Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Fidel retires

"This is the event that fifty years of U.S. policy was designed to stop." Sarah Stephens - Huffington Post
David Seaton's News Links
Compared to Switzerland, Castro’s Cuba is truly a vile tyranny. However, compared to neighboring Haiti, the favelas of Brazil or even post-Katrina New Orleans, for that matter, Cuba is Switzerland.

Cuba may be the only country in the world where African slavery once existed where today there are no children of color living in squalor, without preventive medical care or proper schooling. Could that have been achieved without such brutal repression? It is difficult to say, because it has never happened anyplace else.

I wrote this in a post last year about infant mortality in Mississippi:
On lifelong reading and observation I have come to the conclusion that African slavery and its aftermath form a pan-American nation and that Mississippi has more in common with the Dominican Republic than with Iowa and more in common with Haiti than Vermont. So I don't compare Cuba, for example, with Sweden, France, Lichtenstein or Canada. I compare it with Jamaica, Brazil and... Mississippi.
I 'll stand on that. DS

1 comment:

RC said...

While I am not a Fidelista I will give him and his comrades credit for certain accomplishments and I do understand your statements about Mississippi and Haiti and so on.
But I highly doubt that Cuba is the only Caribbean nation with the stated accomplishments and if one looks along the Caribbean archipelago other examples will be found.
But, clearly, hunger in Cuba is the big issue right now and repression is secondary.
I think Raul will be moving to create a local agriculture somehow and the probable first step would be an end to the co-op model and closer to private ownership of farming tracts or at least leasing.
There have been a lot of people who shuttled onto and off of Cuba over the last 15 years and many frustrated and wiser persons have moved to the Republica Dominicana after tiring of excessive Communist Party interference in their affairs. Especially their pocketbooks.
But Cuban citizens for the most part don't have the option of leaving. In fact, few even have the option of internal movement or better than marginal housing.
In short, it is no worker's paradise although tropical it may be.
And here is a country that may perhaps be very very educated yet puts the lie to the concept that education leads to success and advancement. Not so there.
I would love to move to Cuba tomorrow, indeed I have been waiting for 28 years to do that.
But I would like to own a little farm, like to eat regularly, like to be relatively free of abuse by the Party and most of all would like to say what I think to my neighbors. Most of this is not possible now but the moment it is on a more or less permanent basis I shall go there. It is a large and empty place, outside the few cities, suitable for all kinds of agricultural pursuits and full of magnificent mountains and beaches and wonderful people. At least that is what all of my friends who visit there or who have lived there extensively or fled from there tell me.
Now perhaps if Raul will follow the Chinese model...