The Ungrateful and Selfish

By Elio Delgado Legon

HAVANA TIMES – In the last few weeks, a fellow journalist published some photos that reflect, more than a thousand words, the subhuman conditions that people lived in in rural Cuba before 1959. That was the year the Revolution triumphed and the construction of a new society began, with everyone and for everyone’s wellbeing, just like our national hero, Jose Marti, dreamed and foght for.

Immediately after these photos were published, I stumbled across a comment on social media that said that we worse off today than during the period reflected in these photos I’ve just mentioned.

After I read this comment, I went round and round in circles asking myself how it’s possible that anyone in their right mind could make such a statement.

The answers to my questions have led me to the following four conclusions:

1.- It was written by somebody who knows absolutely nothing about Cuba and has been misled by the lies that our enemies have invented to defame the Cuban Revolution;

2.- It was written by some ungrateful person who hasn’t been able to value everything the Revolution has done and continues to do for the Cuban people, and even people from other countries;

3.- It was written by a selfish person who enjoyed certain privileges before the Revolution, or had family who did, and didn’t care about how the vast majority suffered or;

4.- It was written by a mercenary who writes whatever is dictated to them by the Revolution’s enemies, who are paid to do this sad and dirty work.

All of these variants are present, to a greater or lesser extent, in different comments published in the so-called “independent media”, which isn’t independent at all, as it depends upon US funding to exist and are forced to publish what their owners tell them to, otherwise there is no cash money.

The ungrateful are present, the ones who didn’t have to pay a single cent to get an education themselves and their children, if they live in Cuba. There are also the selfish who support Title III of the Helms-Burton Act. Their eyes set on rescuing the privileges their predecessors had, owning property covering most of the island. They dream of taking schools away from children, hospitals from the sick, hotels and leisure centers from the economy and houses from most Cubans, who now own their own homes, or to strip farmers of their land that was given to them with the Agrarian Reform.

All of them could answer to one name: counter-revolutionary. There’s no other name for somebody who advocates for a US military intervention, who is able to derail a train full of containers for some dollars from the US, or throw stones into store windows to smash them, or throw Molotov cocktails at a gas station, or insult patriotic symbols, including the flag or our national hero Jose Marti.

This has all been verified with evidence and with confessions from those responsible. They all admit they were paid off by the US, some of them with a simple mobile top-up. It really is denigrating for them and for the Empire who is paying them. Do these insignificant characters and their bosses think they can really overthrow a revolution entrenched in the Cuban people’s conscience?

The Empire is offering to restore capitalism in our country, which existed before 1959. The photos that I mentioned in the beginning of this article reflect, one of them, a rickety hut with some barefoot children outside wearing worn-out clothes; another one, shows the rural guard evicting a family from another hut, who will be left out on the street without a roof over their heads; and the third photo that I’ve seen shows a malnourished child who is clearly dying of hunger and disease.

There’s no doubt that these photos reflect parts of the deplorable situation that existed in rural Cuba. The same could be reflected in cities’ marginal neighborhoods. This is what the Empire is offering us in exchange for our humane and solidarity Revolution. They depend on the support not of the Cuban people, but of the ungrateful and selfish, who sell themselves out for a few dollars.

Read more from Elio Delgado Legon’s diary here.

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.


8 thoughts on “The Ungrateful and Selfish

  • March 26, 2021 at 8:54 pm
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    Throughout history patriots have repelled invasions and occupations.
    The way in which Vietnam expelled various foreign invaders was exemplary including the way in which they repelled the USA’s sordid attempt to exert control over their land.
    This U.S. incursion went hand in hand with some of the most meticulously planned, disturbing and disgusting torture methodology that mankind has ever devised.
    Vietnam survived this episode.
    They had to fight bad sh*t with double-)bad sh*t. War is ugly. They defended their turf using all means necessary. They successfully repelled the powerful but ultimately corrupt, fruitless and dumb-assed foreign occupation.
    Thankfully there were a large number of commendable and noble U.S. citizens who stood up on the side of reason and humanity and protested at home against this crude attack.
    Those great efforts and that overarching decency within the USA should be forever applauded.

