Cuba: A Reply to Those Who Would Give Us Lessons in Governance

Elio Delgado Legon

Havana, Cuba

HAVANA TIMES — The opinions of those who believe they are capable of governing Cuba, who give us lesson after lesson about how to solve the country’s problems overnight, would be worthy of pity were they not so outrageous.

In the very first paragraph of his recent article, published in Havana Times under the title of “Cuba: The People’s Peaceful Resistance Continues”, Pedro Campos declares himself an enemy of order, discipline and the demand for civil responsibility, equating these terms with outright repression. I can’t think of a single State without order, discipline and the demand for such responsibility. Without these things, all hell would break loose.

In addition, he attempts to portray acts of vandalism, theft, impoliteness, the mistreatment of the elderly, pregnant women and the physically handicapped, the indiscriminate use of obscene words, dishonesty, indecency, shamelessness, and the general lack of decorum which has spread across Cuban society as a peaceful, popular revolt prompted by the ineptitude of our leaders.

It is incredible that these (and more scathing) accusations should be leveled at a government which, since the very triumph of the revolution, has had to dodge more acts of aggression than any country has ever been subjected to by the world’s most powerful nation.

I will mention only a few, to refresh the author’s memory. The activities of armed counterrevolutionary groups, trained and equipped by the CIA, the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961, and the constant threat of a direct invasion by the United States, called for intelligent and capable leaders. Without them, Cuba would likely have been wiped off the map.

Having been able to endure and negotiate, for over 50 years, what is euphemistically referred to as the “embargo” – a cruel and genocidal economic war policy which persecutes every transaction, every bank transfer or financial action in any way related to Cuba – and maintained the unity of the Cuban people, 90 percent of whom support the revolution, is a feat that could never have been achieved by incapable individuals, as Mr. Campos would portray our leaders.

Fidel and Raúl Castro at a meeting of the Cuban parliament in February, 2013. Photo:

The article in question, in addition to being deceitful, is offensive and disrespectful, for at no point did our president speak of repressing the people. Nor has the revolution ever repressed the people, as the article explicitly asserts. Quite the contrary, it calls on the people, on each citizen, to give more of themselves, “inspiring each and every one to be better through personal example.”

The author of the article deliberately distorts the reality of our country’s economic system when he affirms that the government has complete control over Cuba’s economic and political structures and that it mercilessly exploits its salaried workers.

All honest Cubans know that the revolutionary government spares no effort to provide us with the best living conditions a poor country can afford, and that it does so without an abundance of natural resources, while enduring a ruthless blockade that aims to bring us to our knees through hunger and disease.

One has to be very ignorant politically, or ill-intentioned, to omit these circumstances, as the aforementioned contributor does.

Mr. Campos lies disrespectfully when he claims that the State has been getting all it can from the sweat of wage laborers. To begin with, all of the resources the State secures are re-invested in the people’s wellbeing. This is something the majority of Cubans know. If it weren’t the case, how would we be able to explain that, during the long years of the Special Period, caused by the US blockade and the collapse of East European socialism and the USSR, the Cuban people remained loyal to their revolution and their political leaders?

Faced with a similar situation, any other country would have given in to US pressure, which is precisely what the enemies of the revolution expected. But the people held its ground firmly despite all hardships, because it knew it was the only way of holding on to their freedom. And the country has gradually put behind it the hardest years of its economic crisis and continues to report growth, which is modest but still far greater than what those who try to give us lessons in governance would have us believe.

Faced with a similar situation, any other country would have given in to US pressure, which is precisely what the enemies of the revolution expected. But the people held its ground firmly despite all hardships, because it knew it was the only way of holding on to their freedom.

Everyone knows that the government is working hard to overcome the problems of the twocurrency system (which was simply necessary at one point), low salaries and pensions and high prices. These problems must be tackled by all Cubans, working together, and one simply cannot improvise solutions when dealing with such delicate issues. Mr. Campos’ suggestions therefore seem unnecessary to me. He probably knows, as much as anyone, that these problems are being carefully studied.

