He will surely allow Americans to fly into that abused island and bring some relief from the oppressive communist regime. The island”celebrated” 50 years of Fidel’s take over without fanfare from the majority of the populace. Their political and economic conditions have remained fixed in time during that half century as if a gigantic time machine had remained stuck in 1959.
While nobody in Cuba dies of hunger and nearly everybody can read and write (their literacy rate is among the highest in the world), one can readily ask”what for?” There’s absolutely not any freedom of any kind except to laud the virtues of the fantastic leader, or, as it is called in another dictatorship, our Beloved Great Leader (North Korea). Cuba and North Korea are just two examples of massive brainwashing, although much more so in China’s neighbor. Cuba has the”chance” of having the United States next door, and the superpower’s influence, notwithstanding the blockade, has been the difference among the population. Cubans still retain some contact with the mainland, whether clandestinely or through American family members.
While working in Mexico, I had the chance to talk to Cubans residing in that nation; some had to return to the island, while some had migrated permanently. Understandably, because all had family living under the Castro regime, their comments were made”off the record”. A surgeon said that her monthly salary was the equivalent of $30, but she added that everybody received free education (considered among the greatest the world), and that the food was heavily subsidized, as was leased (no private property permitted ), and healthcare. I could perceive an undertone of profound dissatisfaction in their comments regarding the total lack of freedoms and choices. The surgeon spoke about the first time she entered a grocery store in Monterrey, Mexico; her eyes widened with shock. She had never seen so many goods and so many options on the shelves.
Very few Cubans have their own landline telephone (9%) and even less have a cell phone (1 percent ). Although many have televisions (70 percent ), who wants to listen to Fidel’s endless tirades (he loved to listen to himself when he was still in control) of up to 3 hours? Who wants to see the official government’s propaganda machine? Just a few revolutionary diehards still support the communist regime and the”exalted” memory of the Che Guevara, a psychotic doctor who shot anyone who disagreed with him.
China, the giant communist regime, had the wisdom to change its totalitarian dogmas to permit some token of capitalistic industry. Cuba is only starting to understand, under Fidel’s brother’s control, that people have an innate drive to have something. Raul Castro has invited the Cuban people to voice their criticism of the government, a step that received very little response as individuals doubt seriously that the regime would actually act upon the recommendations.
The lack of opportunities in Cuba is particularly hard on youth. The island has among the highest suicide rates in the world. Again, what is the point of having free education all the way to school if the government tells you what to study and if there are no outlets for your skills? The term apathetic is the adjective most commonly heard when talking of young Cubans. In spite of occasional desertions among athletic teams who travel to other countries, most young Cubans don’t want to abandon their island. What they want is more freedom to come and go as they please and to have the opportunity to voice their concerns.
President Obama has already expressed his desire to initiate negotiations with the Cuban government. The ridiculous blockade ought to be eliminated for two major reasons: Cubans already receive American goods through third parties (European countries), and an open trade with Cuba are the best way to topple that odious dictatorship.