Ninety miles south of the U.S., lies an island once regarded by the Spanish conquistadores as “la isla más hermosa que ojos humanos vieron” (the most beautiful island ever seen by human eyes). That beautiful island has lived a devastating history under a Communist regime that has been in power since 1959, making it a victim of a failed experiment.

Communism vowed equality and prosperity for all. Instead, Cubans have lived under dismal economic conditions that have created not only food insecurity but Third World living conditions. Complete government control of personal lives, media, business, education and political avenues has rendered change unattainable.

It seems that fear has kept Cuban people powerless to transform their destiny. Their only hope has been to flee the homeland, leaving behind those not able to escape. There have been isolated anti-government demonstrations in the past, but most have usually had an unhappy ending for those involved: prison, death, disappearances. A surge in COVID-19, a low rate of vaccination (15 percent), insufficient medications, lack of electricity (from 12 hours per day to no lights for three days) and unstable internet service has made the Cuban experience come head-to-head with its failed government.

Hunger has been a historical catalyst for change in governments. From the French Revolution in the 18th century to the 20th-century upheavals in the Middle East, the Caribbean, and South and Central America, hunger has demonstrably been a significant mechanism to topple governments. Cubans on the island are starving, causing them to publicly admit the fact.

One recent example is Yomil, a Reggaeton star, who acknowledged in a tweet that “we are so hungry, we ate our fear.” To the chants of “We are not afraid” and “Down with the dictatorship,” over 10,000 Cubans throughout the island are taking to the streets to protest their circumstances.

The story is gaining traction internationally. President Joe Biden, although not hinting at any policy change, expressed support for the insurgents: “We stand for the Cuban people and their clarion call for freedom.” This uprising may not be the end to the long history of abuse and neglect, or to the outrageous assault of Cubans’ human rights, but it certainly feels like there is a glimpse of hope that change is inevitable and that a better future for Cubans living on the island is now conceivable.

Dr. Andrea Bermudez is a native of Cuba and has made Santa Fe her home. She is an emerita professor, University of Houston-Clear Lake, and former vice president for students and academic affairs at Santa Fe Community College.

(2) comments

Alexander Jack

A note on Cuba and Marxism from some one who lived it.

Marx literally used the phrase "dictatorship of the proletariats" in his doctrine.

So it's not like that we, the survivors of socialism "compare" it to authoritarianism, it is that Marx’s original proposal is a dictatorship.

It is disheartening that some people who had neither studied the history of socialist movement nor lived in one make comments like "why do you equal socialism to dictatorship?". Well, because that's exactly what it is, as defined by its creators.

There was a theoretical rationale behind Marx’s proposal, he didn't just pull "dictatorship" out of nowhere. Socialism, according to Marx, is a mean to defeat capitalism and to tilt the balance of “class-struggle” towards proletariats, it requires a “central force” re-distribution resources owned by existing owners instead of distributing by free-market. This means it requires an extreme inequality in power to function.

What Marx did not recognize was that power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Human nature does not eradicate itself simply because one lives in socialist countries. Actually, according to Marx, the biggest problem of capitalism is that it does not rein in the human-nature for greed. He proposed that Socialism is needed for the proletariats to forcefully replace capitalists power — a process called revolution. But he stopped short of analyzing what human nature of greed for power will do to the newly minted dictator class.

The fundamental problem of socialism is that extreme power inequality is actually worse than money inequality. Nearly a third of the world population experimented with it and none of them was an exception. Inevitably, those in power will become the richest (in terms of control and use of resources, not necessarily money) because just like in capitalist country people with money can use the money to benefit themselves, in socialist countries, people with political power can use that power to benefit themselves.

It is surprising that in the 21st century we actually have to explain this - “humans are not dolls, they come in all sizes and abilities, have self-interest, and can like different things. That’s what makes this world wonderful, and interesting.” A “classless” society needs to be an “indifferent” society, where everyone is the same, treated the same, given the same and do the same things, that’s NOT what humans want.

arthur lynn

Just remember that BLM and other leftist radicals support the Cuban Communist Government!! That is their vision for the USA !

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