In the opening few lines of Marc Cooper’s editorial piece in the LA Weekly, he writes: “Have you ever imagined what it would be like living in a society where, say, a John Ashcroft would be unrestrained by the niceties of constitutional law? Where draconian enforcement of a Patriot Act includes long prison terms for […]

A Leftist ‘Indictment’ of Communist Cuba

In the opening few lines of Marc Cooper’s editorial piece in the LA Weekly, he writes:

“Have you ever imagined what it would be like living in a society where, say, a John Ashcroft would be unrestrained by the niceties of constitutional law? Where draconian enforcement of a Patriot Act includes long prison terms for alleged thought crimes? Where, in the name of fighting “terrorism,” nonviolent prisoners are summarily executed after being denied even the trappings of due process?”

Well, such a “society,” or rather regime, does exist, the author is “sorry” to say. “Sorry,” because that regime is not based on American principles, but founded on the principles of the Left. It is based on the anti-social principle: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” It holds that the purpose of government is to force men of ability to serve those without.

That regime’s name is Cuba.

Here is the reality of Cuba as stated from the horse’s mouth:

Last Friday, three men were lined up at dawn and executed by a Cuban firing squad after being convicted of “grave acts of terrorism,” according to a statement read on state television. Their executions came a mere nine days after they had surrendered in a failed attempt to hijack a Havana ferryboat to Florida. Their trial was, of course, secret. Even the Cuban state isn’t shameless enough to open to public scrutiny such a degrading and chilling sham — a capital trial that allows no serious defense. And both Cuba’s Supreme Tribunal and its governing Council of State, headed by Fidel Castro, immediately rubber-stamped the death sentences. I suppose when you don’t have a real trial, you don’t need any real appeals. [1]

Cuba is a brazen example of the “successful” practice of communism: the theory that the individual has no rights, and that all “rights” belong to the collective (community.) The catch is that since there is no such entity as a community, but only the differing interests of the various individuals of the community, in practice communism grants power not to the individual by right, but to the group with the loudest voice and the most might.

However, it is not Cuba’s communism, or Fidel Castro, that the author indicts; instead it is its naked depravity that he seeks to hide.

After recounting several more of the atrocities committed by the Castro regime, the author remarks that “some friends of mine urged me not to write this column, arguing that at a time when U.S. troops are occupying Iraq, this would only ‘play into the hands of the right.’ ”

“Of course” Cooper argues, this is “ridiculous.” In his view, there must be something outside of communism and that dictator (so loved by the likes of Oliver Stone, the cast of the Today show, and the Hollywood left) that is perverting Marx’s perfect plan [2] After all, communism and the altruistic-collectivist principles underlying it are the Left’s ideal. Ispso, facto, it must be good. So what is the source of that perversion? Cooper opines:

There are many enemies of freedom in the world, and — no — not all of them live in Washington. The actions taken by Fidel Castro this past month, precisely in this moment of American belligerence, are guaranteed to only please the ultraright. They help confirm my longtime suspicion that Castro lives in mortal fear that his most powerful tool of social control, the U.S. embargo, will one day be lifted. [3]

Here is revealed the real purpose of Cooper’s piece: not to indict Castro’s actions–but the alleged source of those actions. Ah yes, the reason why Castro is such a cruel dictator, the author would have us believe, is not because the “useful idiots” on the Left celebrate and morally sanction the thug Castro, or because communism is illogical in theory and a dismal failure in economic practice. Rather, according to the author, the evil of communist Cuba is due to a policy successfully used against the Apartheid collectivists in South Africa. That policy is the trade embargo supported by those “Patriot” types of the “ultraright” in semi-capitalist, “mixed-economy” America.

Bear in mind that the United States of America is the only country in the region that has an embargo against Cuba–which the author clearly must know–and that Cuba is free to trade its products and services with any other country in the world. The average person, who assumes Mr. Cooper is honest, might wonder why he thinks that no country other than the United States has anything to offer or trade with Cuba.

The proper question to ask, however, is: Why does Cuba offer so few products or services for trade with other countries? The answer is because Cuba’s economic system is a socialist dictatorship. There are no Michael Dells, Henry Fords, or Hank Reardens in Cuba. Those people would be jailed for committing “grave acts of terrorism.”

As I wrote in “Isn’t the U.S. embargo of Cuba the cause of Cuba’s economic woes?“:

As wealthy as Americans are, is the United States the only country in the world that has wealth? The fact is all the countries in Europe, South America, Asia, etc. have trade relations with Cuba. So the real question is: why isn’t Cuba rich from its trade with all the countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and South America?

The reason why Cuba is so poor is that individual rights (the political basis of capitalism makes it a fountain of wealth) are routinely violated in Cuba. In Cuba, there is no private property (an entity referred to as “the people” own all the land, i.e., Castro), there are no private employers (the only employer is the state), and there are no private employees (everyone is a serf to the state). The only honest way to support oneself in Communist Cuba is in the “black market.”

It is Cuba’s totalitarian (i.e., pure socialist) economy that is the cause of her economic woes.

The truth is–and you will not hear it from Cooper’s dishonest piece–that Castro’s most powerful tool is not the U.S. embargo as the Left insinuates. Castro’s secret weapon is ideological: it is a moral whip provided by the “useful idiots” who repeat his propaganda against the embargo verbatim–as they dream of living in a society where, say, a Janet Reno would be unrestrained by the niceties of constitutional law? Where draconian enforcement of a Hate Crimes Act includes long prison terms for alleged thought crimes? Where, in the name of fighting poverty and monopolies businessmen are summarily imprisoned after being afforded the trappings of due process?

This is the reality of Communist Cuba–and if the enemies of capitalism are successful, such a nightmare scenario will become a reality in America.

References:

[1] AP reports on the UN reaction to all this:

“Cuba’s foreign minister cried victory Friday after the U.N. Human Rights Commission voted against condemning his country’s recent crackdown on dissidents….The top United Nation rights watchdog rejected a proposed resolution criticizing Cuba’s recent moves against opponents, instead approving a milder resolution Thursday calling for a U.N. rights monitor to visit the island. “The unquestionable majority vote is a clear signal from the Human Rights Commission that Cuba has the right to apply its own laws,” [Cuban Foreign Minister] Perez Roque told a news conference. “We express our profound satisfaction.” Earlier this month, Cuban tribunals sentenced 75 dissidents to prison terms ranging from 6 to 28 years on charges they were mercenaries working with the American government to harm the island’s socialist system…Perez Roque said his country would not comply with the milder resolution, which urged Cuba to accept a visit by U.N. human rights investigator, French jurist Christine Chanet.

The U.N. Inhuman Joke Commission would be more apropos.

[2] Mr. Stone… has called Mr. Castro “magnetic and charismatic.” At the Sundance Film Festival, the 56-year-old director was quoted as saying, “I thought [Mr. Castro] was warm and bright. He’s a very driven man, a very moral man.” “I thought [Mr. Castro] was warm and bright. He’s a very driven man, a very moral man.”–New York Sun, 4/18/03

[3] Castro’s opponents in the U.S. are “guaranteed to only please” his executions? This analogy does not hold as Castro’s fiercest opponents in the U.S. are supporters of the embargo. They are also the ones working for freedom in Cuba. More than likely those killed and jailed are their brothers–if not in blood, at least in spirit.

Mark Da Cunha is the publisher of Capitalism Magazine and creator of capitalism.org.

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