    Vietnam, as a nation, has gone on to prosper.
    Ideology based economic restraints have been loosened.
    Cuba would do well to take note of Vietnamese economic advancement.

    The dirty little U.S. embargo has done a large degree of damage to Cuba’s chances.
    But of equal if not greater damage is the inadequate economic model within Cuba itself.

  • March 25, 2021 at 2:16 pm
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    During the Vietnam war – from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975 there was an “embargo” on Vietnam, perhaps not in that name. In fact, the treatment some Southeast Asia countries received at the hands of American imperialism was absolutely disgraceful to put it mildly.

    During the Vietnam era, any country or person who was an “enemy” of the United States at that time and did business with the enemy was severely punished, economically and militarily, and unfortunately for Vietnam and its neighbors, specifically Cambodia and Laos, they had to endure the brunt of United States military imperialism.

    Carpet bombing and napalm bombing were two destructive, inhumane war time sanctions the Americans deployed to try and destroy Vietnamese patriotism which is something Cuba has been fortunate enough not to have had experience, though the world was at that brink in the early 1960s.

    Any historian would no doubt agree Southeast Asia, specifically Vietnam, because of American ill conceived expansionist policies and its perceived paranoia regarding another country‘s political affiliations, has undergone more human suffering and physical destruction of its homeland since the 1950s.

    I would argue had the Americans simply put an “embargo”, a blockade, on Vietnam for its political “indiscretions” – being an adherent to a different political ideology than Western democracies – as it has done to Cuba, Vietnam would have prospered even more that it has today. First, it would not have had to spend a significant amount of its budget, millions and millions of much needed dollars, to repair much needed economic devastated infrastructure totally destroyed by American bombs and napalm.

    Cuba, same political ideology as Vietnam at the time, had and still has natural resources and beauty totally untouched. And that is a good thing.

    Secondly, does one believe Vietnam’s neighbors gave one iota about helping a distressed neighbor even if it annoyed the U.S? China, Russia they were already implicated in the same political ideology as Vietnam. Vietnam would have traded with them and given the preverbal “finger” to the United States had an embargo been imposed after the war. Today, 2021, Cuba trades with the U.S. despite the U.S. “embargo”.

    After a soundly embarrassing defeat in Vietnam, the Americans went home not resentful after all they put up a destructive fight but no doubt went home with tremendous respect for their enemy and probably decided it would be foolhardy to now put an embargo on the Vietnamese people after all the destruction and suffering caused making American foreign policy in the Region an embarrassment. Vietnam was destroyed and left alone.

    No, from an historical perspective, I would have to vehemently disagree with Linda’s post. Cuba, no doubt has suffered economically from the embargo. However, one needs to ask the question – Where exactly are the Cuban communist leaders in the last 60 some years who constantly and conveniently blame the embargo for the country’s economic malaise, yet they themselves have not shown any worthwhile means of extracting themselves economically from a solvable scenario?

    One would think, not having to spend millions and millions of dollars on war time infrastructure repairs, having a well educated and healthy population, Cuba in 60 some years would be much farther ahead economically than it is today despite an embargo, but it isn’t? In 2021, Cuba’s economy is anemic and Vietnam’s economy is prospering. Why? Embargo. No. A convenient excuse. Yes.

  • March 24, 2021 at 9:41 am
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    I wonder if Vietnam would be enjoying the same economic success today if the USA had placed a similar and unfair embargo on it, allowing punishment to American trading partners that support it, as happens with Cuba.

  • March 18, 2021 at 9:43 pm
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    62 years later all is still the same or worst for the people. Period.

  • March 18, 2021 at 1:48 pm
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    Yes Cubans have become Ungrateful & forced to become Selfish “after how many years” of being miss led there will be a Future of plenty if they carry some ones Revolution night mare just over that Next Hurdle that the World has thrown in there way causing every difficulty they have had to endure. “Over How Many Years” can you try selling the people a Broken Record that has no meaning or feeling for Cuba,s Now Generation. Time to Change your Tune & get out of your self created Rut in the Mud.

  • March 18, 2021 at 11:00 am
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    If Cuba is so great why is it a dictatorship with only one political party, many political prisoners and no free speech or media.

