Anne Hobson has more commentary on The Nation magazine’s so-called report on Cuba where it morphs itself into a Sunday magazine insert of Granma.
The Nation’s Sympathy for Communism
Everyone’s favorite far-left rag writes mash notes to the Castros.
The communist apologists over at the Nation, the self-described “flagship of the left,” have outdone themselves. The liberal rag, notorious for its long record of useful idiocy in the service of tin-pot dictators and tyrants, has once again fallen in love with Castro’s Cuba. You would think it was the sixties all over again.
A self-congratulatory article about the Nation‘s educational staff trip to Cuba sets a dangerous precedent by commending the Cuban government for its political and economic advancements. But the Castro regime is just as guilty of crimes against humanity as it was four decades ago. Just because the island is showing feints at “progress” does not make the regime worthy of praise.
Last week, Cuba renewed its ties with Russia—Big Brother’s Big Brother. Putin forgave 90 percent of Cuba’s debt, amounting to $32 billion. There are also reports, and denials, that Russia has agreed to fund the Lourdes electronic eavesdropping base in Cuba.
The Nation article points to the following as an example of positive government-induced change: the director of the Cuban National Center for Sex Education “is considering legalizing same-sex marriage, subsidizing sex-change operations, and banning sexual discrimination at the workplace.” Firstly, it is not government’s obligation to subsidize a sex-change operation. Furthermore, the fact that one person—center director Mariela Castro, President Raul Castro’s daughter—is deciding the policies according to her whims, and her whims alone, is itself a frightening fact of communism.
he Nation goes on to claim:
Cuba’s infant-mortality rate is lower than ours, for example, and in indicators like Uneven Economic Development, Poverty, and Economic Decline, the separation between Cuba and the United States is narrower than you might imagine.
There are many things wrong with this statement. First, Cuba’s infant-mortality rate is known to be a government-fabricated lie. The real rate is 34 percent higher than in the U.S. Castro’s regime pays doctors to manipulate the statistics.
Second, economic indicators of third-world countries mirroring economic indicators of first-world countries are not surprising. Normal statistical distributions are exactly that—normal. We may have a similar proportion of people under the poverty line. But our poverty line represents a standard of living notably higher than what’s available to much of the Cuban middle class. And standard of living is what matters. Most Cubans are embarrassed to welcome foreigners into their houses because of how little they have. A desk fan costs a month’s worth of wages. One-room homes contain wooden lofts to create more space for sleeping.
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