Cuba: “Which Way Now?”

Former Cuban Leader Fidel Castro Dies At Age 90

Personally, this “rest in peace” is strung together with a “good riddance”.

Castro really didn’t do much for the People of the Republic of Cuba.

They laud him for the country’s health care system, but as I understand it, it relied heavily on Russia’s patronage and subsidy.

Markets need to be as free, fair, and competitive as possible, which requires the checks and balances that rule of law can provide.

Fidel Castro was just another authoritarian strong man.

Wild idea: we pull out of middle east, invade Cuba, turn Cuba into a U.S. territory, fast track Cuba and Puerto Rico to statehood.

I’m weird that way.

EDIT (2016-11-27): Now that my “Spread the U.S. Constitution/North American Union” mini-mania has run its course…..

So, this is what’s striking me about what I’m hearing, largely from various NPR reports today and yesterday, as well as reflecting back on news surrounding Cuba from previous years (in no particular order) —

  • Fidel had stepped down some time ago as head of government due to health reasons.
  • Fidel’s brother, Raul was installed to govern.
  • Cuban government was and is largely a military junta.
  • but, it’s kinda ‘proto-monarchy’ in a way (maybe it’s an example of how monarchies form? despite its aspirations of being a ‘communist’ form of government?)
  • regardless, Fidel still had influence, becoming a symbolic ‘father of the revolution’ influence.
  • Raul appears a capable ‘technocrat’ in a way; not capable of the ‘inspiration his brother can inspire, but able to get things done (in the secretive and violent and exploitative way military authoritarian dictatorships tend to do)
  • Cuba had a world-praised medical/healthcare system —
  • — but that system (like the rest of the country) relied heavily on ‘patronage’ from the Soviet Union (Russia).
  • most major ‘business’ that aren’t ‘mom and pop’ small business in the country of Cuba are owned by the government or by officers in the military with special permission to do so (offering up the spectres of slavery, serfdom, and peonage that have always shadowed the “Communist” ideology; the ideology, IMHO, relies on people not behaving to any degree like people, and more like dispassionately altruistic robots in a hivemind network (again, IMO))
  • apparently, Raul, and to some extent Fidel, Cuba has ‘stalled’ hard in developing as a nation.
  • IMHO: like all Life on the planet, Humanity is subject to the pressures of Evolution, and we’ve developed ‘Markets’ as a way to manage not only our own survival as a species, but influence our own Evolution.
  • Cuba’s ‘markets’ are out-of-whack. Markets need just enough balance to promote stability, sustainability, and efficiency, but just enough imbalance to promote growth-through-innovation and counter the effects of inevitable inefficiencies (‘waste’)

What I dream of seeing done, hopefully peacefully:

  • Raul and the military giving up ruling Cuba,
  • “Truth & Reconciliation” [which will take decades; think: Germany coming to grips with Nazi atrocity, using to recreate themselves as a nation], acknowledging the [typically banal] evil deeds done by the ruling regime, fully acknowledged as the crimes against humanity they were, BUT, accompanied by [*wait for it*] a kind of kind of conditional amnesty for everyone, whether they were part of the regime or opposed it. From that point forward, former regime members committing crimes will be prosecuted; the average person committing a crime, including any ‘revenge killings’ against people known to be part of the former regime, will be prosecuted.
  • Cuba becoming a U.S. territory, then a U.S. state.

Such “Truth & Reconciliation” would/should/could take decades.

Learning from History —

  • Business is necessary, but…
  • .. can be used to justify very bad behavior.
  • In U.S. history, we had certain states become very dependent — economically and socially — upon slave labor and the slave trade.
  • the birth of Communism as a ‘Utopian ideology’ happens upon the world sometime around the middle of the Industrial Revolution, as the promise of Individual Liberty and Freedom are trying to shake themselves from socio-economic systems dependent upon serfdom, slavery, peonage, and ‘company store tactics’.
  • ‘thumbnail history’ of Cuba: Sometime during the 15th century, native tribes fall to colonization by the Spanish. The 19th century Spanish-American War sees Cuba the rule of the Spanish broken, Cuba gets some ‘independence’, but becomes so heavily under the thumb of U.S. business interests, whose interests/will get backed by the U.S. government and enforced by the use of American military, and eventually by a ‘strong man’ dictator. Conditions that provide ‘Communism’ with a fertile field in which to grow.

This is why, to me, I’d rather see us [U.S.] engage in spreading the ‘gospel’ of democratic-republican and federalist constitutional principles while we see to our own interests than the ‘realist’ [as in ‘cynical’] approach of just going for ‘stability’ via installing ‘strong men’-led juntas.

But anyway, that’s just me talking…