Commemorating 50 Lousy Years

The Cuban Communist revolution is 50 years old this year, and the occasion is being commemorated all over the island. It’s hardly a joyous celebration, however. Cuba has been a laboratory experiment that has demonstrated that Communism is the worst possible economic and political system, as the island has fallen steadily farther behind its formerly-poorer Caribbean neighbors.

Meanwhile, Fidel Castro and his cronies have been enriched to an extraordinary degree. As we noted here, Castro may have stolen a higher percentage of his country’s wealth than any tyrant in history. In addition, he has bedded an extraordinary number of Cuba’s beautiful young women. So for Fidel, it’s been a great 50 years.

For other Cubans, it’s been a nightmare. Havana is falling apart, and Cuba is a classic car paradise, since no one can afford to buy a new one:

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Cuba’s citizens are condemned to live in abject poverty, and if they protest they are beaten and jailed.

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Cuban propagandists continue to trumpet, lamely, the country’s “free” health care. I’ll repeat what I wrote here: Liberals never seem to note the obvious fact that in a slave society, you can make nearly anything “free.” In fact, you just about have to, since the slaves have little or no money ($19 a month in Cuba, it was reported a couple of days ago). This describes a primitive economy, not a progressive one.

I’m old enough to remember when socialism was thought of by many as something new and promising. Now, everywhere in the world, it is regarded with disgust as a relic of the barbarous past. Raul Castro, who has been left holding the bag by his brother’s terminal illness, seems to understand this, as we noted here. But Fidel will no doubt have to die before his countrymen can be released from their long national nightmare.

SCOTT adds: Among the must reading commemorating Castro’s 50 lousy years in power are the superb Investor’s Business Daily editorial “Communist Cuba: 50 years of failure” (certainly by editorial writer Monica Showalter) and Damien Cave’s “Grief marks anniversary of Castro’s triumph” in the New York Times (!).

Cave’s excellent article of course overlooks the Times’s role (through reporter Herbert Mattehws) in Castro’s rise to power. On this occasion, the Times’s role should be recalled. See Ronald Radosh’s 2006 review of Matthews’s biography by Anthony DePalma.

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