As I see it, the issue of salaries and pensions is more complex. It is not a question of raising the country’s minimum wage and thus raising the salaries of all State employees, for that would result in an immediate increase in the people’s purchasing power and a rise in product prices, given the increased demand this would cause.

In fact, what we have in Cuba aren’t low salaries but high prices caused by the high purchasing power of part of the population. Public employees and pensioners are practically the only ones who have been left with low salaries. Workers in the manufacturing, construction, services and other industries, have decorous salaries.

Though I could reply to other points brought up in the article, I think I have said enough. I felt it was necessary to at least reply to the more outrageous statements, such as the claim that acts of delinquency are part of a silent revolt against the revolution. Perhaps counterrevolutionaries are hoping to swell their flimsy ranks with delinquents and other anti-social individuals, so as to govern the country in their name. To do so, they would first have to destroy the revolution.

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.

40 thoughts on “Cuba: A Reply to Those Who Would Give Us Lessons in Governance

  • August 7, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    …solely because of the US? I always thought it was Marxist central planning that was at fault. Just look at the agricultural disaster that is Cuba today !

  • August 7, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    No John, we lived it. Including the May day marches, pioneros, field work, interminable lines for miserable quality and little food (and thus was before the special period) etc. It’s always the “intellectuals” who dont have to live the system that support it.

  • August 7, 2013 at 9:58 am

    In his book, “Stalin’s Curse”, Robert Gellately makes a very convincing case that Stalin was an orthodox Marxist-Leninist, through and through. The excuse, often heard from Leftists today, that Stalin was some kind of aberration and does not represent “True Socialism” is a lie.

  • August 7, 2013 at 9:53 am

    You’re playing that childish game of trying to re-label the failed programme and hoping nobody notices. That’s called the “No True Scotsman” argument, and it’s a weak rhetorical ruse.

    Perhaps you should read Marx, Engels and Lenin. The Soviet Union, Mao’s China, Eastern Europe and Cuba were all based on the system they defined. They called it “socialism” because that’s what it is. If you have your own special, secret definition of the word “socialism”, that’s wonderful. Enjoy it, in your own fantasy world. But your obsession does not alter the fact that these totalitarian socialist states existed in the real world and all failed miserably.

    The Castro regime keeps a grip on power through repression and propaganda. The Cuban regime survives, while the Cuban nation dies slowly, because the regime receive subsidies from Venezuela and enough hard currency from tourists and joint ventures like the Sherrit International nickel mine operation. Without these subsidies, which flow from the hated capitalist world to Cuba ironically enough, the regime would collapse.

  • August 7, 2013 at 9:36 am

    Fidel retired, but his brother Raul still rules. What’s your point?

    I have consistently advocated a free, democratic and sovereign Cuba. I have never supported a return to the era of US hegemony over Cuba, but your kind will always present the choice as a false dichotomy.

    The Cuban people have never been allowed to make their choice, as the Socialist path was forced upon them.

  • August 7, 2013 at 9:02 am

    I have read a great deal of the Cold War and lived through a great deal of it.
    I doubt that anyone has a greater disike for Stalin and all totalitarian forms than I do.
    That said , the Soviet economy post-WWII outperformed evry economy on the planet except for the un-war-damaged United States
    The fact that you refuse to read what I have produced to back up my claim is just a case of willful ignorance on your part.
    You choose not to look at what you choose not to believe.
    It’s why you’re not worth debating.

  • August 7, 2013 at 8:57 am

    To repeat ad infinitum as is necessary:
    Socialism is an economic system based on a bottom-up democratic running of the economy.
    No such system has ever existed in humanity’s history so you do not know what you’re talking about.
    Cuba has a state run economy as did the Soviets and the Chinese.
    The Cuban revolution ssurvives the U.S. war on it only because of its autochthonous economic system.
    Hardly a failure.

