Why Socialism Always Leads to Dictatorship
Supporters of the President of Ecuador Rafael Correa are seeking a constitutional reform that would allow him to be elected to a third term. In Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, who’s been in power since 2007, has expelled the opposition from Congress. Bolivian President Evo Morales keeps pushing for indefinite reelection; he’s been in power since 2006.
Let’s not even talk about Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro, the anointed successor of Hugo Chávez, who rose to power in 1998.
The worst of them all is the Cuban regime, where the Castro brothers, Fidel and Raúl, have governed with an iron fist since 1959.
In all these cases except Cuba, parties or current presidents came to power through an initial election that was clean, and which seduced voters with attractive promises.
But then they changed the rules to stay in power indefinitely.
What’s curious, aside from the obvious similarities between countries, is that each leader took a similar path, which Chavez called “21st century socialism” — attacks on private property, state intervention on the economy, that sometimes, like in Cuba, reach the extremes of communism.
Socialism, from an economic point of view, is about concentrating all power on the state: money is controlled, as is the exchange rate and most production. This is complemented by the harassment of political movements with opposing ideologies. It has been this way since Lenin and Stalin in the Soviet Union, since Mao Zedong in China, Ceaucescu in Romania and Pol Pot in Cambodia.
Leaders of Latin American are following a similar path, only adding the socialist component: they want absolute power, for indefinite time, but they also want to control the economy and hate private enterprise.
They know that political power, when combined with economic power, is practically unstoppable.
Email sent by Martha Beatriz Roque at 3 pm Eastern Time:
Me acaba de comunicar Wendy la esposa de Fariñas que hace unos diez minutos lo tuvieron que trasladar para el hospital Arnaldo Milián Castro en Santa Clara, pues se desmayó,
(I just heard from Wendy, the wife of Fariñas, that about ten minutes ago they had to take him to Arnaldo Milián Castro hospital in Santa Clara because he had lost consciousness.)
Cayo Coco: An Emporium Of Cuban Military Capitalism
The breeze coming from the coast is a blast of hot air that barely cools things off. The sun reverberates and the tourists take refuge from the insufferable irradiation in a swimming pool in the form of a huge shell, split in two by a cement walkway.
Others escape from the heat wave by tossing down beer like British hooligans or drinking insipid mojitos one after another. The Russian and Serbian tourists continue doing their thing: drinking vodka with ice as if it were mineral water, leaning on the bar rail of the Memories Flamenco Beach Resort hotel, nestled into Cayo Coco, in the archipelago of the Jardines del Rey, north of Ciego de Ávila, a province some 360 miles to the east of Havana.
In the tiny shop, Mexican tourists ask where they can buy El Cuervo tequila. Close by, a group of Spaniards follow on television the performance of their compatriot, Mireia Belmonte, in the Olympic swimming finals in Rio 2016.
There are very few Cuban tourists. Even fewer black people. Past 2:00 in the afternoon, the Memories Flamenco hotel seems to be a plenary session in miniature of the United Nations: East and West Europeans, Mexicans, Hindus, Asians and Americans, who try not to call attention to their clandestine tourism at Cayo Coco.
“Traveling to Cuba isn’t a problem. You can justify it with any of the 12 categories authorized and, although it’s not permitted legally, no institution in the United States asks if we’re doing tourism when we travel to the island,” comments a North American of Peruvian origin on vacation with his wife and two kids.
The five-star hotel is located on the highway that connects Cayo Coco with Cayo Guillermo. It has 624 rooms; 12 are suites and 4 are adapted for the handicapped. At this moment, half of the rooms are empty. “We’re in the low season. And even though the number of visitors to Cuba continued growing in 2016, hotel occupancy isn’t more than 50 percent,” says a receptionist.
Like 70 percent of Cuban tourist installations, the Memories Flamenco hotel is administered by the Gaviota S.A. military emporium, a business that appeared in 1989 under the auspices of Fidel Castro, on the pretext of testing the profitability of the incipient tourist business.
