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Elio Delgado-Legon: I am a Cuban who has lived for 80 years, therefore I know full well how life was before the revolution, having experienced it directly and indirectly. As a result, it hurts me to read so many aspersions cast upon a government that fights tooth and nail to provide us a better life. If it hasn’t fully been able to do so, this is because of the many obstacles that have been put in its way.

We Can’t be Naive in the Face of a Neoliberal Attack

February 13, 2017 |

Elio Delgado Legon

At the current 2017 Cuba International Book Fair.  Photo: Elio Delgado Valdés

HAVANA TIMES — When we read certain international press, which responds to US Imperialism’s interests, we can immediately sense the counter-revolutionary stench, which is disguised as progressive and even socialist a lot of the time, trying to give us the magic formula to “save Cuba from an economic disaster.”

The Cuban Revolution is changing everything that needs to be changed, like its historic leader Fidel Castro Ruz outlined in his Concept of the Revolution. However, things won’t change now just because the nation’s historic enemies are asking for it to.

The Revolution has gradually been changing ever since it triumphed back in January 1959. However, these changes were obviously rejected by the affected capitalists, including those in the United States, who had taken control of the large part of Cuba’s farm land, were the owners of its main industries and controlled its basic services.

Of course, in the eagerness to build a fairer society, with social equality for everyone, mistakes were made because the Revolution was created by human beings and nothing man-made is perfect, especially when it has to do with building a brand new society without precedent, because the socialist revolutions prior to the Cuban experiment had other characteristics and people with other traits.

In order for us to be objective, we can’t lose sight of the fact that the Cuban Revolution has had to face continuous attacks of every kind: economic, financial, commercial, military and even terrorist. The goal was always to overthrow it so that it wouldn’t serve as an example for other countries within the region and so it could declare, as they have tried to up until now, that the socialist Revolution is a failure!

Some journalists who, consciously or unconsciously, say that Cuba needs to do exactly what the Empire wants it to: restore capitalism, don’t take the damage that the US blockade has had on our economy into account, or mention it. What’s more, they try to make us believe that by giving in to the US government’s wishes, the blockade will disappear and that society will begin to develop in a capitalist way which will hold onto the Revolution’s achievements over the last almost 60 years of struggle. Only the naive could believe that.

In order to plant such an idea in our mindset, they claim that the Cuban economy is in crisis, which gives a completely distorted take on reality today. A real crisis was the world economy over the last 20 years and it wasn’t exactly socialism that created it.

One simple fact can refute this claim: at the end of last year, in Latin America and the Caribbean, there were 25 million unemployed people. However, there wasn’t any unemployment in Cuba; in fact there was a shortage of workers in many sectors. Furthermore, some countries within the region have the highest poverty, unemployment, illiteracy and poor health indicators, yet none of them have a socialist government. Therefore, it isn’t socialism which leads nations to disaster; rather it’s the complete opposite.

Some people try to use the fact that Cuba’s GDP fell ever so slightly in 2016; however, they don’t tell us the truth which is that this was due to external factors, mainly low prices for the raw materials we export and because of our main trading partners’ own problems, especially Venezuela, which is experiencing a cruel economic war.

However, national production and exports didn’t decrease, except for sugar, whose targets couldn’t be met due to climate conditions. On the contrary, in every economic sector we can see gradual progress being made, which could be much greater if the cruel and genocidal blockade didn’t exis

Restoring capitalism isn’t the answer to getting rid of this burden, but instead by resisting like we have done up unti now, showing the Empire that its out-dated policy will not steer us towards another path, because we aren’t, nor can we afford to be, naive.

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  • Moses Patterson

    Typical Eliot article. Like Donald Trump’s tweets , there is so much bullsh*t in what he has written, it is difficult to know where to begin. But here’s a start: Eliot writes, “However, there wasn’t any unemployment in Cuba; in fact there was a shortage of workers in many sectors”. There is notable unemployment in Cuba and overwhelming underemployment. The reason there are employment shortages is owed to a lack of interest and slave wages. Cuban socialism has failed. Fidel Castro himself said as much. For Eliot to assert otherwise is, well, like Donald Trump, just ridiculous.

    • bjmack

      You and Elio should get together Moses and either record or video meeting. I look forward to both of your writings.

      • Moses Patterson

        It would definitely be interesting. The problem is that Castro sycophants like Elio have no interest in debate. They seek to influence through obfuscation and resist new or different ideas. Elio is at his best when he writes of his personal remembrances in pre-revolutionary Cuba. But when he attempts to reflect a more contemporary reality, he simply parrots time-worn Castro propaganda.

        • Ken Hiebert

          I so not regard Elio as a sycophant. I believe he is quite sincere. The Cuban Revolution has inspired support in some people in Cuba and outside Cuba as well.

          • Moses Patterson

            According to the Cambridge dictionary sycophant is defined as “a person or ofbehaviour) praising peoplein authority in a way that is not sincere, usually inorder to get someadvantage from them:

          • Moses Patterson

            According to the Cambridge dictionary a sycophant is defined as “a person or (of behaviour) who praises people in authority or with power in a way that is not sincere, usually in order to get some advantage from them. If Elio, who lives in Havana sincerely believes that there is no unemployment in Cuba, then I retract my statement. He would not be a sycophant if his belief in the Cuban revolution is sincere. He would however be an idiot.

    • Nick

      I certainly wouldn’t agree with all of Elio’s assertions.
      But I can see that he is a true supporter of the Revolution and hopes that the road Cuba is on will lead to better times.
      But comparing him to trump?
      Get real.
      Two different ends of the political spectrum.
      And like comparing hope with dirt.

      • Moses Patterson

        The comparison is legitimate. Elio, like Trump, ignores reality to choose a set of “alternative facts” that better fits his propaganda. Two peas in a pod.

        • Nick

          As I say, I don’t agree with all Elio’s assertions.
          But I’ve met many people of his generation in Cuba and many who share his opinions.
          In fact I’ve met many people of various generations in Cuba who share many of his opinions.
          And I’m not talking about sycophants.
          I’m just talking about people who have different opinions to yours Mr P.
          You may not agree with Elio, but comparing him to trump is paying him a gross insult. You are comparing Elio to a lying, woman-groping, bigot.
          To suggest that he and ‘the donald’ are like two peas in a pod is pretty offensive in my book.
          But if that how you choose to put your views across, I guess that’s up to you.

  • N.J. Marti

    Elio, you need to get out of your bubble. The economy is a disaster. By the way no one is going to force Cuba into capitalism. What is working in Cuba is as result of Raul’s baby step reforms. More reforms towards market economy are on the way.

  • Ken Hiebert

    Elio believes that some writing on Cuba is “…disguised as progressive and even socialist…”
    No doubt there is such writing. But just as certainly there are people who are in solidarity with Cuba who express criticisms. I count myself among them.
    As long as I vigorously oppose the embargo and other attempts to overthrow the revolution, i believe I have a right, even a duty, to express my views.
    One thing that distresses me about Cuba is the willingness of the Cuban government to lend its prestige to dictators such as Assad in Syria. The Cuban media present Cubans with a false picture of events in Syria.

  • Ronin

    Elio, you must be trying to score points with the people in charge over there, that is the only reason I see for your complete denial of reality. Wake up and smell the coffee.

    As they say, the first step in solving a problem is to acknowledge that it exists.