  • August 7, 2013 at 8:53 am

    Fidel stepped down some six years ago.
    The reason Cuba is in economic trouble is solely because of the U.S. war on the revolution.
    Further, as the over 55 U.S. interventions into democratic elections around the world since the end of WWII clearly show, U.S. foreign policy is not predicated upon supporting but rather upon suppressing democracy. ,
    The Cuban people have not chosen to return to totalitarian and inequitable capitalism and that is what is really frosting you.

  • August 7, 2013 at 8:48 am

    You’re making that up.
    What are those reprisals ?
    See, any Cuban can also go to the voting station and cast a blank ballot or a defaced ballot and it would appear that they voted but less than 5% do this in any Cuban election.

  • August 7, 2013 at 7:43 am

    Again you present the false dichotomy: Cuba’s only options are Castro or Batista. How about a free, democratic and sovereign Cuba? That is what the rebels who fought against Batista wanted. Too late, the discovered that Fidel never intended to hold those free elections he had promised.

    The Revolution has so perverted itself that the regime enslaves Cuban workers and exploits their labour for foreign corporations. Prostitution is once again rampant (no, it never really went away), now serving the foreign tourists from Europe, Canada and the USA.

    Cuban’s are not stupid, and don’t try to put those words in my mouth. Instead, it is the regime and their bootlicking apologists, who must think the Cuban people are too stupid to run their own lives and to chose from among themselves their own leaders. Just imagine the lost potential of so many Cuban inventors, artists, and entrepreneurs crushed by the revolution, or driven into exile. What might they have done for the Cuban nation had the people managed to return their country to democracy after Batista fled?

    Just a few of the exiled Cubans who have risen to the very top:

    Jeff Bezos the Cuban-American billionaire and founder of, has just bought the Washington Post.

    Bacardi is now the largest privately owned distillery in the world.

    Robert C. Goizueta, former CEO of the Coca-Cola Company.

    Ralph de la Vega, President and CEO of AT&T Mobility

    Ralph Alvarez, president and COO of McDonald’s

    Raúl Alarcón, president and CEO of the Spanish Broadcasting System…

    The list goes on: in every field, business, the arts, sports, science, & etc, Cubans have excelled. Given a chance, they would have built their country into a leader among nations. Instead, Cuba is crumbled socialist failure, a monument to one man’s towering ego and the dangers of utopian delusions.

  • August 7, 2013 at 5:56 am

    Which is irrelevant to the discussion at hand since he was just pointing out that their socioeconomic system was good at dealing with crisis situations, he never implied anything about long term efficiency.

    Besides, a little bit of history will not hurt you (even if you dislike them, do it for a good reason. Know your enemy and all that). The model existing in Cuba and the ex-USSR is the directed descendant of the War Communism

    It meant to be a temporary solution to a civil war situation where there was no time to handle dissent and all decisions where driven by pure necessity. The founders of the Bolshevik revolution (Lenin in particular) saw the need to remove such temporary measures as son as possible and actually instate the principles that made the revolution possible. To that extent he created the new economic policy resembling some sort of state capitalism:

    What is pretty much what Cuba aspires to be right now and to some extent what China is today. Regretfully, he was murdered in 1924 before the reform could take place and replaced for what you know as planed economy introduced by dear leader Stalin and served in a nice blood bath.

    The point is, in the core, Stalin’s socialism is still War Communism plus planned economy. Is an organization born of the desperation of a poor, feudal country in the middle of a civil war surrounded by hostile nations. Is autocratic by definition because the people that implemented it where rooted in serfdom, didn’t have a democratic tradition and in the middle of the war there is no time to ask for consensus.

    And it works very well in crisis situations, arguably better than almost any other known regime because it is designed specifically for that. But working well in a moment of crisis has absolutely nothing to do with being feasible in the long term, in particular when the people in charge get a taste of the absolute power it offers is damn hard to remove them from it.

  • August 6, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    Another documentary of the young people from the island! Lets hear from them shall we!


