There’s no shortage of ridiculously bad articles on the web today; here’s another contender for today’s worst. British Labour MP and former Trade Minister Brian Wilson writes about Cuba in the Guardian: “Cuba isn’t perfect – but it is living proof that it is possible for a third world country to combat poverty, disease and illiteracy.”
Actually, Cuba hasn’t so much combatted poverty as made it universal. According to the World Fact Book, Cuba’s per capita GDP as of last year was a paltry $2,300. The U.S. figure, by comparison, was $37,600. But hey, that’s cheating–Wilson’s claim was that Cuba is proof that a third world country can combat poverty. OK, how about these per capita GDP numbers: Cayman Islands–$35,000; Aruba–$28,000; Bahamas–$17,000; Virgin Islands–$16,000; Barbados–$14,500. You get the point. Cuba is pathetic by any standard.
Wilson reminisces fondly about his half-dozen dinners with Castro, which may explain why he hasn’t noticed Cuba’s grinding poverty. Castro, one of the world’s most rapacious warlords, has stolen approximately 10% of Cuba’s total wealth and is one of the richest bandits in world history. No doubt he serves a nice dinner, especially to British trade officials.
Particularly heart-warming is Wilson’s account of the conclusion of his first meeting with Castro: “The dinner ended with him toasting ‘Tony Blair and the third way’ while I responded by raising my glass to ‘peace and socialism’.” Which, I guess, tells you all you need to know about the “Third Way.”
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