Conventional collectivist created authority is a deception in consciousness. You are your own Authority!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Saving Face for Failing in Cuba

The beautiful Caribbean island of Cuba presents a case study in human exploitation, slavery, rebellion, and misery since its colonization by the Spanish in the early 16th century. Several slave uprisings were brutally put down before slavery was abolished in 1866. The forces of the English Crown occupied Cuba briefly in the 1760’s during the Seven Years War, but agreed to give it back to Spain in trade for the Florida territory, which was eventually ceded to the U.S. after the War of 1812.  

At the end of the Spanish-American War in 1899, Cuba was governed briefly by the United States. A Cuban republic was established in 1902. The hapless, exploited, and impoverished Cuban people have been in bloody resistance and revolt ever since, with one corrupt dictator after another, both fascist and communist, in charge.

General Batista, backed by the Cuban army, took power in 1933, and again in 1952, treating the treasury of the country and the Cuban economy like his own private piggy bank, while the common people continued to suffer in repression and abject squalor. Fidel Castro led a long and bloody communist popular revolt, eventually causing Batista to flee the country in 1959. The common people of Cuba have fared little better under his half century of communist autocratic dictatorship.

The United States, which supported the thoroughly corrupt Batista regime, is still trying to get rid of Castro and the communists, who have the temerity to exist in power only 90 miles off our shores. President Eisenhower, in 1960, ordered the CIA to train Cuban exiles for a covert invasion of Cuba. Later that year, Cuba nationalized all U.S. businesses there. The U.S. imposed a trade embargo on Cuba.

President Kennedy got a bloody nose in April, 1961, when his aforementioned CIA trained Cuban exiles led the Bay of Pigs invasion which was crushed by Castro forces. All this was followed by the 1962 Cuban Missile crises after Russia was caught trying to install ballistic nuclear missiles aimed at the U.S. In the ensuing blockade and standoff confrontation between the U.S. and Russia, the planet narrowly avoided nuclear annihilation.

Since then there as been no love lost between the governments of the U.S. and Cuba. The trade embargo blockade has persisted for nearly 50 years, the average Cuban is still impoverished, and ordinary Americans are prohibited by the federal government from visiting the communist ruled island, much less trading with its inhabitants.

Cuba is the only country in the world suffering this xenophobic U.S. distinction. We can go to China, North Korea, or Vietnam; we can even go to Russia, who threatened us with mass nuclear incineration. We can go to every authentic political hell-hole in the Middle East, from Afghanistan to Yemen, but we can’t go on holiday in sunny tropical Havana. This despite the fact that the current Cuban government is anxious to restore normal relations and ties with Americans. We have diplomatic relations with every communist country on the planet except Cuba.

Now the Obama Administration has magnanimously announced that some students seeking academic credit, as well as representatives of churches, and synagogues traveling for religious purposes will be permitted to go to Cuba. The government will also let Americans send a limit of $2,000 a year to Cuban citizens not part of the Castro administration and not members of the Communist Party. The changes don’t need congressional approval.

Big deal!

Such token concessions are discriminatory and disingenuous. Why should students and religionists of all people have special travel privileges? Why not tourists, businessmen, and spring breakers? Why can’t we enjoy Cuban cigars at home and by the pool in Havana? Why can’t we trade goods and services with Cuba, our close Caribbean neighbor? Why must we suffer for the folly of grasping politicians and a few rich Cuban refugees still bent on revenge?

It’s all about saving the imperial U.S. Giant’s national face because he failed for 50 long years to get rid of Fidel Castro, the little communist fly. Castro foiled the U.S. invasion of Cuba, eluded every grab at his power and attempt on his life for over 50 years, and has managed to pass on the commie baton to his younger brother, Raul, in his feeble old age.

The imperial giant tried to democratize the little fly by force and intimidation, as it is always wont to do, but lost. Raul Castro wants to reconcile but the U.S. government is still smarting from its slap in the face defeat after all this time and wants to huff, puff, and pout awhile longer.

Liberty and free markets are my favorite forms of human association; communism probably my least favorite; but even brutal value destroying communism for the average citizen in a dirt poor country is often better than crony fascism and corrupt imperialism. That was the case in Cuba when Fidel Castro took control. The majority of people in Cuba wanted Castro in 1959, and for good reason.

The United States government should admit and get used to that. The menace of communism is cured with liberty and free markets, not trade embargos, closed borders, and xenophobia. Liberty and free markets brought down the Soviet Union. Communist regimes usually crumble and fall eventually of their own weight.

The same fate has been observed throughout history with corrupt fascist and imperialist regimes, which was the case in Czarist Russia as well before the communists. Russians, though just as corrupt as ever, are only now learning the financial benefits of free markets.

Whether you leave it alone or engage it, communism doesn’t work nearly as well as free markets. The United States of America should know that by now.

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