  • August 6, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    Maybe we should listen to the everyday Cuban citizen?? Seems they are the ones that matter!

    YOUTUBE: DOCUMENTARY: “Cuba and the Elephants” – Full version w / English Sub-titles: A Look at Cuba, in reality beyond its tourist attractions. A documentary that takes us to reflect on the achievements of the socialist system and how truly the common Cuban people live.

  • August 6, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    Thanks for your spirited defense, Elio! Don’t allow Griffin, Moses, and the other “nattering nabobs of negativity” here to bait you. Their main raison de etre seems to be writing negative comments and condemnations of the Revolution; they seem to have an abundance of time and energy for this “task.” In the past I have agreed with some of Pedro Campos’s analysis; on the article you have critiqued, however, I too think he is way off base. What has diferentiated the Cuban Revolution from those in Eastern Europe, for example, is that since the beginning It has always had the pragmatisim to evolved. Although It has made many mistakes, repeatedly it has shown the ability to self-correct, to modify, to incorporate new information, new conditions, and to change Its policies and practices. I have no doubt that you, and others within Cuba, are in the process of transforming and recreating the Revolution based on the Revolution’s ideals (my ideals, too) and on the new conditions as they evolve in Cuba and in the world. Griffin, Moses, et al, offer no real solutions. The system they champion–capitalism–is not creating a livable society; rather, it is responsible for hideous suffering and gross waste of the talents and potential of most of the folks under its mis-rule. If anything, it is more incompetant than the clanky and clunky state socialism of the 1920’s-1980’s; certainly, it is causing more irreparable damage to the planet and its inhabitants. All around me here in the states, even in the relatively progressive “People’s Republic of Vermont,” I see suffering and injustice. (I’d shudder to think what I’d see in real hell-holes, like Texas, Mississippi, Florida, etc.) Whether here–or in Cuba–we have no other moral or ethical alternative than to fight the good fight. At least in Cuba the government’s ideal is to struggle towards economic and social justice. Here, there is no such pretense (or, if their is, we know that such slogans are total hypocracy and dissimulation.
    Sorry I haven’t had much time to post many comments lately. We’re busy growing most of the food our family consumes–at least during the summer and fall, and I’m involved in many other activities, too. Since “retiring” in 2009, I seem to be busier than when I was working!

  • August 6, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    The proof as they say is in the pudding. …the Soviet economic model can now be found in the trash heap of history

    There were many economic problems for the Soviet Stalinist system. One very general problem was the the lack of incentives for productivity. But there were more immediate causes for the collapse. In the middle 1980’s about seventy percent of the industrial output of the Soviet Union was going to the military. Oleg Gordievsky, a KGB official who defected to Britain in the 80’s, asserted that at least one third of the total output was going to the military. Western intelligence could not believe such a high figure but later, intelligence sources estimated that it was at least fifty percent. Regardless one can only imagine what a severe shortages of goods there were for the rest of the economy, which result could clearly be seen as empty store shelves and shabby bad quality products.

    …hardly a model economic system em John. If the control economy worked you would not have seen the entire Soviet block collapse. Even China realized the failures of central planning and they are now a hyper capitalist country! Authoritarian, but capitalist non the less.

  • August 6, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    Free… No sir. There are reprisals for not “participating”, showing up and casting meaningless votes.

    Free is the one things Cubans are not.

  • August 6, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    When I’m in the mood for fiction, maybe I’ll read it.

    The Soviet political and economic system was based on massive forced labour, imperialism, ruthless exploitation of the worker, mass starvation and genocide. No thinking or moral human being could ever advocate a return to such an inhuman system and no decent human being should ever attempt to defend it.

    I recommend you read Stalin’s Curse, by Robert Gellately for a more honest examination of the Soviet system.

  • August 6, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    You make an absurd and self-contradicting argument that the US embargo is responsible for the failed Cuban economic system. Every country that has attempted Marxist socialism has failed.

