Elio Delgado Legon*
HAVANA TIMES, Jan 18 — Many things are published about Cuba around the world, and each one claims to be the truth. Some of these are half-truths blended with lies and nuanced distortions – sometimes written and published out of ignorance of the true circumstances here in Cuba; other times with malicious intent to denigrate the country.
Some people write about Cuba after having gone decades without setting foot on the island, or never having been here at all. Regardless of whether they mean no harm or not, this is irresponsible – an act that no respectable journalist or writer should ever commit.
The first lie that is repeated constantly in the press around the world is that Cuba is a communist regime. But I have to ask: What is a communist regime? No one knows, because none has ever existed on our planet.
Communism was a utopia, a dream of Karl Marx. In his time, after having thoroughly studied the evolution of society and in his desire for a dignified life for the working class (the class that creates wealth), he thought that it was possible and necessary to build a perfect society called communism. He was alluding to primitive communal society, where there was no exploitation of people by people.
Unquestionably, the thinking of Marx — from his viewpoint in the nineteenth century — was outstanding. He looked at the development of the capitalist system, which as he said was “born dripping mud and blood from every pore.”
The exploitation of the working class was ruthless. Workers had no rights, they toiled endless hours for miserable wages and were treated like slaves.
Following the ideas of Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels and later Vladimir Lenin, workers in many countries began to fight for their rights and established parties that represented their interests. Many of these parties gave themselves the name “Communist.”
The workers’ struggle began paying off. Gradually they gained rights and took back from the capitalists small portions of the wealth they had created.
The owners of capital, never resigned to losing even the tiniest amount of their profits, threatened and attacked the communist parties and other organizations that represented the working class.
Opposed to the communist parties for being the bearers of Marx’s ideas concerning the exploitation of people by people and a new society in the future, they undertook a slanderous propaganda campaign that painted the communists as evil beings. They attributed all sorts of contrived atrocities to confuse the masses and undermine the support those parties might have gained.
After decades of repeating this anti-communist propaganda, they managed to establish in many people a sense of danger whenever anyone mentioned the word “communist” or applied the label “Marxist.”
However, a communist society as envisioned by Marx implies the disappearance of social classes. It would be a society in which all people were equal, with neither the rich nor the poor; where there would be no money; where people would work only because of the high development of their consciousness and a sense of responsibility – presuming all of their basic needs would be satisfied. This means that each person would contribute according to their ability and receive according those needs.
This idyllic society, conceived by Marx in the nineteenth century, has never come true. And from my point of view, it will never be realized because the development of the capitalist system has exacerbated individualistic feelings and selfishness.
The progress of this system is based on consumerism and the constant creation of new needs in people, which have permeated their consciousness. Even when capitalism — which is now in its final phase — comes to an end, it will not be possible to build the society described by Marx in which everyone has a highly developed social consciousness.
From what has been explained above, I can affirm that they are deliberately lying when they say that Cuba is a communist regime, which they repeat so as to create a misconception about Cuban society among those people who were previously inoculated with an aversion to that notion.
Although the Cuban Constitution states in its preamble that we are building socialism with the ultimate goal of constructing a communist society, that’s a very long-term goal that cannot be achieved as long as societies based on exploitation exist in this world.
In Cuba, the revolution triumphed in January 1959. This was when we began building a more just society. It was when we enacted the first laws that benefited the poor, the perpetually exploited and the dispossessed.
The big capitalist interests — most of them from the United States — felt threatened and began a fight to the death against the Cuban Revolution, and in that struggle they have used every method at their disposal – including the mass media.
(*) I am a Cuban who has lived for 75 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.