Nobody Knows What They Have Until They Lose It

Elio Delgado Legon

Photo: Ghyslaine Peigné
Photo: Ghyslaine Peigné

HAVANA TIMES — This old saying has a lot of truth in it and can be applied to many of life’s situations, but especially to politics, and recently we’ve been able to verify this in many Latin American countries.

Initially, this happened in Nicaragua, where the counter-revolution, armed and financed by the US, waged a dirty war on the Sandinista government and the Nicaraguan people were forced to vote for the opposition candidate in the general election (1990) as the only way to end this war.

The outcome was 16 years of neoliberal governments which sunk the country into misery and hunger, with 80% of Nicaraguans living in poverty and 45% destitute without access to healthcare or education.

With the Sandinista government back in power, its visible improvements for the Nicaraguan people make this very clear and I don’t believe that there is another media campaign in the works to trick Nicaraguans into voting for neoliberalism once again.

More recently, the neoliberal offensive in Latin America, with its media campaigns which pulls out all the tricks, especially lies, has slowly been winning ground.

In Argentina, it convinced the voting public to vote for the party going up against the party of the Kirchners, which, in government for 12 years, had taken the country out of the neoliberal quagmire that the last right-wing government led by Saul Menem had got it into.

The results were disastrous for the Argentinian people and Mauricio Macri’s government has left over 40,000 Argentinians unemployed, is putting the country into debt again and is beginning to privatize the State’s assets, which means that a select few from the governing entourage will become richer than they already are, while the population feels like it has been cheated.

Now they are crying out for Kirchnerism to return, that they never should have let it go.

In Brazil, the same media campaigns have managed to sway a majority vote in Congress, which, via a political ruling with no legal foundation, has impeached president Dilma Rousseff, who had been elected democratically into power by 53 million Brazilians. Undoubtedly, a low blow to democracy.

The result? A return to neoliberalism which will do away with all of the social achievements made by the Workers’ Party (PT) governments, in their 12 years in power. The Brazilian people are still out on the streets protesting, because they know what they have lost.

In Venezuela, also via media campaigns riddled with lies, the United Socialist Party, founded by Hugo Chavez, lost the majority vote in Congress and they’re now pushing for a recall referendum to take place which will give them the opportunity to call for new general elections, hoping to gain absolute control of the country to then sell Venezuela off again to multinational corporations. To do this, they have waged an economic war which has the Venezuelan people in need, so that they blame Nicolas Maduras’ government for the shortages.

If the Right succeeds, the Venezuelan people will lose all of the breakthroughs made in the country’s social, education, health, housing and cultural sectors. In short, the poverty that lived there during past neoliberal governments will return, in spite of it being a country with a giant supply of natural resources, which only a handful of magnates used to benefit from.

In Cuba, Imperialism has tried to end the Revolution, which triumphed on January 1, 1959, by any means possible. It’s used armed groups, armed invasion, economic sabotage, attempts on the Cuban people’s health, terrorist attacks, assassination plots to kill the Revolution’s leaders, as well as an economic, commercial and financial blockade, that has lasted for 55 years now. However, the Cuban people have persevered, even in the worst of moments, loyal to the Revolution.

Now, under our new circumstances, the United States is trying to support a domestic counter-revolution, to which they allocate heavy sums of their State budget to and do everything they can to win over supporters within different sectors of the Cuban population, like the young for instance. But don’t let them go getting any ideas, the Cuban people do know what they have and they won’t throw it away.

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.

16 thoughts on “Nobody Knows What They Have Until They Lose It

  • September 28, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    George – you have confused me.

  • September 25, 2016 at 11:03 pm

    How does one interpret that George? Please clarify.

  • September 25, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    Yea, all the venezuelan breakthroughs, huh? The breakthrough 700% hyperinflation, the breakthrough food shortages.

  • September 25, 2016 at 1:27 am

    The land give to people is there

  • September 23, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    Should people be able to own the small patch upon which their houses sit Gordon or should the State own everything? Should Canada own the land upon which your residence in B.C. is situated?
    When the long tem leases you propose end, who owns the property? If it is the State, will that dissuade people from constructing houses?

  • September 23, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    Good payning jobs? Lol. Do you know something we dont?

  • September 23, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    Hey, Gordon. Property prices in zcuba can be anywhere from $35K – 300K, maybe more. How exactly is that affordable if you’re making $20 – $40 a month??

  • September 23, 2016 at 11:29 am

    It should be on long term leases.

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