    All that the USA has done is to refuse to buy Cuba products. That is not “economic warfare”. Cuba was always free to buy products elsewhere, and to sell their own products. Indeed, Cuba does trade with the rest of the world, and yet their economy still fails to prosper. It is only because of tourism from Canada, Europe, and yes, the US, along with a few joint projects such as the Sherrit nickel mine that keeps Cuba from complete economic collapse.

    It is absurd that the apologists of the Castro regime insist were it not for the US embargo, the Cuban economy would function just fine. They demand that the wicked US imperialists must trade with Cuba, which is an admission that the Cuban socialist experiment is a failure without the help of the capitalist world to keep it afloat.

  • August 6, 2013 at 10:43 am

    Try Googling up ” The Soviet model and the economic cold war ” at
    I know it’s a rather lengthy article but it will prove my point about the efficiencies of that state run economy.
    If you are willing to test your beliefs, you will read the article.

  • August 6, 2013 at 10:35 am

    good post,

  • August 6, 2013 at 10:34 am

    You must try to understand that the U.S. has been waging a war on the people of Cuba which was designed to make life so miserable for all the people that they would overthrow their revolution.
    Well, as you and all the critics of the Cuban revolution are constantly pointing out, life is very hard in Cuba but your visceral dislike for the revolution has determined that you will blame the Cubans autochthonous economic system while totally ignoring the devastaing effects of the U.S. embargo/war.
    According to you and Moses, the Cubans are so stupid and repressed that they have chosen to stay with their revolution and all it has done TO them than return to ibeing the U.S.’s whorehouse in the Caribbeans rather than surrender and go back to the wonderful days of Batista.
    Somehow your posts and all the billions spent on anti-revolutionary propaganda by the GOUSA hasn’t gotten through to 95% of Cubans.

  • August 6, 2013 at 10:24 am

    You can go to the 21st Century Socialism website and scroll down on the right side to:
    “In Depth” and read the lengthy article about the old Soviet economy and see that i am quite correct.

  • August 6, 2013 at 10:18 am

    The fact remains that the Cubans are free to stray home and not vote but they all vote and only half the eigible U.S. voters do.

  • August 6, 2013 at 9:50 am

    The Soviet Union collapsed from economic and political failure. Cuba has all but collapsed economically, save for the massive subsidy in oil from Venezuela, but the regime lingers on in political control. If you find the tenacity of a ruthless regime admirable, it says a lot about your value system.

  • August 6, 2013 at 9:38 am

    No, they don’t because they spend most of their resources making sure the inmates wont escape (what is kind of the point of a prison), so your point is a blatant red herring. Besides, if prisons were THAT efficient, they would be a economic powerhorse everywhere in the world instead of the black hole for taxpayer money they actually are.

    Now, stop trolling and restrict your response to the point the person you are replying to is making (that in this case don’t even disagree with yours).

  • August 6, 2013 at 5:52 am

    Prisons also organize their inmates well, it’s the way that particular “society” is organized. But unfortunately, as with Castro’s promises of a glass of milk on every table, even that is exposed as a lie

  • August 6, 2013 at 4:52 am

    No, if one thing that kind of government has done remarkably well is to mobilize people in emergency situations (industrializing the country after the Bolshevik revolution, moving the industries to the east when the German invasion started, waging total war against Hitler , in the case of Cuba the repel of the invasion of Bay of Pigs, the fight against bandits, the war in Angola, and most remarkably their unrivaled Hurricane preparation or for that matter, todays China with their economic policies).

    They do very well in emergencies indeed and as John mentioned, the main reason is the way their society is organized. Once they identify a threat or set a goal, all social actors work cohesively to remove it or accomplish the goal. There is no hesitation, no deliberation, no opposing factions to handle and as result no time wasted.

    Is in the boring day-to-day where they traditionally fail. That and when the people in charge misuse that social capital in useless endeavors (the 10 million sugar production rally, the “battle of ideas”. the cultural revolution in China, etc.)

