Cuba: A Failed Experiment

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For more than six decades Fidel Castro has been running an anti-Capitalist experiment.  The results should be clear to all except Michael Moore and his ideological think-a-likes.  Michael Totten gives us the grim details:

 

 

 

I walked toward the center of town from the somewhat remote Habana Libre Hotel and found myself the only foreigner in a miles-wide swath of destruction.

I’ve seen cities in the Middle East pulverized by war. I’ve seen cities elsewhere in Latin America stricken with unspeakable squalor and poverty. But nowhere else have I seen such a formerly grandiose city brought as low as Havana. The restored part of town—artifice though it may be—shows all too vividly what the whole thing once looked like.

It was a wealthy European city when it was built. Poor nations do not build capitals that look like Havana. They can’t. Poor nations build Guatemala City and Cairo.

“Havana” Theodore Dalrymple wrote in City Journal, “is like Beirut, without having gone through the civil war to achieve the destruction.” Actually, it’s worse even than that. Beirut pulses with energy. Parts of it are justifiably even a little bit snobbish like Paris. Even its poorest neighborhoods, the ones controlled by Hezbollah, aren’t as gruesome as most of Havana.

Yet the bones of Cuba’s capital are unmatched in our hemisphere. “The Cubans of successive centuries created a harmonious architectural whole almost without equal in the world,” Dalrymple wrote. “There is hardly a building that is wrong, a detail that is superfluous or tasteless. The tiled multicoloration of the Bacardi building, for example, which might be garish elsewhere, is perfectly adapted—natural, one might say—to the Cuban light, climate, and temper. Cuban architects understood the need for air and shade in a climate such as Cuba’s, and they proportioned buildings and rooms accordingly. They created an urban environment that, with its arcades, columns, verandas, and balconies, was elegant, sophisticated, convenient, and joyful.”

Go here to read the rest.  Of all the pernicious superstitions that plague our time, the idea that government can be a substitute for free markets is the one with the least substance.

5 Responses to Cuba: A Failed Experiment

  • Donald,

    There is no argument from the Catholic Church’s side. We have formally and completely rejected “Statism” [government control of everything including the economy] Anyone reading the Social Encyclicals in their entirety will come to the same conclusion. I recognize that those still holding to Liberation Theology or interpreting all social teaching through the Populorum Progressio Encyclical (hermeneutic of discontinuity) and so called Catholic progressives in our own country would disagree. However, they are the ones who are not in the ‘mainstream’ of the teaching of the Church.

    Now, the dialogue with Democratic Capitalism and the Free Market [notice it is a dialogue, not a rejection] continues. Critiques made by the Church in social encyclicals or even the brief comments of Pope Francis in Evangelii Gaudium are, and need to be seen, in this light.

    If and when the Church does critique Democratic Capitalism, because it is a flawed human system, just as every other human system is flawed, given the Fallen Nature of ‘man’ in original sin, some people automatically think the Church is praising what even steadfast Free Marketers believe to be the only other alternative [although already ‘tried, measured’ and found wanting’]. It puts the whole Church in the position of what the Church in Latin America experienced: that if you were not ‘with’ the conservative, and in some cases right wing government and its security forces you must be a Marxist and a subversive.

    I believe you would readily say that ‘criticizing’ does not mean ‘rejecting’ etc. am I correct?

    As to Cuba, the sad, poor country of Cuba….in the late fifties, the people of Cuba had two choices, Batista and his fascist like control of the country, backed by Mafia money, and the American government, and the Marxist revolution of Fidel Castro, backed by the Soviet Union in its lust to counter America in every possible Cold War checker game. That was not much of a choice. The Cuban, in fact any form of marxist government, not only will not succeed-it cannot succeed. It denies the dignity of the individual person and his (her) hunger and thirst for truth, justice (the good) and freedom.

    And Cuba today? Why doesn’t America re-establish full political etc ties with Cuba? We had them with the Soviet Union. We have them with the People’s Republic of China. We have them with Vietnam, a much sorer piece of American history. It seems nothing less than hypocrisy, or is it prejudice (?), for America not to do so.

  • Botolph: As to Cuba, the sad, poor country of Cuba….in the late fifties, the people of Cuba had two choices, Batista and his fascist like control of the country, backed by Mafia money, and the American government, and the Marxist revolution of Fidel Castro, backed by the Soviet Union in its lust to counter America in every possible Cold War checker game. That was not much of a choice.” Who in their right mind, either in Cuba or here, would make the same choice again, 50+ years later? Batista looks like quite a deal compared to the greatest-still-barely-living-murderer, Fidel and his cohort.

  • Actually Batista was a political opportunist who had the support of the Cuban Communist party during his first period as President of Cuba in 1940-1944. The US ensured the victory of Castro when it stopped selling arms to Batista in 1958 and imposed an arms embargo on Cuba the same year. After the fall of Batista he was refused entry into the US. The US traded Batista for Castro, a very bad deal for the Cuban people.

  • Poor Cuba. Cubans deserve better. Thomas Jefferson wanted Cuba. the US wanted to buy Cuba from Spain in the latter half of the 19th century. What a shame Spain did not sell it. What a shame Reagan did not blockade Cuba until it collapsed.

    Castro harbors American fugitives from justice and a convicted cop killer, Joanne Chismard.

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