“When the tourist boom began, since so much in Cuba is stolen, it wasn’t known for sure whether a hotel would generate profits. Gaviota reduced expenditures and raised productivity on the basis of low salaries and internal controls,” says an employee.
Another employee, driving an electric cart that transports the recent arrivals to their rooms, says with total frankness that “most of us workers don’t agree with the deal they give us. Gaviota contracts only with foreign businesses to administer their hotels. The salary is shit; I earn 500 pesos (almost 20 dollars) a month, and since it’s a hotel with ’everything included,’ tipping is scarce. The luggage handlers and the maids are the ones who get extra money. But it’s always better to work in a hotel than to be a policeman.”
“Damn it! Get that look off your face and do something to get up!”
In November 1958 Cubana Airlines Flight 495 from Miami to Varadero, Cuba was hijacked at gunpoint by terrorists belonging to Raul Castro and Che Guevara’s July 26th Movement. The plane crashed into Nipe Bay in eastern Cuba killing 14 passengers. (This was one of five hijackings of Cuban planes that year by the terrorists who now run Cuba.)
Here is how JetBlue is promoting their new flights for American passengers from Miami to terror-sponsoring Cuba:
Welcome to Santa Clara, a university town that played host to the exploits of Marxist revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara. The capital of the Villa Clara Providence (Yes! the JetBlue imbeciles actually use the word “providence,” instead of the proper province!) lies in central Cuba is a town that exudes a youthful, creative vibe:
Among the “exploits” of those cheeky Marxist revolutionaries so cheekily mentioned by JetBlue’s crackerjack and ultra-hip publicity dept. were the Western hemisphere’s first and deadliest airplane hijackings!.…so: “sit back! Relax! And enjoy your flight!…We thank you for choosing JetBlue!”
Here’s is how that “Marxist revolutionary” so cheekily mentioned by JetBlue’s ultra-hip publicty people viewed the fine folks who will be boarding those JetBlue flights from the U.S. to terror-sponsoring Cuba in order to further enrich its terrorist rulers:
“The U.S. is the great enemy of mankind!” (Che Guevara, 1961.)
“Against those hyenas (Americans) there is no option but extermination We will bring the war to the imperialist enemies’ very home, to his places of work and recreation. The imperialist enemy must feel like a hunted animal wherever he moves. Thus we’ll destroy him! We must keep our hatred against them [the U.S.] alive and fan it to paroxysms!” (Che Guevara, 1961.)
“If the nuclear missiles had remained (in Cuba) we would have fired them against the heart of the U.S. including New York City. The victory of socialism is well worth millions of Atomic victims.”(Che Guevara, 1962.)
So Again: “Sit back! Relax! And enjoy your flight!…We thank you for choosing JetBlue!”
All items above fully-documented in these internationally- acclaimed books.
President Obama promised the Cuban people that his “Hope and Change” policy of embracing and backing Cuba’s apartheid dictatorship would help “empower” them and induce the Castro regime to allow more freedom. Almost two years after implementing his policy of unilateral concessions that ensure the survival of the dictatorship, here is where we are. ¡Gracias, Obama!
Cuba calls Miami conference on internet freedom an act of ‘subversion’
Josefina Vidal, Cuba’s Foreign Ministry’s director general for the United States, said that an upcoming conference in Miami on internet use on the island seeks to promote internal subversion.
“The illegal use of radio and television against Cuba is not enough for them, they insist on the use of the internet as a weapon of subversion,” Vidal wrote in her Twitter account Thursday.
Her comment was in reaction to an article published by the government-run Cubadebate criticizing the Cuba Internet Freedom conference to be held in Miami Sept. 12-13, which is being organized by the U.S.-funded Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB).
Cubadebate characterized the event as “the first conference on internet use in Cuba, as part of subversion programs by the U.S. government against the island that have been maintained during the administration of Barack Obama.”
