By Benjamin Noria
HAVANA TIMES – Those of you who follow my articles, and read my previous article about Communist Autarchy, will think that I’m presenting complex terms to show off my knowledge. Well, to be honest, I admit my vanity is tiny knowing that behind the pompous speeches of dictators, and Communist governments, there is a group of thieves and hypocrites who fill their pockets at the expense of the people they rule over.
Take a look at the meaning and you’ll understand. Kleptocracy is the term used to describe a government’s appropriation of public funds. Of course, this goes hand-in-hand with administrative corruption, which is the wrongful use of power; embezzlement, which is the misappropriation of public assets or using money for rulers’ personal interests; political patronage, which is, for example, funding political campaigns of presidential candidates in other countries with the objective of gaining their favor later.
This is why there has been speculation that Cuba funds Nicolas Maduro’s political campaigns in Venezuela to then have his support and receive oil for half the price, in addition to other political benefits. In fact, some experts speculate about Cuba having supported the election of Joe Biden as president of the United States in order to relax the effects of the economic embargo.
As I told you in my previous article about autarchy, I have added the adjective Communist to kleptocracy because, if you take a close look, dictators and followers of Marxist/Leninist ideology with totalitarian, demagogic, autocratic, absolutist and tyrannical regimes are fans of it. What’s more, these terms were only discovered when researching this kind of government.
That said, people rarely ask themselves, for example, how the Cuban government got containers (with rice cookers, electrical pressure cookers, coil heaters and cooking pots) and Haier fridges that were delivered and distributed, in bulk, across the country in 2006. People were allowed to pay for these objects in installments; however, I’m guessing that the government had to pay up some money, even if it was in advance, in order to buy them in another country. Where did this money come from? From the government’s pocket? I don’t think so.
Just like I don’t believe that nuclear weapon experiments in North Korea are funded by the Party’s leaders. I’m not sure.
In Cuba, health and education are free, it’s true; and electricity was subsidized for over 40 years, as were the rationed products, water and sewage systems, etc. What money was used to defray this?
Both in North Korea and Cuba, leaders travel around in luxury cars; while, the population normally travels by bike and electric motorbikes, and only a minority own a car; of course, this only comes after numerous bureaucratic redtape, the green light from State Security and the Communist Party, and lastly, paying hefty fees at Customs if the vehicle comes from another country.
In any case, History has already taken on the task of and will continue to bring to light the sordidness that exists behind these governments. In Cuban, Venezuelan and North Korean History textbooks, every act of corruption or misappropriation of funds will appear in 40, 50 or 60 years time, and they will talk about the Cuban government’s private companies that secretly operated abroad and many other things.