Friday, September 22, 2023

The quote sounds great, the reality is something else

This weekend, President López Obrador presented Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel with the Order of the Aztec Eagle, the Mexican state’s highest honor to a foreigner. As expected, the case caused controversy. On the one hand, the Mexican left, who still admire Fidel Castro’s revolution, applauded him wildly. On the other hand, critics of the revolution, which became a brutal dictatorship, disapproved.

I am second I do not like that our President singles out a dictator who oppresses his people and plunges his country into poverty. At this point in the 21st century, it is unheard of that there are still people who defend the Castro brothers and their successor Díaz-Canel.

The evidence of revolutionary failure on the Caribbean island is overwhelming.

Those who still support the Cuban dictatorship argue that the difficulties are due to what they call the US “blockade”. López Obrador himself talked about it this weekend and promised to help scale it up.

In reality the lock doesn’t exist. All that is there is a restriction, and a limited one. The only time that the United States Armed Forces blockaded Cuba was in 1962 to prevent the arrival of Soviet nuclear weapons in an area 150 kilometers from the American superpower. Once the missile crisis was resolved, the United States lifted the blockade and continued the embargo.

This has changed over time, as a result of the expropriation of American assets by the Cuban Revolution and the establishment of a communist regime. Today there are economic embargoes for Americans to buy, sell, spend, and invest in Cuba, but there is limited trade, particularly American food exports to the island.

The apparent embargo that affected Cuba’s economy. There are many empirical studies that demonstrate this. I also believe that the embargo has been a spectacular failure in punishing and overthrowing revolutionary dictatorships. On the contrary, it has provided an enormous source of legitimacy to the Castro regime. The excuse is perfect: all the island’s problems are due to the bloody American blockade, not the ineffectiveness of the communist system.

The problem, as has been pointed out on countless occasions, is that banning is very, very difficult to end. The anti-Castro Cuban community in Florida is very influential in the politics of Florida, one of the states where the US presidential race is always decided. Internal politics makes it almost impossible to reverse a failed strategy. Thus, the Castroites continue to enjoy perfect justification for maintaining repression and poverty in Cuba, including friends of dictatorial regimes such as AMLO.

The blockade lifting speech sounds great. But the reality is that it is not a blockade but an embargo and, moreover, with this argument legitimizes one of the worst dictatorships in the American Hemisphere.

López Obrador and all those who applauded Díaz-Canel like a seal in Campeche should read Amnesty International’s report on Cuba. Here’s a paragraph:

“After the historic July protest [de 2021], the Cuban authorities imprisoned several hundreds of people who participated in them, of whom about 700 remained in prison by the end of the year. The authorities intensified their machinery to control freedom of expression and assembly with measures of physical surveillance of human rights activists, artists and journalists – whom they accused of house arrest, arbitrary detention, violations of due process and, in some cases, abuse. Also hunted. – at the same time when they interrupted the Internet service.

Another thing that sounds great is importing Cuban doctors to Mexico to help with the deteriorating health system. The reality is different.

According to a 2020 report by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the program for Cuban medical personnel assigned abroad is riddled with abuses and violations: “1) medical personnel pay the Cuban government 75% of their salary and 90% middle pay; 2) working hours up to 64 hours per week; 3) sexual harassment against female doctors; and 4) running away from mission punishable by three to eight years in prison.

The IACHR considers it a form of forced labor, a type of modern slavery.

This weekend it was announced that Mexico would hire more Cuban doctors. It is good to see the extension of this “Solidarity Mission”. The reality is that more workers will come who will live like modern slaves in our country.

Twitter: @leozuckermann

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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