The article went on to say that,“since [former president] George W. Bush activated the Law for Democracy in Cuba, which empowers the U.S. Congress to allocate $20 million a year for programs to promote regime change in Cuba, has spent $284 million over the past two decades for this purpose.”
The Cuba Internet Freedom conference is part of Social Media Week taking place in Miami’s Wynwood Arts District.
NOTE: It should be noted that at one time, Josefina Vidal was a Castro “diplomat” stationed at the Cuban Interests Section in Washington D.C. Her time there was cut short, however, when U.S. counter intelligence identified her, her husband, and several other Castro “diplomats” as spies and declared them persona non grata before unceremoniously kicking them out of the U.S.
You can read more about it HERE.
No need to comment.
The article below speaks for itself, especially because it’s full of tired old slogans common to all dictatorships.
Iran understands the weaknesses of the U.S. intimately, from recent experience, and it also knows that Latrine America is ripe for picking.
And –given the nature and character of the two candidates for the presidency of the U.S. — Iran knows that American weakness is bound to increase over the next four years, or maybe even eight years.
We’re screwed. The world is screwed. Thanks Obama. Thanks Hillary. Thanks Donald.
Could we see another Missile Crisis involving Castrogonia and Iranian nuclear missiles rather than Soviet missiles?
Would you care to speculate on what the U.S. will give away in exchange for safety from those Iranian/Castronoid missiles?
Too much, way too much, for sure.
From Mehr News Agency (Iran):
New chapter of ties between Iran-Latin America
The Islamic Republic of Iran believes in a balanced approach to all countries and geographical regions and in addition to fostering ties with neighboring and Muslim countries, which has always been among the priorities of the country’s foreign policy, the reinforcement of all-out ties with Latin American has always been on the agenda of Tehran.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also believes that reinforcement of relations with Latin American countries is among the Islamic Republic’s principled policies, stressing that no obstacle can hinder the expansion of mutual ties.
Due to political, cultural commonalities and congruity at international organizations and circles, particularly at the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), the Latin American countries are vital for Iran and the Islamic Republic intends to establish balance and moderation in relations with Latin American nations.
The implementing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) clinched between Iran and the six countries of the P5+1 over Tehran’s nuclear program, has led to progress of Iran’s global situation, elimination of Western sanctions and reopening of economic development routes have driven the country’s foreign policy to boost mutual ties – evident in Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif periodic trips to Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America.
On Aug 21, Zarif, heading a group comprised of 120 merchants, businessmen and financial executives in government and private sectors embarked on a six-nation tour of Latin America including Cuba, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia and Venezuela respectively.
Whiteout doubt, the visits signify an opening of an era of mutual ties between Iran and Latin American countries that are mulling to expand commercial cooperation through the channel of private sector activists.
The visit is made following the President Rouhani repeated emphasis on reinforcement of ties with all members of the international community within framework of mutual respect, non-intervention in internal affairs, and securing mutual interests.
By the time of writing this article, Zarif has attended several meeting and held separate talks with several high-ranking Latin American officials including his Cuban counterpart Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment Rodrigo Malmierca Diaz, President Raúl Castro , Vice President Ricardo Cabrisas Ruíz and his Nicaraguan counterpart Samuel Santos.
continue reading HERE
Captive Nations Presentation: Cuba, Human Rights and U.S. Policy
Last month, in commemoration of Captive Nations Week, The Victims of Communism Foundation in Washington, D.C., hosted a forum on human rights and U.S. policy towards Cuba.
It included remarks by CHC Editor, Mauricio Claver-Carone, and Cuban democracy leader, Sirley Avila Leon, who had her hand severed in a machete attack by the Castro regime.
Click below (or here) to watch:
Nicolas Maduro is not known for having a mind of his own.
His slavish compliance with all the directives given to him by King Raul of Castrogonia and his surrogates in Caracastan is utterly predictable.