  • August 5, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    There are several factual errors in your piece, Elio. Errors which lead to errors in thinking, and from there to grave moral contradictions. You claim that Cubans don’t suffer from low wages, but from high prices. Not true. The price of a items in the dollar stores today is about the same as ten years ago, in CUC. But meanwhile, the purchasing power of the local peso has plummeted. The two currency system contributed to this effect, predictably, yet this insane policy continues. This two currency disaster was of course imposed by the same people who today insist they know best how to deal with it, which is by doing nothing while allowing the powerful and well connected get wealthy through the scam.

    In effect, the two currency system forms an economic blockade against the Cuban people imposed by the Cuban dictatorship.

    In fact, the Cuban worker is under paid with low wages in worthless local pesos. You say the govt doesn’t gouge the worker’s paycheque, but collects funds to reinvest in social welfare. But what is that but another way of admitting the workers’ wages are so low they live in poverty? The surplus value collected by the State is wasted in the inefficient and corrupt bureaucracy. Very little of it is ever returned to the worker in any form that benefits them. Far more is used to fund the repressive instruments of State Security, whose sole purpose is to keep t of the regime in power, not to help the people. More still flows into the pockets of the powerful and well connected who live in a standard of living far and above that of the average Cuban.

    How insulting of you to suggest the Cuban people should be grateful for the fact the lion’s share of their pay goes to keeping their guards well fed.

    The title of you piece is so telling! …”those who would give us lessons in governance” …so clearly Elio, you see yourself as a member of the natural ruling class of Cuba. Is that the revolutionary stance today? To sneer at the miserable people, in the condescending fashion once expressed so perfectly by Marie Antoinette, “Let them eat cake!”

  • August 5, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    Point of fact, Palestinians receive more money per capital from the UN, the EU, the USA and the Arab League than any other group of people on earth. They are the most subsidized people in the world, and yet still their leaders are corrupt thugs. Or perhaps that’s the natural result.

    The Cuban people remain snookered because they know from bitter experience the government will stop at nothing to keep them down. The State Security arrested some 250 dissidents in July, that’s down from the average of 400 per month they’ve been running for the past few years.

    The other factor is the way the Cuban govt has successfully seduced the Western intelligencia and chattering classes with their tourism and agents of influence positioned in academia and government.

    You missed the nation on earth where the people have indeed suffered longer and harder than Cuba. That would be North Korea. You know, Cuba’s weapons smuggling business partner and the vile dictatorship once described as the most wonderful nation on earth, by Che Guevara.

  • August 5, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    Hey Moses, has the US State Department raised your blogging stipend yet? I have yet to get a raise for all my recent activity and I’m concerned I won’t get paid. You know it’s getting more and more expensive for the US to keep up with the Chinese 50 cent brigade and their amateurish counterparts at the a university of Havana. Maybe we are running out if money?

  • August 5, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    You are incorrect. In fact you are so obviously wrong that no further comment is necessary

  • August 5, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    I always find it curious that countries such as North Korea, Cuba and the old soviet block countries had 90 % + voter turnout and always electing the “anointed” communist leader by a 90%+ margen. Now I wonder what all these countries had in common ….ummmm

  • August 5, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Well John, post WWII, the world has provided many opportunities to showcase the success of socialism. But gosh darn I just can’t seem to think of any…..can you John?

    But you are correct that I am not very fond of “socialism”, read communism in this context. It’s the politics of envy and repression.

  • August 5, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    As undemocratic and as non-communist as the Soviets were, their perverted state controlled economy functioned quite well .
    They went from near total destruction of their infrastructure and the death of 50 millions in two wars in 1945 to the number two economy in the world in 25 years.
    Likewise the Cuban government and economy are Stalinist (top-down) in form but that preverted socialist form has enabled the Cubans to survive the U.S. economic war on the population which was intended to make conditions so bad for the people that they would revolt.
    That plan is failing specifically because the Cuban’s economic form can adapt and survive anything the U.S. can do.
    It is capitalism worldwide that is failing.

