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CASTRO-COMMUNISM’S signature celebration is, ironically, a failed, poorly planned and worse executed attack on Cuba’s second-largest military garrison. It was a total failure. Perhaps this fiasco is truly the best personification of the regime it produced. The botched and barbaric July 26, 1953, attack on the Moncada Barracks, which Fidel Castro directed yet mysteriously managed to avoid capture, is sixty-nine this year. Cuba under the tyrannical system that showcases this unsuccessful coup as its moral starting point is falling apart and, paradoxically, is host to the continent’s socialist offensive.
Cuba was impressively advanced measured by world socioeconomic indexes and standards, when the USSR-backed Castro brothers eliminated the democratic elements of the anti-Batista movement and consolidated power in 1959. It was all downhill from there. Today, communist Cuba is immersed in penury and competing to be the continent’s most miserable place to live. Dengue fever, mostly a pre-twentieth-century ailment, has found, again, fertile ground on the island. Blackouts are commonplace. Even though Havana controls Venezuelan oil production and distribution, Cubans, except for the Politburo elite-connected, re living without electricity for long hours in many parts of the country.
Food shortages are at epic levels. Unless, you have political connections, foreign friends or lovers, or stashed dollars to procure available items in the black market or in Castro’s stratified supermarkets, eating for Cubans is an existential challenge. Considering the catastrophic economic situation it is in, thanks to communist rule, one would think priorities would be in order. That is not the case.
The Marxist dictatorship, through its state capitalist mega-corporations, is investing in hotels, golf courses and other amenity installations for high-end tourists. The curious thing is that hotels in Cuba are currently filled at 50% or below capacity. Passenger-filled airplane flights to the island are at historical lows. Why this waste of resource? Many believe that these “investments” are mere money laundering schemes to whitewash the Castro regime’s drug business profits.
Castro-Communism is and has always been, comprehensively tyrannical. State terrorism, social domestication, and other forms of political repression have been pivotal to the island’s sixty-three-year dictatorial reign. The 11th of July Cuban Uprising (11J) decidedly marked a point of no return in Cuba. The Cuban people, especially the young born in captivity, are fed up with communism and willing to publicly express it. Furthermore, they are demanding freedom and natural rights. The Castro regime has resorted to its usual antics: a brutal crackdown, long prison sentences for protesters, a state-directed exodus facilitation ploy, and promises of a better life under socialism. With over 1,000 Cubans detained or already serving unjust prison terms linked to 11J and over 13,000 existing prisoners in jail for “crimes” that are potentially tied to political causes, the Castro regime has not demonstrated a willingness to lessen its brutality.
The blackouts in Cuba are facilitating widespread demonstrations on the island, prompting the political police and special forces to have a high visible presence. Beatings and shootings are being filmed by cell phones and displayed for the world to see. A day does not go by where Cubans are challenging in the public domain the communist dictatorship’s claim to authority. Preemptive terror is the regime’s only response, and it is reaching heights unseen since the 1960s.
The important thing to note and the clearest sign that Cuba is undergoing a liberation process, is that this that the mass discontent and open defiance is occurring despite the implementation of two of Castro-Communism’s most trusted and tried mechanisms: (1) barbaric political prison sentences; (2) an open emigration policy for all who want and can afford to leave. The Cuban people want the systemic exit of communism.
The master of power of Latin American socialism, thanks to the irresponsible practice of democracy by free countries, is communist Cuba. Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Bolivia are Castro-Communist colonies. Currently, Argentina, México, Chile, Colombia, Perú, and Honduras have governments that are umbilically connected to Havana. The resources of all these nations, the decisions that they will make, and the fidelity to the São Paulo Forum (and Puebla Group) dictatorial prototype, will go in accordance with Cuban Communism’s whim.
Startling paradoxes will the situation this July 26 in the globe’s third-oldest Marxist-Leninist dictatorship (after China and North Korea). Cuba is in the flimsiest economic condition in its history (including the colonial period). Repression is being levied against Cubans, as if they had just obtained power. The Castro regime is facing an unparalleled domestic popular rebellion. All while, poignantly, it has an expanding socialist empire in the Western Hemisphere. With all this brew, ripe and necessary for an effective liberation campaign from abroad, where is the U.S. and the free world?
Julio M Shiling, political scientist, writer, director of Patria de Martí and The Cuban American Voice, lecturer and media commentator. A native of Cuba, he currently lives in the United States. Twitter: @JulioMShiling // Julio es politólogo, escritor, director de Patria de Martí y The Cuban American Voice. Conferenciante y comentarista en los medios. Natural de Cuba, vive actualmente en EE UU.