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Erasmo Calzadilla: I find it difficult to introduce myself in public. I've tried many times but it doesn’t flow. I’m more less how I appear in my posts, add some unpresentable qualities and stir; that should do for a first approach. If you want to dig a little deeper, ask me for an appointment and wait for a reply.

Cuban Socialism: Fact or Fiction?

April 18, 2010 | Print Print |

Erasmo Calzadilla

Havana scene by Caridad

Forty-nine years ago, on April 16, 1961, a few hours after a CIA-planned air attack on several Cuban airfields took place as a prelude to the Bay of Pigs invasion, Fidel Castro declared the socialist character of the Cuban Revolution in a mass rally.

I’ve always been intrigued by the way this course toward socialism was decided.

Only three years prior, we were a capitalist colony when a popular revolution occurred that was nationalist and anti-imperialist – but non-socialist.  We were not socialist because the US media was able to implant a horrendous image communism in our minds, but also because our way of life and work had little to do with socialism.

I’ve often wondered whether there was any type of mass discussion before deciding on the path we would take, or if it was one of the ideas of our great leader and his adjuncts.  I don’t know how these questions were dealt with back in ‘61, but from what I’ve experienced personally, I can easily believe that such radical changes in the life of an entire nation truly unfolded from the mind of a social architect with enough power to direct the destiny of a whole people.

Revolution seemed an extremely interesting process; entailing all power to the people.  If it had really worked out like this —even if we had ended up being worse off economically today, which I doubt— the balance would have remained positive.  We would have been itching closer to becoming the first modern nation that achieved a genuinely popular government.

However, the charisma of one man, the political immaturity of our people and US aggression conspired against the victory of true socialism.

I believe the Cuban experience has its merits —which can be confirmed when we look at the lives of our neighbors in the region, even those of the richest— but I’m convinced that being satisfied with the crumbs of tranquility that emanate from extreme paternalism is an unworthy goal.

Note: As bad as this system might be, nothing justifies the economic blockade of Cuba or the interference by the United States in its internal matters.


What's your opinion?

  • http://blog.isallaboutmath.com Julio de la Yncera

    Erasmo
    Smokes and mirrors
    “However, the charisma of one man, the political immaturity of our people and US aggression conspired against the victory of true socialism.”

    True socialism can not exist. It has never existed. I can show easily why.
    Because it assume perfect humans and by nature we are imperfect.

    On the other hand capitalism uses imperfect humans the true nature of humans.
    As for US aggression? Really?
    Where? if you are talking about Giron (or bay of pigs as is known in English) that was not an American invasion that have been the perpetuated myth propelled by the leaders of the revolution. The truth is that it was an invasion by a group of Cubans supported by an American administration.

    Has this ever happen again? How many times have you listen to your leaders screening “the yanquis are coming!) . I think and can see that it has been very useful for the leaders this state of war with the north to justify their actions.

  • Friedrich Joestl

    @Yulio de la Yncera: that`s just playing with words. Whether the Us Back mercenaries or do it themselves is about the same thing. And if u are doubting Us- agression against Cuba, well there have been as far as I know abput 638 attempts to kill Fidel Castro, organized by the CIA and its servants., not to talk about all the other things that happened, like bomb attacks, plane hijacking, chemical attacks etc. If you don`t call this agressinon, then I don`t know what the word agression means to u. If u´re talking about human nature, I can tell u that this is just nonsense. Human nature is by nature social and not antisocial, its the circumstances that make people asocial”.Human nature” always was the apolgy for the right wingers to predict that socialism was not possible and or fight against it ,because simply they don`t w a n t socialism. So why not express that clearly, instead of hiding behind an abstruse constructon of “human nature”?

  • http://blog.isallaboutmath.com Julio de la Yncera

    Friedrich Joestl
    I seriously doubt what you mentioned about the 638 attempts on Fidel.
    With the kind of money an knowledge and technology they have he would not have lasted just one real attempt.

  • http://blog.isallaboutmath.com Julio de la Yncera

    Futhermore
    It would not take American military longer than maybe 3 days to a week to completely take over Cuba is they wished and they have never done it. So…

  • George

    @friedrich joestl – don’t worry about Julio de la Yncera, just ignore him, he has only just realised that we are imperfect… socialism never assumed that we were anything but, rather that we can, and do, strive for perfection. As Che said “We are realists, which is why we must strive to do the impossible”.

    The best way to win a fight is to heal the situation. If you hit back you just enegise the conflict. If you are more developed you can redirect the negativity, until eventually you learn how to transmute it and real healing can begin. Such a level of martial practice requires solid grounding. Internal power. Thus, we must focus on strengthening the internal development of Cuba. Increasing democratic worker control, social consciousness and the withering away of the distinction between state and people.

