Saturday, August 13, 2022

Imagine what would Cuba be like today if Fidel Castro had never been born.

Aspiring totalitarians today celebrated the birth of Fidel Castro over social media, but others tried to imagine what state Cuba would be in now if it weren't for him.

What would have happened if Fidel Castro had never been born and his 63-year dictatorship had never existed? Let us examine where Cuba was prior to 1959 and where it is today and imagine "what might have been."

The economy
In 1959, in terms of per-capita GDP, Cuba was second to Chile and was doing better than Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, and Panama. In 2015, Cuba lagged well behind the other four countries. It would be fair to say that in economic terms, despite billions in Soviet and Venezuelan subsidies, the past six decades have been a disaster for Cuba.


Cuban death toll
There are tens of thousands of Cubans who would be alive today if Fidel Castro had never been born.
"University of Hawaii historian R. J. Rummel, who made a career out of studying what he termed “democide,” the killing of people by their own government, reported in 1987 that credible estimates of the Castro regime’s death toll ran from 35,000 to 141,000, with a median of 73,000."
Firing squad in Cuba.
Democracy restored in a post-Batista Cuba
Many of the leaders of the July 26th movement, who did the heavy lifting in the fighting in the field, and lobbying Washington DC to place an arms embargo on Fulgencio Batista in the spring of 1958, authentically wanted a democratic restoration in Cuba. As did the majority of the Cuban people. This is why Fidel Castro lied systematically through the 1950s and into 1960 denying that he was a communist and claiming to respect civil liberties and democracy.  

While Fidel Castro paid lip service to civil libertie, and locked up his compatriots, who had complained that communists were infiltrating the revolution as slanderers, he carried out the consolidation of power and formed a communist totalitarian dictatorship. 

Fidel Castro turned Cuba's diplomatic corps into a weapon of subversion and violence, recruited Nazis to train his repressive apparatus in the mid 1960s, and linked up with cocaine traffickers in the 1980s in an effort to target the soft underbelly of the United States.

Without Fidel Castro, the democratic transition in a post-Batista Cuba would not have been side-lined and the old democratic order that had done pioneering work on international human rights would have been restored. 

 Cuban diplomats pushed for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948

If Fidel Castro had never been born, then Hugo Chavez would not have had a mentor and the assistance of the Cuban secret police to take over Venezuela and turn it into the dictatorship it is today with Nicolas Maduro and his Cuban advisers and the humanitarian crisis threatening the region.
Fidel Castro had designs on Venezuela since 1959.
Human rights in Cuba
If Fidel Castro had never come into existence, then Cubans would not be going to prison for not sufficiently mourning the dictator's death in 2016, or worse yet providing a negative assessment of the regime he created. Thousands of men and women would not have spent decades in Cuban prisons for their political beliefs.
Cuban family arrested for not mourning death of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro

Opposition leaders such as Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas, and Harold Cepero Escalante would not have been killed on July 22, 2012 by Castro's state security agents. Nor the games played by Castro to invite the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture in order to get positive media coverage but then not follow through. There would not have been the massacre of refugees by Castro regime agents slaughtered for trying to flee Cuba.

 Cuba in 1953 had the fourth lowest illiteracy rate in Latin America with an illiteracy rate that was 23.6%. Costa Rica's at the time was 20.6%, Chile's was 19.6%. and Argentina's was the lowest at 13.6%.  The rest of Latin America showed similar or greater gains without sacrificing civil liberties

There are also great concerns about the Cuban educational system today. First the issue of a system of education being transformed by the Castro dictatorship into a system of indoctrination and secondly following the collapse of Soviet subsidies the material decline of the entire system along with shortages of teachers. 

Without Fidel Castro intervention Cuba was on track to having a first class education system without sacrificing civil liberties. Now it has neither.
Students entering the University of Havana
Castro regime officials decided early on in the COVID-19 pandemic that they wanted to “be the first country in the world to vaccinate their whole population with their own vaccines” and were willing to let Cubans die while they developed their domestic vaccines instead of importing them, including from their allies Russia and China, in order to advance their “healthcare superpower” narrative.
According to official regime statistics, by August 2022 COVID had killed 8,529 of Cuba’s 11m people. But The Economist model estimates that the true death toll was up to 62,000 Cubans. This is not the first time that Havana has under reported numbers killed in a disease outbreak.
The Castro regime in the past failed to report Dengue (1997) and Cholera (2012) outbreaks in Cuba that killed scores of Cubans. Jailing those who warned the world of the threat.  In 2017 the Cuban dictatorship failed to report thousands of Zika virus cases in 2017.

On November 29, 2018 The New York Times reported that the  Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), a division of the World Health Organization (WHO) "made about $75 million off the work of up to 10,000 Cuban doctors who earned substandard wages in Brazil." A group of these Cuban medical doctors are now suing PAHO for the organization's alleged role in human trafficking.

This may also raise new questions on the relationship between PAHO, Cuba and reporting not only on outbreaks but the healthcare statistics that present the regime in a positive light.

Without Fidel Castro, Cuba would be another normal country that would be reporting health statistics that were accurate because there would be both an independent press and civil society to keep the government honest. Both were destroyed by Fidel Castro and his dictatorship.
Cholera patients in Cuba (CNN)



No comments:

Post a Comment