and can buy whatever it needs.” There you have it folks. It’s exactly what I have commented on the blog for years. The US embargo is no impediment to the Cuban economy. It would appear that Elio and I have finally agreed on something.

    Reply
    • If Elio is saying that the US embargo has no effect, then I think he is wrong.

      Reply
  • “At the recent Young Pioneers National Assembly, children proved that the Revolution will continue to be defended…”
    I cannot claim to know what the future holds for Cuba. I can believe that there remains broad support for the revolution. But I wouldn’t give much weight to declarations at political assemblies.
    In the US, how many schoolchildren recited the Pledge of Allegiance year after year, but nevertheless adopted political views very critical of their government?

    Reply
  • Remember Informed Consent that in Havana there is the Clinica Cira Garcia which is fee paying and for foreigners only, not for Cubans who are treated like second class citizens in their own country.
    When Obama was in Cuba he was shown that facility as if it was a normal Cuban hospital, the services provided are of international standard in contrast to the public hospitals in Cuba.
    Breast augmentation for example costs $1,248 compared with $6,000 in the US.

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    • I know of a Cubans whose wife had cancer. He was fairly well connected by Cuban standards, because control the material the construction for foreign hotels and other foreign buildings. To get his wife treated their he had to call in some big favours, otherwise she would be dead right now at the age of 40.

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  • Hopefully, one day Cuba will be free. Cubans are leaving in droves for Florida. Castro’s dictatorship has ruined that country.

    Reply

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