Where would Cuba be today if Fidel Castro had never been born?

Before communist dictator Fidel Castro forcibly took power in 1959, Cuba had a thriving economy and had the second highest per-capita GDP in Latin America. Where would impoverished Cuba be today if Fidel Castro had never been born?

John Suarez in Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter:

Imagine what Cuba would be like today if Fidel Castro was never born

Totalitarians and aspiring totalitarians today celebrated the birth of Fidel Castro over social media, but others tried to imagine what state Cuba would be in now if it weren’t for him.

What if Fidel Castro had never been born and his 64-year tyranny had never existed? Let us compare where Cuba was before 1959 to where it is now and speculate on “what might have been.”

The economy

In 1959, in terms of per-capita GDP, Cuba was second to Chile and was doing better than Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, and Panama. In 2015, Cuba lagged well behind the other four countries. It would be fair to say that in economic terms, despite billions in Soviet and Venezuelan subsidies, the past six decades have been a disaster for Cuba.

“University of Hawaii historian R. J. Rummel, who made a career out of studying what he termed “democide,” the killing of people by their own government, reported in 1987 that credible estimates of the Castro regime’s death toll ran from 35,000 to 141,000, with a median of 73,000.”

Democracy restored in a post-Batista Cuba

Many of the leaders of the July 26th movement, who did the heavy lifting in the fighting in the field, and lobbying Washington DC to place an arms embargo on Fulgencio Batista in the spring of 1958, authentically wanted a democratic restoration in Cuba. As did the majority of the Cuban people. This is why Fidel Castro lied systematically through the 1950s and into 1960 denying that he was a communist and claiming to respect civil liberties and democracy.

While Fidel Castro paid lip service to civil liberties, and locked up his compatriots, who had complained that communists were infiltrating the revolution as slanderers, he carried out the consolidation of power and formed a communist totalitarian dictatorship.

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1 thought on “Where would Cuba be today if Fidel Castro had never been born?”

  1. Where? Better not to ask. For one thing, a lot of Cubans can’t handle the truth, and indeed, it’s HORRIBLE.

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