Cracks in Cuba’s Communist Foundation

By Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - CommentaryThere was no way to stop the live-streaming of protectors in Havana or all other cities in Cuba. They demanded an end to the shortages, an end to the secret police surveillance, an end to Communist one-party rule, and the right to travel within and beyond Cuba. In short, a complete change to what Cuba has been since 1959. Of course, they were met with police brutality, counter-demonstrations organized by the Cuban government, and even the deployment of the military. The Communist Party of Cuba is determined to keep a monopoly on political power, and will be merciless in pursuing all those they call “counter-revolutionaries.” Considering that these protests were simultaneous, and considering that they occurred in every Cuban city, it will be easier said than done for the Communist Party to round up people and imprison or even execute them all.

And what does the Cuban government claim why there are food shortages? Naturally that it is all due to the U.S. embargo against Cuba. Having visited Cuba, this claim rings hollow. I remember when I stayed in a hotel complex that I saw “Made in Japan” products all over the place. These included air-conditioners, shower-head installations, telephones, and lawn equipment for the hotel. Today, Chinese investors are all over the island building new luxury hotels, bringing in all kinds of consumer goods and infrastructure, and even cars and bicycles. This also includes materials to build more homes. But all of this seems more for the burgeoning tourist industry and the privileges of the Communist Party elite rather than the people. One important note is the U.S. embargo does not restrict food or medicine and medical supplies to Cuba because these fall under humanitarian considerations.

With all of this, it sounds ludicrous that the U.S. embargo should be making the Cuban people so poor, forced to wait in long lines for food and other basic necessities, and not receive basic medicines. If the Cuban government can get all kinds of luxury goods and everything else needed for the tourist industry, then why is there a severe shortage of medicines and medical equipment (of course, this does not apply to those in the elite of the Communist Party who do not suffer from any shortages at all). There is no doubt that the Communist Party of Cuba will keep a tight lid on any and all dissent with any means at its disposal. This will mean that China will help the Cuban government control everything including the Internet, and train the Cuban police and secret police on how to go after dissidents who want a better life for the people.

But how long can these tactics work? The live-streaming of the protests shows that no matter what the Communist Party of Cuba does, it cannot completely wipe out all dissent and the will of a growing number of people to fight back for the basic necessities such as food and medicines most Americans enjoy. More than that, a growing number of Cuban people will fight for the basic freedoms enjoyed by Americans such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, the right to seek redress for grievances, and the right to travel and live where we want.

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