Cuba: What Needs To Be Cured First?

“A “centrally planned economy” by definition discourages and despises participation by the masses. It’s a bureaucratic oligarchy.”
― A.E. Samaan

Cuba is undoubtedly a unique country in its political ways of conducting
both domestic and foreign affairs.
The country that managed to anger two of the most powerful and polar
entities in the world, – Russia and the US (in latter both – the
Democrats and the  Republicans!)

F. Castro and N. Kruschev “Moskovskaya Pravda” archive Reuters. Text in Russian celebrates the great and strong friendship between Cuban and Russian people.

It is important to take a short historic tour to understand what role the Government of Cuba dating back as far as Fidel Castro’s times have played in the latest unrest in the country.

When F. Castro came to power in 1959, he famously asked the people if they
wanted him to become their leader. He received a positive answer from the crowd and it became the red line of Castro’s ruling, – to be the Leader of People yet demonstrating at every opportunity that he was one of them. He often drove himself and it was not a big surprise to see him unexpectedly visit different parts of the Island of Freedom.

In Castro’s mind, the plan for the future of independent Cuba was basically doing his own thing. He saw his own light at the end of the tunnel and was determined to get there without any help.

For many years under his leadership, Cuba enjoyed the multiple venues of
barter with the USSR. Cuba exported sugar, and in return received oil, cars, and many other essentials from the Soviets.  USSR showed extreme generosity in trade, with Khruschev’s own ambitious plans to expand the Socialist empire. Not that Nikita really believed in the bright Communist future, but he never missed an opportunity to poke Washington as hard as he could.

While most of the trade was barter, certain goods were sold, at amazing 31%
– 33%  below the market price.

It was also a great boost for the ego of the new “revolutionary” country to
receive support from the very epicenter of the Socialist ideology, the USSR.
By accepting Big Brother’s help Castro did turn the US against him.
Which would have been OK if the USSR did not collapse.
However, the changes happened.  By 1985, when Gorbachev’s shiny Perestroyka took place, Castro was getting tired of being continually patronized by USSR.

Basically, your teenager living in your basement rent-free and
throwing temper tantrums over not getting the latest video game.
Castro did not like the news of Perestroyka either and he stated, “we don’t need it here.”

By the time Putin came to power, Castro started to entertain the similar
cushy options of trade with China. Soon after it became a reality.
Such a move did very little to affect the economy of Russia, rapidly
recovering from the collapse of the USSR and the following unruly anarchy at
the beginning of the 1990s. But it did make Putin quite upset with the Cuban government.

Poor economic planning as 2008 showed. But at the time Castro had himself and everyone convinced that his way was the right way. Even if there was any criticism of the trade diversion it would have never reached Castro’s ears. Because he had already created the State of Himself.

Learning about the trading “divorce” between Cuba and Russia possibly became one of the major reasons for B. Obama to make a historic move and cancel the blockades, and reestablish relationships with Cuba. Such a historic milestone was cheered on immensely outside of Cuba,  but here is what he got as a Thank you from Castro: “…after over 48 years of ignoring us, sanctioning us, isolating us you think we just going to be friends again?” So, Barack canceled his trip to attend Castro’s funeral and did the same
for the official US delegation.

Castro passed away, but his ruling principles stayed. Under the blanket of continuously defending the “independent, successful way of establishing a new wave socialist society” the country hid many skeletons of the failed system. The major one was of course – the supply and distribution of the state’s wealth goods and services among the people of Cuba.

The sanctions came back to place under the next president, Donald J. Trump,
who as we all know is not particularly a fan of China. It is those sanctions that are used so often to defend the current situation in Cuba. But it is wrong to think that this is all that causes today’s situation on the Island of Freedom.

Cuban unrest you see today is the direct result coming not from the US sanctions, not from the fallout with Russia, and not from COVID.
It is the result of dictatorship and personal ambition, well hidden under
the blanket of fake commitment to the “bright future for the people”.  If History was not neglected by those who see the opportunity to tailor the current situation to their specific agenda, they would have already been on the side of the Cuban people.

The Government strictly regulating the supply of food and medicine as well as COVID-related supplies is only a cover that some foreign groups want to see as the explanation of the unrest. But we are going to look under that cover because we want to see more.

It’s not what you want, it’s what you can’t get.

For someone like me who had escaped the Socialism in USSR, it is upsetting to see how the latest Cuban events are being used on both sides of the political spectrum to tailor it to the suitable agenda.

For those who do not want to admit that the whole government system of the
the country is a failure, it is more convenient to write off the biggest unrest
as a result of poor handling of the latest pandemic.

For those who clearly see and understand that with or without the pandemic
the system and economy in Cuba is dying it turned into the opportunity to
start yet another political argument.

I am not on any side in this. I am right in the middle of it. With people
in Cuba who similar to us in the USSR of the mid-to-late ’80s got fed up with
being neglected and left to tend for ourselves, who stopped believing in
the “bright” Communist future because we already knew it was an ideological

The difference between circumstances that led to the collapse of the USSR and recent events in Cuba  – in the USSR it was the government itself that realized the system could no longer survive.
In Cuba, the Government is set to continue its way of ruling, at least for now.

While the world was admiring Gorby with his shiny Perestroyka and Glasnost,
which undoubtedly, brought a short-lived but much-welcomed perspective of
defeating the Communist ideology in the very epicenter- USSR, we, the
people were literally starving behind the very slowly rising iron curtain.

Food supply, access to food and advanced medical care, ability to feed yourself and your family – that is the very core of any civil unrest directed against the failing socialist regimen. Stomachs don’t care for politics or pandemics. This is exactly what is taking place in Cuba right now. But again the failure of the socialist system was finally clearly seen in USSR. It does not appear the Cuban government is close to admitting its faults.