King Raul says “jump” and Maduro asks “how high?” and “which pages in your playbook should I follow?”
A young American Mormon is now being held hostage in Caracastan.
Which deal will the current occupant of the White House and his lackeys strike to obtain his release?
Lift sanctions? Return Venezuelan Chavista elites involved in drug trafficking? Deliver planeloads of cash, Iran-style?
All of the above?
Take your pick. King Raul is an expert at this game, and trading Alan Gross for the “Cuban Five” was one of his greatest triumphs.
And he is pulling the strings in this case too, for sure.
From Hot Air:
Joshua Holt is a Mormon who fell in love with a Venezuelan woman he met online. Holt eventually traveled to the Dominican Republican where the couple were engaged. A couple months ago they were married and spent their honeymoon on an island off the coast of Venezuela. Their plan was to remain in Venezuela until Holt’s bride could secure a visa to leave the country. But a few days after returning to Caracas from their honeymoon, things took an unexpected turn. From Fox News Latino:
“Venezuelan police showed up at their apartment, went through their stuff and claimed to find an assault rifle and a grenade.
[Joshua’s mother] Laurie Holt says the police asked for $10,000 from the couple to avoid legal trouble. She also says there are five people who say they saw the police bring the weapons into the apartment. “Only three of the witnesses are willing to testify on behalf of Josh and Thamara,” Laurie told FNL…
Josh sent a letter to his parents, through Thamara’s mother, in which he claims his health is suffering and that the weapons found in his apartment were planted.
“He had two strikes against him. He’s American and Mormon, and the police hate both,” Laurie Holt told FNL.”
In addition to the weapons charges, Holt is also being held on suspicion of being an American spy.
On Thursday, 33 members of congress sent a letter to Secretary Kerry and Treasury Secretary Lew asking them to intercede in Joshua’s case. The letter reads in part:
“Since February, the government has imprisoned over 4,000 people for political purposes, including American citizens Francisco Marquez and Joshua Holt. There are almost 100 political prisoners in Venezuela, and only a few weeks ago, more than 47 people were detained just for protesting for food. These continued arbitrary detentions show Maduro’s utter disregard for basic democratic principles.”
Francisco Marquez was arrested in June while gathering signatures for a referendum that, if passed, would remove President Maduro from power.
The World Justice Project, an initiative of the American Bar Association, judged Venezuela the worst of 102 countries it looked at when it comes to rule of law. That was in 2015 but there’s little hope things have improved since then.
From our good friend Hank Tester, things you only see in Miami:
(David’s Cafe on Alton Road in Miami Beach)
‘Coffee, Three Cents’
14ymedio, Pedro Campos, Havana, 23 August 2016 – Self-employed Cubans are tossed out of places where they’ve contracted with the State to work, without consideration of the consequences for them and violating what is established in their “contracts.” Recently this happened in Pinar del Rio, according to various reports, thanks to the redevelopment of the city boulevard. But this happens commonly all over Cuba.
An emblematic case happened in a Havana park when it was closed to the public for repairs and two dozen self-employed individuals, among them food vendors, sellers of toys, balloons and baby things, photographers, parking attendants and others, were left without work and without any ability to demand redress, although they had one year contracts and their licenses, payments and other documents were in order.
Months later, having finished some light painting and other things that could have been done between Monday and Friday without closing the park, which was mainly used on Saturdays and Sundays, this important recreation area was reopened, but under another administration.
The protests of the self-employed were ignored. The new administration had no “responsibility to the old contracts,” they told those who tried to reestablish themselves there. They needed new contracts for which they had to present all new documentation, photographs, self-employment licenses, tax payments, letters of good conduct from their local Committees for the Defense of the Revolution, and other things.
About twenty self-employed people were out of work for months, and had no recourse. The new administration set up new contracts with other self-employed people and some of the previous ones who had learned about it in time when they reopened the park. Others weren’t able to get new contracts. The opportunities were limited. And the previous contracts? Fine, and you?
