It was 119 years ago today that the Cuban flag went up in the island after the four-year U.S. occupation and 400 years of Spanish rule. By the way, both of my paternal grandparents were born in 1892, and their birth certificates showed that they were citizens of the Spanish Crown, or whatever was left of it by that time. Let’s just say that the late 19th century was not the highlight of Spain’s history. They lost most of Latin America to independence and hung on to Cuba by a bit.
This is also a good day to remember what my late parents told me about Cuba. They recalled the elegance of Havana and how nice the country was. They never said that it was perfect, but certainly not “the underdeveloped country” narrative that Castro & the left have been preaching for years.
That was pre-Castro Cuba, as Mark Milke wrote:
Of the many myths that some offer up about Fidel Castro’s Cuba, one tale is that despite Mr. Castro’s repression, he improved a few social programs.
Thus, in his statement on Mr. Castro’s death, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asserted “significant improvements” in Cuban health care and education under the totalitarian tutelage of Fidel Castro.
An inconvenient fact: Pre-Castro, Cuba was already better off than most Latin American countries on such indicators.
Also, Mr. Castro’s rule knocked Cubans to the near-economic bottom of all Latin American countries, with subsequent negative effects on Cuba’s much-vaunted social model.
In other words, pre-Castro Cuba was a much better place to live than post-1959.
On behalf of the many who have died in political prisons or were executed by the Castro regime, let me say that we are looking forward to another independence day.
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).