Cuba has developed its own anti-Covid vaccine (Abdala), however due to the
a country going through a worse crisis than the one in the former USSR circa 1994, the manufacturing and distribution of that vaccine (with claimed 92%
efficiency) is pretty much diminished to 0.

COVID’s latest variant did hit the country hard, where the previous ones
seemed to have very little impact. However, the hospitals in their universal care system are short on supply of basic PPE, antibiotics, and other essentials to cure the disease.

That universal health care system is a piece of stinking barf if you asked
me. I know. I was subjected to one (read more here).

It is nothing when it is not funded sufficiently. And it is not funded, because there is just simply no money. The current system in Cuba suffocated the last of the consumer’s coins. Without that coin, Socialism is a mere illusional game of stubborn, well-fed ideological leaders.

The US sanctions were and still are, a political game. Though Cuba does
have other sources of trade, it is important to understand that the overall
values of that trade brought the already struggling economy to its knees.

The top profit from the remaining trade (a large percentage of it used to come  from foreign private sellers from countries like Russia) is taken by the
Government and very little is being put back into the economy.

The Communist regimen in Cuba is doing exactly what history told us it
would do, – it will use the livelihood of its own people to survive.
It is the “communal” thinking that is so dangerous. The government does not
care about an individual and sees the people as one community. The
government does not care about the community either, by making it
responsible for its survival and behavior.

But people are tired of not being recognized as individuals, of not being able to improve their living conditions by expanding small business and private trade. They are tired of not being able to use their personal abilities to create a better life for themselves and their families. The grooming of society with the same comb does not mean the wind will not get the hair standing up. People of Cuba want to stand up.

The police presence will increase, more arrests will be made for months to
come, and more people will simply go missing.
It is so important for the international community, specifically,
the US politicians on both sides, to understand: that it is the people of Cuba, not their Government is in need of help.

They need food, they need medication, they need essentials and they do need international support to monitor the distribution.
This is not about trade sanctions. I do believe, those have to become even
harder to push the Cuban Government towards the situation the Communist
Party leaders found themselves in USSR in 1985. This is about helping
people in the unknown prior crisis.

Humanitarian help is very much needed in Cuba with controlled by international community distribution. To make sure the necessities will not be stolen from people by the Government trying to survive at all costs.

People in Cuba do not care at this moment who would come to their rescue.
What they care about is getting rid of the leaders who do not care about
the people. Such help will balance the need and empower the population to collectively seek a fruitful solution.

But that is only one part of the plan moving forward in dealing with this
the crisis caused by the delusional ideology.

I pity those in the Western world who got their popcorn ready to enjoy the
show from their comfort making bets on how bloody the situation will become.
It is the same people who continue to portray Putin as a dictator.
But guess what, folks? Putin was needed badly to patch the country which
was so destroyed by Communist ideology that even the law was below the
dollar (well, the rouble, OK).

You have no idea what it was like in the former USSR in the early and mid
90’s! A drunk driver could walk away from any charges for just 200 American
dollars. Put under the mat In the State Auto Inspection militia’s patrol
vehicle. Because, you know, bribery was bad people were told. But if no one
saw it, it did not take place.

People were robbed and killed in daylight, but those with money (who stole
the most during the anarchy period of transition) walked away free.
Any new businesses (and everyone, from a housewife to an engineer jumped on the private business opportunity) were smothered by the racket, forced to pay bribes to the mafia, to police, and to the Government in the state of Anarchy.

I was visiting my family in St. Petersburg in 1994. I was shocked beyond
belief what was happening there.
The state-funded science, education, medicine were forced to stop and the
very well educated found themselves selling fruit and cheap Turkish goods
in small tents.

I remember seeing one of my Dad’s brightest students, a promising
physicist, a grown man, literally sobbing when my Mother baked a cake for
his birthday.  He ate it at once. So then my mother started crying.
The country struggled tremendously to adjust to the new way of life. It
took Putin to bring law and order. And no one cared what the outsiders

But this is imminent for Cuba, as well.
After all arrests, punishments, trade embargoes there should come the time
when the Government will be forced to give in. It will be some Cuban version of Putin who will be needed to patch the torn country together. And yes, that will open the flood gates for the “sofa speculators”  and yes, Cuba will receive a “stink eye” from some Western leaders for many years to come. But people of Cuba should be able to decide for themselves how they want to get out of the mess they are in. The Government failed. That’s the truth and nothing but the truth.

This is what happens when Socialism gets defeated and the Anarchy takes
over. Look no further, Western world. Take my word, the hell is needed to
get over the delusional ideology.

But Cuban people need to see that day. So, they need help, not the endless
arguments as to why they are revolting. Because they have the answer. They do it because they are hungry. The Government can not feed them. Because the Government cares more about keeping the delusional ideology alive.

I am sickened by what I hear about Cuba now from all those politicians and
journalists. The same way as I was sickened listening to Bernie Sanders singing hymns to USSR after his visit there.

Just like in Cuba seen through pink glasses of the tourists allowed into
the special districts, shopping in the stores not accessible (never mind
affordable) to the general public, the USSR had a special, “pretty face”
for the foreign world.

Just like in Cuba, where the best products are shipped at the lowest
mark-up to the foreign countries and the scraps are made scarcely
available to the people at five times the price, we in USSR had to give
away the best so that the Communist Party leaders could extend their
delusional existence and fool the world.

The saddest truth is, – no matter how we condemn the Cuban Government or any of our politicians for their reactions, – people of Cuba will continue to
suffer until the snake of the Socialist system bites itself.
We can only pray it happens very soon.

In meantime, help common Cuban folk as much as you can.
Start with spreading their truth.

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