In Cuba it is very normal that when the management of a company, a factory, a municipality or a province change, many other things also change.
It comes from the genesis of the top-down statist system introduced in Cuba by Fidel Castro, in the name of a socialism that has never existed other than in the dreams of many Cubans.
“If Maduro is toppled, the power outages situation is going to get worse.”
“Why? Is Maduro coming over here to beat us with clubs?”
Medals and synecdoches
Before getting to the heart of this article, I must warn the reader that I am one of those “bad patriots” who rejoice at every defeat suffered by athletes from his country in every athletic competition, because I have never believed in the Government-State-Nation-Party synecdoche, or perhaps because from a very young age I was disgusted by images of Olympic champions returning to Havana to hang their medals around the neck the dictator-for-life. Aware of my prejudices about this, I shall try to limit myself as much as possible to the statistics when discussing here the results obtained by Cuban athletes at the recent Olympic Games in Río de Janeiro.
First, the overall calculation: Cuban athletes in Río managed to win 11 medals – five gold, two silver and four bronze – and the country ranked 18th, behind Brazil, Spain, Kenya, Jamaica and Croatia. These represent the worst results in the last … 44 years, even worse than the 13 medals won in Montreal (1976), which were enough to rank Cuba 8th.
The decline of sports on the Island is evident. From the zenith of Cuba’s performance, achieved in Barcelona in 1992, when Cuba won 31 medals (14-6-11), the numbers have been flagging: 25 medals in Atlanta (1996); 29 in Sydney (2000); 27 in Athens (2004); 24 in Beijing (2008); and 15 in London (2012), down to 11 this year. If one looks at the numbers closely, this result is comparable only to the newly founded Republic of Cuba in the 1904 Olympics held in St. Louis (USA), when a far smaller delegation, and under much more adverse conditions, won nine medals (four gold, two silver and three bronze), finishing third in the overall standings.
The Cuban Government sent 123 athletes to participate in 19 events at the Río Olympics. In St. Louis five athletes competed in two disciplines, and they all paid for their own trips, even “El Andarín” Carvajal, who almost managed to win the gold in the marathon. But that was another era.
The regime’s press, which suffers from chronic triumphalism, usually recites the argument of demographic proportionality, boasting about how many more medals Cuba wins (or won) proportional to its population. In practice, this is explained as follows: if the US has about 30 times the population of Cuba, each medal won by Cuban athletes is worth 30 times that won by the “Americans.” In Barcelona, for example, where Cuba won 31 medals, the United States would only have “matched” the results of the Island if it had been awarded 930 medals. If this specious reasoning made any sense, Fiji, Bahamas, Kosovo and Jamaica would be the world’s leading athletic powers: all these countries posted, in proportion to their total populations, results far exceeding the rest of the world’s – including Cuba.
In Río many fell short, including former Olympic champions and holders of global records, winners at the Pan-American Games and prospects for whom the national press augured spectacular careers. The results were particularly dreadful with regards to team sports: in basketball, soccer, field hockey and water polo the low level of the Cuban squads prevented them from even competing in the Olympics. Does anyone remember when the men’s 4 x 100 relay team rivaled that of the US and won silver medals? Or when the volleyball team mowed down the competition, boasting medals at all the competitions? Today Jamaica dominates in sprinting, and in women’s volleyball countries like Senegal and Puerto Rico qualify for Río, while Cuba lives off its bygone glory.
This general decline in the nation’s athletics features an even more disturbing characteristic: Cubans only win medals in individual disciplines. With the exception of a lone bronze medal in women’s athletics, all the medals won in Rio were in one-to-one combat: boxing, judo and wrestling.
To make matters worse, in one of the few collective events in which Cuba had managed to qualify, men’s volleyball, it lost every game. Although in this case it should be noted that its best players are in prison, in Finland, accused of having gang raped a woman. Apparently no one had warned the carnal Cubans that in this respect the cultural mores and penal codes of the Caribbean and Scandinavia have slight differences.
