My Diary Entries, Reasons for the Revolution

Elio Delgado Legon

I was born in June of 1937, three years before the constitution of 1940 (the least respected of Cuban constitutions) was approved.
I was born in June of 1937, three years before the constitution of 1940 (the least respected of Cuban constitutions) was approved.

HAVANA TIMES — The experiences I am publishing as diary entries aim to show, in broad strokes, what the life of a revolutionary was like during Fulgencio Batista’s dictatorship (from 1953 to 1958) and the first years of the revolution.

These stories do not have an autobiographical aim. They merely narrate incidents that could be of interest to readers, not because of the person telling them (who, ultimately, is uninteresting), but because of the facts themselves.

That said, I find it necessary to go back to an earlier time. I was born in June of 1937, three years before the constitution of 1940 (the least respected of Cuban constitutions) was approved, and four years before the start of the Second World War. In Cuba, these were times of extreme hunger, particularly for those, like me, who were born in the countryside.

Hunger, the cause of many illnesses, coupled with a shortage of medical doctors, was the cause of numerous and perfectly avoidable deaths, of the kind that still take place today in most underdeveloped countries and even in some sectors of developed countries.

Cuba’s child mortality rate was around 60 for every thousand live births, and life expectancy was only 62.3 years.

There wasn’t a single government – not since achieving independence from Spain and until 1959 – that made an effort to improve the living conditions of the people. All were corrupt and struggled to get to office to become richer at the expense of the people.

Money that could have been used to develop quality education for all or improve medical services ended up in the bank accounts of politicians. The same thing happened with the budgets allocated to public works, which ended up costing to or three times their real cost, as the pockets of many politicians had to be fattened in the process.

Another ill I had to endure in my early years, until 1958, were gangsters, who enjoyed impunity or were employed by the authorities. Many such gangsters went on to be police chiefs under Fulgencio Batista.

The Cuban people had grown tired of politicking, false democracy and the so-called multi-party system, which served only to put corrupt people in government. Politics was a very profitable business, at a time when the people lacked what was essential to them.

That’s why it was necessary to take up arms and lead a revolution, to sweep away all of that filth. Though some dream with returning to that past will never see this come true, for, even though most Cubans today were born after 1958, everyone has received schooling and the study of history affords them enough to conclude they ought not be seduced by the siren-song of capitalism.

Nor will we allow ourselves to be deceived by anarchist formulas, which were proven unviable in their time, even though a backward-thinking lot attempts to present them as the perfect solution to all our economic difficulties. Difficulties magnified by the detractors of the socialist revolution but which are, in fact, less significant than those faced by underdeveloped and some developed countries, even though none has to endure the harsh blockade that the United States has imposed on Cuba for more than 50 years.

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.


24 thoughts on “My Diary Entries, Reasons for the Revolution

  • August 14, 2015 at 9:35 pm
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    Your last question first: What has the US created? Really? Are you using a computer to read this comment? Start there. The EPA comment is a cheap shot. That was human error. Here’s the difference between the US and many other places: When we make mistakes, and we make a lot of them, we correct them. As far as Donald Trump. …..got nothing 🙁

  • August 14, 2015 at 3:32 pm
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    Well, if they don’t allow the mob and others that exploited them back in they’ll do alright.

  • August 14, 2015 at 3:25 pm
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    Guns are not a replacement for brains Moses, and there are places in the U.S. that aren’t much better than third world countries. Louisiana and Mississippi, and parts of Georgia Alabama and Arkansas come to mind.

  • August 13, 2015 at 11:44 am
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    For a preview of the descent of corporate monopoly capitalism see today’s events: Colorado River turned toxic by agency in charge [EPA] of protecting such important waterways; militarization of Amerikkka as in Ferguson: uncharged prisoners on death bed being force fed in GITMO [http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2015/08/guantanamo-hunger-striker-nearing-death-150812101059995.html; U.S. economy dependent on military equipment sales provoking wars all over the planet thereby creating ‘failed states’. And that is just recent events that most amerikans gloss over on their way to their tv sets to watch football or some mind destroying ‘reality’ show…..
    Yeah, [un] informed consent and spin doctor Moses, you should stay close to your uber weapons. Maybe some used military surplus attack vehicles- LOL!
    Cuba is not perfect, but despite U.S interventions and the embargo, have supplied at reasonable cost the necessities of life, like medical care, free education and basic food at minimum cost. What has the U.S. created apart from violence, corruption and Donald Trump.?Did I mention K.Kardashian for the dumbed down?

  • August 11, 2015 at 7:20 pm
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    The recent mining disaster in a major river in Colorado in the U.S of A was so poorly handled that the demoncratic critics could compare it to Bhopal India . Apparently 5 million gallons of mining tailings water caused an sulpher yellow water flow to millions of the population for thousand square miles and more lead discharge more
    than 3500 times the maximumn allowable limits and EPA contractors were responsible. This is a perfect example of government for corporations. I feel saddened by the devastation of the wildlife who continue to consume those waters
    and pray Cuba does not suffer that level of poisoning because the system has worked and the committees have worked for the enviroment wich is world class like Cuban health care and should remain so God help us.
    Thank You

  • August 10, 2015 at 3:21 pm
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    Rich with his “mother issues” and John with his ‘father’ issues. Castro’s supporters are an interesting lot.

  • August 9, 2015 at 8:57 pm
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    Wow! Rich thinks Jarrett is Obama’s mother-in-law???

    That’s what you call a Freudian slip. If you read Rich’s blog, you would be surprised to learn that Celia Sánchez was the real leader of the Cuban Revolution, not Fidel.

    Rich has some serious “mother issues” going on. It seems he has invented a new mother-in-law for Barack Obama. Never mind that Michelle’s mother, Marian Robinson, has lived at the White House since her son-in law was elected President, and served the family well by taking on a large measure of the child rearing.

    I’m sure you will agree with me when I say, no man deserves more than one mother-in-law.

  • August 8, 2015 at 12:06 am
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    Valerie Jarrett is NOT Obama’s mother-in-law. In addition to beinga senior advisir to the President, she remains a partner in a major Chicago law firm that hired First Lady Michelle after she graduated from Harvard Law. You are overestimating Wickham’s relationship with the White House and even more so with the rumored Cuban spy Vidal. But so what, it is all conjecture. What is fact is that it will be a long time before the Senate confirms anyone as Ambassador to Cuba. And longer still before the US embargo is lifted due to the repeal if Helms Burton.

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