  • August 5, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    Moses, You conveniently forgot to mention that Cubans seek to get to the U.S. floating across the straits because if they do this , the “wet foot-dry foit” clause of the Cuban Adjusment Act automatically admits them to the U.S.
    If they apply to the U.S. Interest Section in Cuba legally, they are charged hundreds of dollars and must wait up to 18 months.
    You know this as well as I and all the Cubans who become “balseros” .
    You don ‘t mention this in your posts and assiduously avoid discusssion of the matter so that the US. State Department message you present seems valid to those who live in ignorance of the real U.S-Cuban relationship.
    You are quite transparent in your propaganda methodology. but I guess the money you must be paid to be such a constant Cuba critic must make up for the intellectual shame you must feel with every post.

  • August 5, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    At every election in Cuba, some 90+% of the people turn out to vote.
    Were they displeased with their government , they would stay home as do 50% of the voters in the U.S.
    Do please note that Fidel retired about SIX years ago.

  • August 5, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Thank you for providing the perspective on Cuba’s problems that puts the blame squarely on the U.S. economic and terrorist war on the people of Cuba .
    Moses Pattersons and other sworn enemies of socialism will never acknowledge the dire effects of that U.S. war because to do so would rip up his argument that socialism is a failure .
    As mentioned, were it not for Cuba’s egalitarian economy, the country would have collapsed under a U.S. attack that no other nation in history could have survived.

  • August 5, 2013 at 11:40 am

    I believe the reason Cuban’s have not revolted in any meaningful way is the unique relationship they have with the United States. Cuba is afforded a “release valve” of sorts to internal political pressure in that any Cuban can migrate to the US and immediately become a resident. Over the past 50+ years many have taken advantage of this unique opportunity and deflated any meaningful burgeoning descent.

    Another note that Elio, and most Castro apologists, strike is, as you correctly point out, blaming the US for their economic woes, completely ignoring the failures inherent in central planning. In addition Cuba would have been trading within (I think) the COMECON trade group that was controlled by the Soviet Union. Cuba would not have been dealing with the US in any meaningful trade regardless of the embargo.

    …..I wonder who Elio was writing this piece for?

  • August 5, 2013 at 9:04 am

    Stepping back and looking broadly at the country, the Cuban people, and the Cuban culture; one sees many beautiful things. But one cannot overlook the fact that the economy is a disaster that impacts everyday food supply, housing, and transportation.

    One asks “who is responsible for this economic disaster?, why is the country so poor?, whose leadership got us here? what must be changed?”

  • August 5, 2013 at 7:55 am

    Elio, perhaps intentionally, misrepresents the comments made by Pedro Campos. Another mistake Elio makes, one commonly made by Cubans, is to believe their ‘suffering’ is unique. Palestinians, without the benefit of a relatively wealthy exile community just 90 miles away to send billions of dollars in remittances, would likely disagree with his assertion that the acts of aggression Cuba has brought on themselves as a result of US policy have been the worst ever faced at the hands of a larger and more powerful nation. Myanmar (formerly Burma) endured a similar 50-year embargo and never capitulated. On the contrary, only due to the internal resistance, did the Burmese military government finally agree to making democratic policy concessions. Elio parrots the Castro regime’s pathetic excuse for doing nothing with the unconvincing response that the problems caused by the two-currency economy are being “carefully studied”. He also would have us believe that the lack of a revolt implies the support of the people in the system. While it is indeed a mystery as to why an otherwise intelligent and capable population has remained ‘snookered’ by the Castros repugnant and repetitive promises of “glass of milk’ on every table, it is certainly not a sign of universal support. Were it so, Cubans would not be lining up outside foreign embassies seeking immigration visas and risking their lives in the Florida Straits in record numbers. Elio asserts that the Cuban people are free. The only freedom Cubans may exercise is the freedom to support the Castros.

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