Foreign Affairs

Castro Wrung Cuba’s Neck

“Self-employment may be answer to Cuba’s problems… A total of some 500,000 Cubans could end up being moved from their current jobs amid Cuba’s drive to cut state costs.”

“Economists have put the number of Cubans who would be shunted out of their jobs at 1 million or more … some 160,000 Cubans have obtained licenses to provide authorized goods and services in about 140 categories…. This could rise to half a million people.”

All of the above came from a Reuters article dated February 23, 1995.

“But wait?!” some readers react. “Didn’t I just read virtually the identical ‘scoops’ in the MSM this very week?!”

You sure did. And here’s what became of those earth-shaking and permanent reforms announced by Castro’s propaganda Ministry in 1995 and dutifully parroted by the Mainstream Media.

“Cuba’s communist government has tightened official supervision and control of self-employed workers, increasing the state’s bureaucratic squeeze on the island’s very small private sector….

The government’s decision to open up and expand the self-employed sector in late 1993 was initially interpreted as a clear sign that communist-ruled Cuba was moving toward a more market-orientated economy. But since then…

The MSM is absolutely agog with the catalogue of insights, woes and regrets “disclosed” recently by the Cuban mass-murderer to The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg. “I asked him if he believed the Cuban model was still something worth exporting,” writes Goldberg.

“The Cuban model doesn’t even work for us anymore,” Castro replied. And as mentioned, the MSM and assorted “Cuba Analysts” are all aflutter over Castro’s “epiphany,” “honesty,” “regret”—take your pick—“that communism “doesn’t work.”  

Some actual study of recent Cuban history might enlighten these learned parties. To wit:

“This doesn’t work! Terrible mistakes were made (especially in adopting Che Guevara’s moral incentives), we need material capitalistic incentives. So I’m resigning!”—Fidel Castro, July 1970.
“The capitalists organize production better than we do. There’s much we can learn from them.”—Fidel Castro, 1986 during “Rectification Process” (i.e. another “re-evaluation” after another economic crisis.)

“We are not afraid of the market. We are not afraid of economic reform. The people understand the reasons behind them and support them.”—Fidel Castro, Nov. 1991, announcing Cuba’s “Special Period” (i.e. loss of Soviet Sugar Daddy–another re-evaluation after another economic crisis.)

Has any “Cuba Analyst” noticed a marked change in the rights, prosperity and welfare of the Cuban people after any of these “epiphanies,” “regrets,” “re-evaluations”, etc.?

And has any “Cuba Analyst” mentioned that Hugo Chavez (current Cuban Sugar-Daddy) looks to lose the Sept. 26 parliamentary elections in Venezuela 52% to 42%? (granted, there’s much room for altering the results.)

And has any “Cuba Analyst” mentioned that this will present Castro with an economic crisis as bad as the “Special Period” in the early 90′s after the Soviets collapsed? And will thus require another “re-evaluation,” that will buttress the regime but have the same effect on the Cuban people’s rights, prosperity and welfare as all the other “re-evaluations?”

And has any Cuba Expert mentioned that—given Castro’s history of pronouncements during his various economic crises (to say nothing of this one)—his pronouncements to Jeffrey Goldberg just might be insincere? Just might have an ulterior motive? Just might mean absolutely nothing regarding the rights and welfare of the Cuban people?

If so, I haven’t seen or heard it.

Fidel Castro converted a nation with a higher per-capita income than half of Europe, the lowest inflation rate in the Western hemisphere, a larger middle class than Switzerland, a huge influx of immigrants and whose workers enjoyed the 8th highest industrial wages in the world into one that repels Haitians. And this after being lavished with Soviet subsidies that totaled almost ten Marshall Plans (into a nation of 6.4 million.) This economic feat defies not only the laws of economics but seemingly the very laws of physics. (Full documentation for the above here.)

And now, Castro realizes “the Cuba Model doesn’t work”? Please.

Actually, given the goal of Cuba’s ruler since January of 1959 (absolute power), the Cuban economy has been EXPERTLY managed and has worked splendidly. Castro inherited a vibrant free-market economy in 1959, something unique among Communist rulers. All the others, from Lenin to Mao to Uncle Ho to Ulbricht to Tito to Kim Il Sung, took over primitive and/or chaotic, war-ravaged economies.

A less megalomaniacal ruler would have considered it a golden goose landing in his lap. But Castro wrung its neck. He deliberately and methodically wrecked Latin America’s premier economy. A Cuban capitalist is a person I won’t be able to control, reasoned Castro—and does so to this day. Cuba—despite a deluge of tourism and foreign investment for over a decade—is as essentially Communist in 2010 as it was in 1965. The Castro brothers are very vigilant in these matters.

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