Sunday, October 9, 2011

Azel's Opinion: A Common Tragedy

   This is my response to Jose Azel's opinion he titled "Cuba: A Tragedy of Commons".  What truly is a tragedy is the fact that the who have tried to inflict the most suffering on the people of Cuba are people who trace their roots to the island.  They arrogantly try to impose their own ideas on a people they abandoned long ago.

   Is it any wonder that the strongest proponents of the embargo, which has the expressed intention of strangling the Cuban economy, always directly trace the main cause of Cuba's economic woes to actions taken by the Cuban government? As they ignore this fact of the implications of the embargo, although everyone else on earth can clearly see it, do they feel guilt for having such a large hand in the peoples' of Cuba woes? Probably not. They seem to champion all of the amazing results that pre-revolutionary Cuba brought for its citizens.

     In spite of all of those fantastic statistics, the people of Cuba welcomed the expulsion of the previous order. Cuba's per capita income may have been fourth in Latin America, but when you average incomes you find it easy to hide the extremes in poverty and wealth. It may cost more of what a Cuban worker earns than a Costa Rican to buy a box of milk, but in spite of that gap, Cuba not Costa Rica has become the only country in Latin America to have eliminated childhood malnutrition. This may be due to the fact that when you factor in all of the expenses that a Costa Rican faces that Cubans don't, perhaps because in Cuba there are more "commons", many Costa Ricans can't afford the milk after all. Yeah, among the "commons" in Cuba are the lack of wage and purchase power, but also are the benefits like health care. Don't think so? Ask Laura Pollan how much see was set back economically for her acute respiratory illness? I'm sure she won't have to file for bankruptcy as so many Americans have to due to unaffordable health care costs right here in the "greatest health care system in the world".
   Things were so great in the rest of Latin America that since the Cuban revolution, Washington feared the spread of the "Cuban example". Within the first couple of years, Washington felt it necessary to launch new economic programs for the rest of Latin America. After decades, things have remained bad for so many in Latin America that many countries have elected what we call dictators who are looking for ways to include the people who have historically been forgotten or ignored. Although the Cuban example of an armed revolution isn't being followed, similar aspirations of developing societies where a few big gluttonous bellies don't ignore the hungry ones and hide behind economic averages.

   Besides all of the side issues, the one thing that the people who have done everything possible to eliminate the Cuban revolution as well of the intellectuals who can't even find a way to correct the problems of their own countries seem to overlook. It is nobody's place to dictate to Cuba what Cuba has to do. Cuba has the same right to self-determination as any other country should. They may decide to follow the philosophy of Locke, Keyenes, Marx, or Smith. As an expressed enemy of Cuba, the United States isn't even in a position to offer advice. The US will not force Cuba into becoming what the US wants, but if their were at least cordial relations based on respect, the US may be able to offer constructive ideas which would be at least heard. Instead, Washington stubbornly sits from afar offering nothing but slander and insults while squandering any positive possibilities that could be created.      

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