In Cuba, We Have The Worst Of Both Worlds / 14ymedio, Jorge Hernandez Fonseca

Container Terminal Development Special Zone of Mariel.
Container Terminal Development Special Zone of Mariel.

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Jorge Hernandez Fonseca, 4 August 2015 – Cuba has lived under the rule of the Castro brothers for a long “socialist” period, the result of which has been an impoverished society. The solution now promoted by the authorities is “to befriend the imperialist enemy,” because, “without the restoration of capitalism it is impossible to construct socialism.” However, it is not the socialism that Raul Castro and his generals are going to implement on the island, but rather a hybrid of the worst of both worlds.

Capitalism requires individual freedom as a condition to better develop the entrepreneurial potential of society, to foster the development of the productive sources. Individual freedom implies, however, a certain dose of social insecurity – an undesirable feeling for many people – but that strengthens the entrepreneurial capacity of the other part of the same society.

Capitalist production organization is structured naturally so that the few entrepreneurs – owners of the businesses – give employment to a greater number of employees. Socialists denounce the “capitalist exploitation” by these entrepreneur-owners of the “unredeemed” masses.

Socialism, for its part, prioritizes “the social” at the cost of sacrificing individual freedom. It argues that “the social security is obtained at the sacrifice of individual freedom,” as a kind of payment to obtain the longed-for “social justice for the great dispossessed masses.

The productive socialist organization is very similar to the capitalist. In order to eradicate capitalism, it nationalizes the productive enterprises and in parallel limits individual freedom through a dictatorship in order to “give social justice in exchange for freedom.” As there are no owners, the earnings go to the all-powerful state which supposedly distributes them “equally” to offer the promised social justice. This scheme doesn’t work and decreases the earnings until the final collapse of the economy, an incentive for the return to the “old” capitalism.

The Castro regime has decided to implement a State capitalism that allows only foreign “capitalist exploitation,” but leaves the dictatorship intact

In the current circumstances, the Castro regime has decided to implement a State capitalism that allows only foreign “capitalist exploitation,” but leaves the dictatorship intact to curtail the individual freedoms of Cubans. In this case, we have the worst of both worlds: on the one hand, the lack of freedom implied by a socialist dictatorship, on the other hand, that lack of social justice implied by capitalism only for foreigners. This, for Cubans, means the continuation of the struggle against the dictatorship.

The Castro regime will disappear with the disappearance of the Castro brothers, with or without the presence of the United States on the national stage. It will be then when the Cuban people, inside and outside the island, will assert their rights, violated in this half-century of oppression and treachery.


Editorial Note: This text was previously published (in Spanish) here. It is reproduced with the permission of the author.