  • March 17, 2021 at 3:45 pm
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    I am very familiar with a small rural backwater village in Cuba’s central provinces. A place that doesn’t appear on any tourist trail.
    A place that fancy-ass Habaneros would never, ever visit in a hundred lifetimes.
    But its a place I love and a place where I always feel just fine and ‘en casa’.
    I have met various people there who are of a certain generation and yes, they would back up some of Elio’s claims. They tell me ‘Nick, we ain’t got a lot, but what we got is more than what we had before The Revolution’.
    But that doesn’t mean that they, their children and their grandchildren don’t want change from the current situation. They are proud of the Revolution, and some of my dear friends there are proud of their military achievements in Angola against the USA-backed racist South African regime.
    But, having mentioned what they are proud of, I will say that they do most definitely want a change toward a more prosperous Cuba. They want their labour to be incentivised not only so that they provide for themselves but that they can work toward feeding a nation. And make some dollar out of doing so.
    Coz no f**ker wants to work for nothing.
    A new ‘agrarian reform’ is needed to drive Cuba toward food self-sufficiency. This is very much achievable. But it will not be achieved by blunt ideology. That time has passed.
    I agree with much of what Stephen says.
    Regarding Vietnam – yes they booted out the French, the USA and the Chinese.
    But don’t forget that the Vietnamese also booted out the Japanese and kicked the disgraceful, murderous, extremist Pol Pot off his Cambodian throne.

    Vietnam’s recent, prosperous, economic model is one that Cuba would do well to follow.

  • March 17, 2021 at 2:35 pm
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    You forgot number 5, Elio:

    5. – It was written perhaps by a person who has witnessed atrocities outside of Cuba and now in 2021 is scratching their head wondering why are Cubans today so impoverished in their homeland, and the country in such an economic disaster, in such disrepair, citizens fighting one another for food in long lines stretching endlessly, and the inept mismanaged communist government after 60 plus years of a Revolution that promised equality and a decent living for all Cubans post 1959 has not provided much economic sustenance to the majority of main street Cubans?

    Elio, all you have to do is look at some of your contemporaries like Vietnam and China. Vietnam, especially, after soundly defeating its “enemies” (not just one, namely historically, the French, the Chinese, the Americans) in short shrift has moved on and left its ideological past behind and is now one of the most prosperous countries in Asia. It is still a communist country.

    The Vietnamese people are some of the most prosperous people after enduring horrendous historical hardships at the hands of “enemies”. They do not use their unfortunate historical past as a crutch to limit their progress but as a collective incentive, a reminder, to do better, strive for the betterment of all Vietnamese citizens.

    Not to diminish the immense suffering and degradation Cubans have had to endure prior to 1959 – as your pictures depict – the Vietnamese people have had to undergone much more suffering, humiliation, almost annihilation with the constant napalm bombing from American bombers on a daily basis for years. They survived. They endured. They now have no animosity towards their historical mortal enemy. In fact there is economic trade and mutual respect for one another.

    Elio, statements you make, like: “There’s no other name for somebody who advocates for a US military intervention . . . “ are delusional to put it bluntly. As long as the present Cuban communist elites and their followers think, and believe, in such antiquated 1960s Cold War rhetoric the majority of Cubans, unfortunately, will not be better off than pre – 1959 Cuba.

    “The Empire is offering to restore capitalism in our country, which existed before 1959.” Elio writes. The Empire to which Elio refers of course is the United States. No, it is not “The Empire” that is trying to restore some modicum of economic benefits for the majority of Cubans, but wise, learned, entrepreneurial Cubans themselves living on the island who are trying the best they can, with very little support from their communist government elites, to better and prosper for themselves and their children.

    These Cuban entrepreneurs and Cuban economists have studied what a sprinkle of entrepreneurial ingenuity can accomplish for all Cuban residents because the experiment of living day to day on communist ideology in any country has not worked in Vietnam nor China and neither has it worked in Cuba and never will.

    As many contributors have posted here in HT, it is time for Cuba in 2021 and beyond to ditch its Revolutionary past ideology and enter the 21st century embracing market driven economic freedoms which will prosper the majority of Cubans as has been proven in Asian countries. The proverbial economic ball is in your court.

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