Cuba Libre? Not Yet, But Getting Closer

the supreme leaderHurrah! Fidel is stepping down. Bloody big of him, since he has been mostly out of the picture for nearly two years. But before we break out the party hats, his ‘little’ brother, septuagenarian Raul, is no Thomas Jefferson. It’s still all in the family where Cuban dictators are concerned.

I’m curious; there are lot of apologists out there for Castro and his regime. Plenty of talk about good cheap health care, housing, food etc. etc. From what I’ve read, I don’t buy it. I’ve never been to Cuba and probably never will, so I will have to rely upon trusted sources for my information. But I wonder; can anyone out there present a good case for this tyrant keeping Cuba under his rusting iron fist for the past 48 years?

Without a doubt his predecessor, Batista, was a puppet of the American Mob along with the fruit and sugar companies. The US government was in cahoots with all of them in an attempt to maintain a status quo that was ‘good for America’ but not necessarily for Cuban peasants. Once again, a few select people, this time doing business in Havana, were getting very rich off of the backs of the very poor.

Revolution was probably inevitable (we initially ‘backed’ Castro, just like we ‘backed’ Batista), but can anything good come out of Marxism? Realistically speaking, Cuba only became more ‘democratic’ in that it now sucked for almost everyone, except those Party functionaries who learned their trade at the feet of gangsters, with fine tuning provided by the KGB.

Yet, once we realized that Cuba was the most western of all the Soviet satellites, did we make a mistake by taking the hard line that we did? Did our aggressive policy help to turn this blood thirsty charismatic backwoods island lawyer with poor hygiene (his nickname used to be “Grease Ball”) into the international folk hero that he has become? Distrust and fear of America certainly helped him to consolidate his power. I think it’s likely that our ‘diplomatic’ positon supplied Castro with all the rhetorical fuel he needed to keep his broken down little regime running for as long as it has .

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  1. #1 by Ambrosia de Milano on February 19, 2008 - 6:47 pm

    My next major research project will be about Stalin–why did American intellectuals and actors find him so intriguing? Why did Che’s dream die when Castro turned against the people?

    Why did we have a passive-aggressive policy with Castro when he was a bonified, U. S. hating dictator (at least on the surface) who had access to WMDs (with a phone call to the Russians)? I heard from a missionary to Cuba that Castro watched the Saddam events very closely.

    We maintained a strange cooperation with Castro. We maintain a military base on his island–Gitmo. We supposedly have a trade embargo, but come’on. Americans smoke Cuban cigars, and Cubanos send $$$$ home every day, not to mention besbol diplomacy.

    This goes to show that even hated enemies carry on Funny-Valentine, symbiotic relationships even in the most unstable times.

    Health care? You mean equally bad health care for all, run-down shacks for all, 57 Chevys pulled by mules, for all. Hmm.

    Ambrosia

  2. #2 by Christian on February 19, 2008 - 11:12 pm

    I don’t know how pure Che’s dream was but you make a good point about our ‘passive aggressive’ policy. I don’t think we would have been that passive if the Kremlin wasn’t standing behind Castro. Nevertheless, what if we had attempted another way of dealing with Cuba, a more ‘Christian’ way?

    I love ’57 Chevys. Not crazy about mules, though. Check out PJ O’Rourke’s “Eat the Rich”. He visits Cuba and debunks quite a few of the liberal myths. For instance, his cab drive was a physician. Seems that Cuba has more physicians per capita than any other country, as a result of one of Castro’s reform programs. Problem is, not enough hospitals. Or anyway to pay them. Taxi!

  3. #3 by Ambrosia de Milano on February 20, 2008 - 12:42 am

    Ah, the Doctors. I wish I knew more about medical school in Cuba–I hear from the missionary (I wish I had italics to add to that term, but a topic for a different time) that some freedom of travel exists. I also hear that “American” stores exist wherein dollars can buy milk and other Great White North products.

    Cuba remains enigmatic–proof, on the one hand, that zero-sum redistribution of wealth does not work. On the other hand, it proves that an exponential economy, if carefully planned, can produce wealth and jobs (this is not the case for Cuba, but the potential exists).

    How have we not been fair to Cuba? Cuban-Americans have provided the welfare system, sending lots of $$$$ home (I could get an exact figure if needed). Missionaries have provided for churches. Not to mention the lease on Gitmo.

    It is ridiculous to think we will have “normal” relations with Cuba. However, if we let them solve their own problems-problems caused by a short-lived American colonization, long-lived American exploitation, and half the island being linked to Ernest Hemingway.

    If we lend a hand, some agricultural knowledge, and millions of air conditioners, then maybe Cuba can join the “family of nations” and continue its status as Mexico II. If we can keep Hugo Chavez and Harry Belafonte out of the sugar fields, then we can prevent Venezuela from dominating the future ethanol market.

    In other words, we need to engage Cuba. Not ovewhelm with Gringo ways, but assist. The people will certainly choose the vestiges of democracy over the slavery of Chavez–unless the next president attacks Venezuela and we are plunged into an American version of the Thirty-Years War.

    What’s his name in Mayberry

  4. #4 by intelligent on February 25, 2008 - 11:46 am

    bollocks, simply bollocks. Have you even ever been to Cuba?

  5. #5 by Christian on February 25, 2008 - 12:49 pm

    Never mind the bollocks, but no, never been, as I said in my post. I get my information from what I find to be reliable sources. If you have been to Cuba and you happen to be reliable as well, then please enlighten us. What’s it really like?

  1. Cuba Libre? Not Yet, But Getting Closer

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