Cuba Critics Who Only See Sunspots

Elio Delgado Legón

The Calixto Garcia General Surgical Hospital

HAVANA TIMES — “People cannot be more perfect than the sun. The sun burns with the same light that it warms. The sun has spots. The ungrateful speak only of the spots. The grateful speak of the light.”

So wrote Jose Marti, Cuba’s national hero, in his essay “The Three Heroes,” published in his magazine La Edad de Oro (The Golden Age), which was directed to the children of America.

I think about this same idea every time I see some criticism published about the Cuban Revolution – that bright sun that freed us from the darkness that engulfed Cuba after it gained its independence from Spanish colonialism only to fall into the clutches of the imperial United States eagle.

It’s not that we revolutionaries are enemies of criticism – quite the contrary. The revolution’s leaders themselves have repeatedly expressed the need for criticism in order to improve the management of government; but such criticism must be done professionally, if indeed one is really seeking to solve problems.

When one criticizes an aspect of reality they must delve into the causes of the difficulty, identifying those who are responsible for the situation that’s open to criticism and making them known.

Otherwise, we would be blaming people who aren’t guilty; and what would be even worse is that we would be accusing those who have done and are doing the most to resolve those issues.

Some time ago I read a comment in a publication concerning the poor construction quality of some apartment buildings in Santiago de Cuba. An accusation was leveled against the government for its having abandoned that heroic city.

The Fructuoso Rodriguez Orthopedic Hospital

Notwithstanding, at that very same moment the most important public work ever realized in the history of Santiago was in full swing: the construction of a modern aqueduct, which is being created to solve the centuries-old problem of supplying water to that city.

The opinion piece only spoke about dilapidated houses. Yet no mention was made of the thousands of apartments built by the government and turned over to families, households who pay only modest monthly fees to pay off the legal values of those properties, which are also subsidized.

Of course, the purpose of that commentary, which didn’t bother to mention the aqueduct public works project, was to only to point out the sunspots, and to promote a sense of calamity in that city and across the country, adding to the media campaign of lies and defamation being carried out by the enemies of the revolution.

More recently, I read another comment about a doctors’ office that was semi-abandoned and falling into ruin. However the article didn’t dig into what was really occurring; it didn’t investigate why this incident happened or who was responsible for it.

By presenting the facts in this way, a misconception is given about the status of health care facilities in Cuba. This is despite the existence of an ongoing, nationwide, capital improvements program to repair and expand all of the country’s health care facilities, including hospitals, polyclinics and clinics.

The Oncology and Radiobiology Research Institute

Merely taking a glance at the hospitals in the capital, we can realize the monumental work being carried out by the government to improve care for the people in this field, in addition to bettering the working conditions of health care personnel.

Is it fair that because of the deterioration of one office — of which the causes are unknown — such judgments can be made about the work of an entire institution that is doing so much for people’s health?

Criticism isn’t just talking about sunspots in order to give a disastrous image of the sun. To criticize is to analyze the causes and background of the facts, to identify those responsible and to make them accountable for their responsibilities.
When it comes to spots, we must also talk about the light; otherwise we would be bringing ourselves down to the same level as those thankless individuals who Marti spoke about, and we would be contributing nothing to solving the problem.

Those who act in such ways know the damage they’re doing and are collaborating with the campaign of slander and lies against the Cuban Revolution, which despite having to endure an economic, commercial and financial blockade that has lasted more than half century, does not abandon anyone to their own fate and does everything possible to improve the living conditions of our people.


4 thoughts on “Cuba Critics Who Only See Sunspots

  • I can only second what ‘Grady Ross Daugherty’ wrote, whilst ‘Moses’ continues to be dazzled by Cuban sunspots whilst blind to the black holes that occur on his own planet on a regular basis. The current darkness – the economic meltdown starting in 1988 – shows no signs of ending. No laws have been changed or put into effect to prevent it from happening again, no one has been held accountable, no one who was responsible for it has suffered – only the ‘little people’ who were its victims – the 99%.

    If you visit the US, it’s easy to see why Americans like ‘Moses’ suffer from myopia regarding their country’s shortcomings. Well-off Americans avoid looking at or going to poor areas. They navigate around them when they drive or travel.

    At least that’s one explanation for ‘Moses’ limited vision. Another, of course, is that he’s acting as a dedicated propagandist for a country that is scared to death that its citizens will be inspired by what the Cuban Revolution represents. ‘Moses’ writes that the Revolution is dead. One is reminded of the quote by Mark Twain – “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated,” when a newspaper published his obituary when he was very much alive. I’m sorry, ‘Moses’, but reports of the death of the Cuban Revolution are greatly exaggerated.

  • Moses:
    I do agree with you in many of the points you’ve made. But there’s a need to strike a balance between criticism and facts. And not only in Cuba. This is supposed to be a universal rule. In HT I’ve often seen articles that fail to meet these standards. They simple sound too one-sided to me, as they fail to delve deep into the cause and effect relationship. On the other hand, Cuba is a special case in more ways than not, because of the protracted undeclared war it has been under and the many bloopers made by its long-lasting authorities.

  • Thank you, Elio, for another fine article. Those who only see the spots are not those who were liberated by the revolution. They are the people who wish to be landlords, or otherwise be parasites on the working people.

    I hope the new law on cooperatives is successful, and that the Cuban model can indeed be perfected. The eyes of the world are on Cuba, and I don’t mean the eyes of imperialists and other rats. I mean the eyes of humanity seeking a way out of the monopoly capitalist horror. Best wishes.

  • Elio, please explain why public works projects under construction in Havana take many years to complete, if ever. Could it be due to the high degree of theft of materials that takes place? Please explain why Cuban buildings less than 80 years old have deteriorated beyond repair, while many comparable European structures more than 300 years old are still functioning office buildings? Is it possibly due to the quality of materiels and the maintenance? Is the pace at which the hospital repairs adequate or are there fewer hospital beds avaible each year? In fact, has the Revolution completed even a single major public works project or a highway system or a railway system? Does even tiny Guanabo have a sewer system yet? What happened to the Olympic stadium? I could go on. Like many revolutionaries, you never let even the truth keep you from seeing the “bright side” of the revolution. A dead sun will continue to give light generations after it has died. The revolution is dead, you just don’t realize it yet.

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