- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Comments & Observations

Posted by: Asarualim on May 26, 1999 at 19:07:20:

In Reply to: Time for my ritualistic defence of Cuba posted by Nikhil Jaikumar on May 25, 1999 at 17:11:17:

: 1) Cuba may not be a real democracy. But it is not a dictatorship, because it doesn't have a dictator. China had Mao, Russia had Stalin, Iraq has Saddam, but the leadership in Cuba is collective rather than one-man. They don't ahve purges of government leaders as they ahd in China, Russia, etc.

Come on! Fidel Castro has a huge amount of control over the government and the lives of his people. I don't think he is democractically elected or re-elected every four years.

: 2) The government of Cuba is overtwhelmingly supported by the people. They have the option of truning in spoiled ballots in the elections to express dissatisfaction, and some do. But the fact that most don't illustrates taht Cubans like their government.

True, but just because the people support the government that does bot mean that it is a democracy. All governments that are not in the process of being overthrown cvan be considered to be "supported" by the people. However, the government need not be a democracy, it can be fascist, monarchial, oligarchial, etc.

: 3) Cuba has a measure of participatory democracy in that people's input is tken into account in making decisions.

True, but that does not mean that the people participate. An enlightened despot or technocrat can have the people's good in mind but that does not make the situation democractic.

: 4)Cuba's free speech record has markedly improved in recent years, revisionist communsim is now legal over there.

It still sucks but you get brownie points here.

: 5) Cuba has never had death squads, genocide, etc. unliek otehr Latin American countries.


: 6) On the question of libertarianism, did you knoa that Cuba has no laws agaisnt homosexuality, whereas many American states do?

True, but all states have free speech and a right to a fair trial etc. etc....

: 7) Castro has killed an absolute MAXIMUM of 12,000 people in 40 years, while his right-wing predecessor killed 20,000 in seven years.

Still smells bloody to me.

Don't forget what Cuba also achieved in a small span of years. Cuba was a backwards third world country dominated by the united states that only produced one good of any note: sugar. There sugar production didn't even use advanced machinery, fertilizer, etc. but only jused manual labor. They had no industrialization to speak of while their cities were run and owned by the mafia for their casinos, prostitution, money laundering, drug running, etc. Their populace was rural, uneducated, and illiterate. Infant mortality rates were above 50% and life expectancy was significantly below First World standards.

Now Cuba is a modern industrialized state that has more doctors per capita than any other country in the world. Higher education attainment is incredible; they donate doctors and profesonals to other countries by the thousands. In fact Cuba was instrumental in ending apartheid in South Africa. Cuba is the only country other than those in the first world that has an ageing population and they kick America's ass when it comes to infant mortality rates.

ll this happened despite the fact that Cuba has been under embargo by the United States for decades (lets not forget this is an island nation; they don't have the wide range of natural resources that otehr countries can draw from) and Fidel's total lack of respect for human rights. Compared to say Iraq, which has only been under a weird half embargo for less than a measly decade, Cuba is incredibly successful.

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