    Defend yourself by all means, but never stoop to the level of ignorance. Julio will learn the truth in the end, we are winning ;)

  • http://blog.isallaboutmath.com Julio de la Yncera

    George how do you explain the failure of socialism on Easter Europe?
    How do you explain that China have to turn to capitalism and so VietNam?
    Socialism as an economical system has failed.
    A system without economical backing can not sustained it self

    Economical freedom leads to political freedom.

    Incidentally I am the “new man” they were talking about. I was born in the revolution but you learn very quickly how things work or should I say do not work in Cuba.

    It’s a failure! We see it.
    The ship is sinking!
    The rats are trying to get money before it totally goes under.

  • http://blog.isallaboutmath.com Julio de la Yncera

    Now if you have a society like China where the economical system is capitalism and the ruling class is the communist with not choice to elect someone else then isn’t that worse?
    Here if we do not like what a political party does we can choose someone else that can pay attention to the problems we like. Because it should be us telling government what to do
    We the people.
    No the other way around as it happen in Communist countries where citizens are commanded to do.
    Here you do things because you want to or because you need to. Over there you are commanded to do.
    Do you see the difference?
    Is the difference between a slave owner and the owner.
    Communist become the slave owners of the working class.

  • Luis

    Yes George, just take a look at classical liberalism contradicting itself – because economical freedom leads to political freedom… except in China ruled by those pesky Communists!

  • http://blog.isallaboutmath.com Julio de la Yncera

    Ok, so then how do you explain Tienanmen?

    And the repression the Chinese government have to maintain to keep people on the red line?

  • George

    @Julio de la Yncera – “Because it should be us telling government what to do” – you are absolutely correct, this is the basis of socialism ;) and you are right, China’s system is worse, but China was never an industrial country, nor a capitalist one. Marx actually believed capitalism was a positive development for humanity out of which a new form of material organisation would be born. This is becuase capitalism is more democratic than feudalism, but it is a biased form of democracy in favour of those who have capital. Whilst Britain, for example, was going through industrialisation and the formation of modern capitalism, it did not have universal suffrage. Indeed it was only in 1928 that the right to vote was extended to all (over the age of 21) on an equal basis. China has concluded that such a process cannot be leapfrogged, however with their experience of being subject to racism and imperialist plunder they continue to play a positive role in the anti-imperialist struggle.

  • http://blog.isallaboutmath.com Julio de la Yncera

    George
    I experience Socialism and I was never allowed to input or was consulted.
    The few at the top, the ruling class did what they thought will best.
    What turn out is something that is and was best for them and for some of the people that supported them.
    The Cuba they build is a Cuba for their supporters not for every Cuban.
    So you have that if someone is educating himself he may loose his right to education just because he does not agree with the political system. So if you come to think of this then is like a mafia. if you support them you get “free education”.
    The capitalism that Marx experience was very different than capitalism as it is today you have to recognize that they have been great advances. You can also recognize that governments do pay attention to people because we do elect them not corporations.
    Corporations may have money to buy dirty politicians but that is why we have free press.
    I am at a loss when you are talking about anti imperialism.
    Where is the…

  • http://blog.isallaboutmath.com Julio de la Yncera

    The last question is
    Where is the empire?

  • George

    Julio, I absolutely do recognise that there have been great advances, advances that have come about through actions like the Cuban Revolution, the Labour Movement, the Suffragettes, the “Black” Power movement etc., all of which experienced repression from the state and the ruling classes.

    It saddens me greatly that Cuba continues to produce some individuals who think only in absolutes, which is why I whole-heartedly support Erasmo in his quest to develope a culture of real philosophy.

    Fidel has repeatedly called for a “battle of ideas” which is correct. Unfortunately there remain many who still do not know how to fight.

    As for imperialism, I am guessing you are of Spanish descent, perhaps you really have to have felt racist domination of your identity to recognise it, though as a Cuban you should have some understanding, but it seems you felt the stifling of your intelectual development more.

