July 27, 2009, - 12:41 pm
Can’t believe I’m saying this and I already regret it, but one-and-a-half cheers for Cuban President Raul Castro. Actually, I’m kidding. I don’t give any cheers to the human rights abusing Cuban dictatorship and its head honchos.
But, incredibly, Castro finally admitted that the U.S. and our embargo against Cuba is not to blame for the country’s food shortages. That’s something you’d never hear out of the hairy lips of bro Fidel.
But Raul Castro only gets it half right. He blames the wrong C-word for the problems: Cubans. But they are not to blame. It’s the other C-word–Communism–that is.
Introduce the free market and take away government restrictions on land-owning and farming, and Cuba will have an abundant harvest and a much better economy.
Sadly, he won’t go nearly that far.
“Raul Castro said Sunday that the global economic crisis means tougher times ahead for Cuba, but the country has no one to blame but itself for poor farm production that leads to frequent shortages of fruits, vegetables and other basics.
In a speech marking Revolution Day, Cuba’s president said the island can’t pin all its problems on Washington’s 47-year-old trade embargo. He implored Cubans to take better advantage of a government program begun last year to turn unused state land over to private farmers.
‘The land is there, here are the Cubans,’ he said, pounding the podium. ‘Let’s see if we get to work or not, if we produce or not, if we keep our word.’
The line did not get much of a response from a crowd not thrilled about working under the island’s scorching tropical sun, but the 78-year-old Castro called agricultural production Cuba’s top priority and a matter of national security.
‘It is not a question of yelling ‘Fatherland or death! Down with imperialism! The blockade hurts us,” he said, referring to U.S. sanctions begun in 1962. ‘The land is there waiting for our efforts.’
He made almost no other mention of the United States.”
We have no food shortage here in the U.S. Yes, our government is big and resembles Big Brother all too often. But it’s nowhere near what’s going on in Cuba. We have capitalism. And that’s why we have an abundance of food, and none of our leaders needs to lecture us about farming the field.
Is this a sign of a thawing of Cuba toward the U.S.? We’ve heard that before, and it’s been about the new Castro leader. But not much has changed. The language has softened. But the punishments and human rights abuses haven’t. Nor has the absolute government control of people’s lives there.
And that’s why all of this Raul Castro rhetoric is likely more of nothing.
Tags: capitalism, communism, Cuba, embargo, Fidel Castro, raul castro