Continue reading HERE.
Zika, Cuba travel and Miami: a reflection
Cuban officials have a poor record on timely reporting of epidemics
According to the August 17, 2016 Department of Defense Global Zika Surveillance Summary in the Western Hemisphere (spanning January 1, 2015 through August 13, 2016) there have been 106,246 confirmed cases of Zika with 457,894 suspected cases and 1,817 microcephaly cases. 44 countries have been impacted by Zika virus.
Brazil has borne the brunt of the outbreak reporting 78,421 cases of confirmed Zika infection and 1,749 microcephaly cases. This was followed by 8,682 cases in Colombia with 22 cases of microcephaly and Puerto Rico with 8,766 cases and one microcephaly case. The Dominican Republic has 252 cases confirmed.
Meanwhile Cuba is now reporting three confirmed cases and 30 cases brought in from abroad while having mounted a propaganda campaign in February 2016 claiming to have deployed 9,000 troops in a preventive battle against Zika reported The Guardian.
Daniel Chang of The Miami Herald reported on August 17, 2016 in the article “How Cuba is fighting Zika” in the first paragraph a claim that should raise concerns:
“After Cuba was ravaged in 1981 by an epidemic of hemorrhagic dengue fever — a mosquito-borne illness — the island nation’s communist government launched an aggressive response that created the framework for its reportedly successful fight against Zika, according to an article published Wednesday in the scientific journal Nature.”
Tragically, the so-called aggressive response to dengue by 1997 involved arresting at least one doctor for enemy propaganda who correctly warned of a Dengue outbreak sentenced him to eight years in prison then forced him into exile after an international outcry. Eventually when the bodies started to pile up and it was no longer possible to cover up the epidemic the regime admitted they had a problem.
This pattern of denial and lack of transparency was repeated with a cholera outbreak in 2012. With Zika the Castro regime can fall back on a tried and true method that it has also used to reduce infant mortality rates and that is the aggressive use of abortion, even without the mother’s consent. The dictatorship will be able to cover up cases of microcephaly with abortions.
Continue reading HERE.
The Castro regime is cashing in big-time on the Normalization Circus.
Havana hotel prices have skyrocketed. Does this have anything to do with capitalist free market supply-and-demand issues?
Dream on. This is all about the Castro regime doing what it does best: taking advantage of its total control of the tourist industry and of the unprincipled foolishness of foreigners who think Castrogonia is “cool.”
Will these higher hotel prices lead to higher salaries for the Cubans employed by Castro, Inc.?
Will all of this extra income from tourism lead to improvements in the lives of all Cubans?
Yeah. Sure….. Yeah…. Gitouttahere…youse nuts or sompthin?….
We Knew Cuba Would Get More Expensive, But Not Like This
KPLU travel expert Matthew Brumley can list expensive destinations, none of which might surprise you.
“New York, London, Paris, any large city in Scandinavia,” he said, “Sydney, Singapore, Shanghai, and Seattle hotels in the summertime.”
But lately there have been some surprises – places Brumley has known for years that have seen spikes in how much it costs to visit. That includes Havana, Cuba.
“Hotels that were $250 a night … are now charging over $550 a night,” he said.
The crown jewel of Havana, the Hotel Nacional, is even charging money just to enter and have a drink in the bar. Maybe that’s not a surprise in Cuba, where renewed relations with the United States have opened up the economy to more commerce than at any point in the last 60 years. But Brumley says it’s gone beyond any expectations.
“It’s being totally mismanaged,” he said. “They’ve shot prices up past New York, London and Sydney.”
He also says the crowds are already there – so if you were hoping to see it before the big crush, you’re too late. That said, Brumley expects Cuba’s prices to moderate. The mystique of visiting the formerly off-limits island will wear off, and people will start going elsewhere.
Continue reading HERE