I was reading an article in the Austin American-Statesman today about the so-called reforms that raul the munificent has implemented during the first month of his official reign and saw this statement by the oft-quoted self-proclaimed Cubanologist Phil Peters:
“Under Fidel, the guiding philosophy was that not everyone can afford these things, so nobody should be allowed to have them,” said Philip Peters, a Cuba expert at the Lexington Institute, a Washington think tank. “So these decisions show the hyperegalitarian thinking of Fidel is gone, and that’s a good thing in the long run.”
It’s amazing to me that people who should know better still want to ascribe rational and admirable intentions to fidel and his Revolution. Sorry Phil, egalitarianism was the excuse for such ridiculous policies. I believe that Servando Gonzalez got it right in his book The Secret Fidel Castro when he said:
Castro is a true misery specialist. Out of pure envy, he has always managed to destroy anything that gives people around him any pleasure or makes them happy, from food for their stomachs to nourishment for their souls. One of his main purposes in life has been to inflict as much pain and suffering on any people he can reach and he has accomplished it to a remarkable extent.
Now put all of the events of the last 50 years into that context and you’ll see that what Gonzalez says makes a lot of sense. This revolution was never about social justice, equality, etc. Those were just the excuses under which any of his policies could be justified without revealing the fact that it’s always been about fidel castro, the little boy who wasn’t loved by his parents, the man who was ridiculed as a child and young adult. This has been about fidel’s contempt for his fellow man and his delusions of grandeur.
A real Cubanologist should at least have some cursory understanding of fidel’s background (beyond the official version) and would see that in a highly personalized dictatorship the policies enacted are a pure expression of the dictator’s psychology. To date, Peters has not shown that understanding. Or perhaps he does understand it but it’s not convenient to the policy goals that he himself and those who fund the Lexington Institute have a vested interest in.