Myths of Cuban Socialism: Part I
Since January 1, 1959, when Fidel Castro walked into Havana with his “revolutionary gestures” and seized power, the illegitimate government of Cuba has not tired of lying and creating myths. The great media campaign of Cuban “socialism” has focused on swaying international public opinion. Regardless, Cubans of the island and the ones who managed to flee know better than anyone the reality that is life in the Castro brothers’ hell.
The biggest lie began with Castro’s promise of democratic elections in 1959. It was one of the main reasons why the majority of Cubans, tired of the atrocities of dictator Fulgencio Batista (1955-1959), supported the revolution.
Three months passed — March, April, May — and Castro said not a word about releasing power. Instead, he began his atrocities against the opposition and the Cuban people, all led by him and his henchman Ernesto Guevara. At that time, many Cubans understood that they had been fooled once again by a vile politician.
It is not worth one’s effort to enumerate the achievements of 55 years of the Castro regime; their socialism, as a matter of fact, has achieved nothing but misery for the Cuban people. Let us instead open our eyes and acknowledge the so-called Cuban achievements as a smokescreen of brazen lies — from the famous “blockade” to “social equality,” all of them lies.
Once lodged in power, Castro lessened his rhetoric against Batista. Little by little, he introduced the “anti-imperialist character” of the revolution and the Cuban political system. Eventually, however, the new regime was a satellite of the Soviet Union — the greatest imperialist of the 20th century — and with all the consequences.
Castro’s Chosen Enemy: The United States
The regime’s confrontation with the United States, an enemy presented as ardent, fierce, and only 90 miles away, has been ideal for Castro and his younger brother Raúl. As is widely understood, the starting point for manipulation in politics is the common threat of an enemy. If there isn’t one, it must be invented. From that flows the famous saying, “the people united will never be defeated.”
And so began the expropriation of properties from US citizens and Cuban businessmen — under the enduring and monstrous cry of “the oppressors exploit the workers.” Castro’s exploitation subsequently exceeded that of Batista, whom he fought so furiously.
The regime conducted expropriations under the promise of fair-price compensation for the businessmen, but not a penny has been paid. Let us tell it like it is: Castro and his allies stole private properties. And the thief deserved to be punished with the embargo the United States imposed on Cuba in 1962.
Cubans were led to believe that their neighbors envied socialism so much they imposed the embargo — as though the constant reiteration of a crude lie makes it true. As the regime has blamed the “blockade” for the economic disaster, one must remember that the Castros have been able to trade freely with the rest of the world, including neighbors on the continent such as Canada.
Nevertheless, with the embargo in place, the Castros have maintained the Cubans as a flock, whose shepherds are decrepit imposters. The same goes for the economy — or what is left of it — like a business run for themselves. The main ploy of the authoritarian regime has been to survive at the expense of others, especially of capitalism. Any pretense of socialist self-sufficiency has fallen by the wayside.
Soviet, Chavista Bailouts
Keep in mind that Cuba’s empty socialist economy has always leaned on other people. The Soviet Union, for example, sold everything Cuba needed below the cost of production. Meanwhile, they bought sugar from Cuba — sometimes even when they did not need it — at prices several times higher than the international market.
During the 1990s, when the Soviet Union disintegrated under its own weight, Cubans suffered. With “solidarity” providing no new industries nor agricultural development, starvation could have spelled the end for the Castros. However, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez (1999-2013) stepped in and was their salvation.
To be continued…
Translated by Adriana Peralta. Edited by Fergus Hodgson.