  • Friedrich Joestl

    @Julio de la Yncera:you mention that economical freedom ( whatever you mean by that, because capitalism has its own laws and dynamics, too) leads to political freedom….hm, wonder where you get that from. Most all of the dictatorships ( strongly pushed by the Americans) had capitalist systems, whether it was Franco in Soain, Salazar in prtugal, Dollfuss in Austria, Mussolini in Italy, Hitler in germany, Somoza or Pinochet, Batista or Trujillo. Could go on endlessly. So where do you see the correlation? look to the States: who`s governing there?A bunch of millionairs.
    You say socialism doesn`t work…how come that the former Soviet Union became world power No.2?Why socialism fell in Europe first of all among many factors due to a lot od subversion from the outside, second of all that Gorbatchov was trapped, third -and most probably one of the most important reasons: the lack of civic freedom and partially abuse of power. Thats why I´m talking always a lot about socialist democracy

  • http://blog.isallaboutmath.com Julio de la Yncera

    George if you read this part of Erasmos

    “Revolution seemed an extremely interesting process; entailing all power to the people. If it had really worked out like this —even if we had ended up being worse off economically today, which I doubt— the balance would have remained positive. We would have been itching closer to becoming the first modern nation that achieved a genuinely popular government.”

    He is saying exactly what I am saying. The revolutionary process took power on their hand but the people never saw that power. To this date is still the ruling class all over there on the top making arbitrary decisions without consulting the people.
    So a system like that is a dictatorship with few making decisions for all. No justice and unfair.
    I think you would agree with me on that.
    What is worst. I personally think that those at the top have design the system in a way so that they can keep power the so call honey of power until they die.
    Why?

  • Friedrich Joestl

    Politics is basically a question of philosphy and ethics and quantity doesnt equal quality. To explain what I mean: if 99% of a population were to vote for killing all Blacks, or Indians, or Jews or viceversa Whites ( we had almost all of this in our history), its still a quantitative democracy but certainli not qualitative one. To explain, what I mean by quantity doesn`t equal quality and that politics is a question of philosophy and ethics. And when you talk about economical freedom, freedom for whom I´ll ask you. You you decide over your salary? Do you decide about much within th working process? )8% of humanity hardly does. They are dependend on the power of – to put it simple – the rixchies. So what freedom in effect do you mean?

  • http://blog.isallaboutmath.com Julio de la Yncera

    “Unfortunately there remain many who still do not know how to fight.”
    The reason for this is because they can not fight for something they do not believe themselves. What is the difference between stamping people with someone else’s set of values and a person that arrive to those values on their own?

    I arrive to my own set of values thru the experiences I had in life.
    Bad experience with Cuban socialism
    Good experience with USA capitalism.

    They are also things that can not be defended from any point of view.
    Would you agree with me that not letting someone study because he has different political inclinations is equivalent to a quit pro quo or exchange where we give them power in exchange for education?

    Isn’t that equivalent to them buying our votes? Is that fair?
    Not for me. If education is free it should be for all. Independent of the support or not for the process.
    Also people should be allow to say exactly what they feel without consequences.

  • http://blog.isallaboutmath.com Julio de la Yncera

    Friedrich Joestl
    Any dictatorship is bad for us the individuals be a dictatorship from the left or right.

    Freedom and having and actual way to influence government via elections is the real power of the people.
    As we know the left can not sustain itself economically so capitalism is needed.
    I can give you a lot more reasons as to why that is if you want me to.

  • http://blog.isallaboutmath.com Julio de la Yncera

    Friedrich Joestl

    You you decide over your salary?

    Yes I do.
    When I apply for a Job I enter in negotiation with the company that will potential hire me.
    I tell them what I want and they can take it or offer less.
    If I do agree with less that is my problem.
    Salary is really defined for the market conditions in capitalist countries. In short
    Offer and demand. If nurses or doctors or computer programmers are in short supply salaries will be high.
    In countries like Cuba the have the extraordinary situation where a surgeon may be driving a tourist taxi.
    Would you agree that that situation is ridiculous?

  • http://blog.isallaboutmath.com Julio de la Yncera

    By economical freedom I mean anyone in society can potentially become a capitalist.

  • George

    Julio – “If I do agree with less that is my problem.” – ;) yes it is. As I said Marx viewed capitalism as a positive development for humantiy. Material wealth has increased and continues to increase in real terms, yet at the same time the concentration of that wealth continues to increase into the hands of the few. On the other hand the emergence of a new way of doing things continues. Democratic collecitve ownership remains a challenge. There are those who suggest starting small with small pockets of collective ownership through co-operatives. Personally I believe that communications technology is developing to the extent that whole countries can begin to manage their collective resources with greater democracy than we have so far seen. But who has access to such technology? Perhaps, as Marx suggested, it will be the most developed capitalist countries that get there first. But in the unfolding of these events Cuba continues to play an important part.

  • http://blog.isallaboutmath.com Julio de la Yncera

    This is true
    “Material wealth has increased and continues to increase in real terms, yet at the same time the concentration of that wealth continues to increase into the hands of the few.”

    but this few use this wealth in education and health example Bill Gates and many others.
    This are not selfish people. This are people who have contribute a lot to society and continue to contribute.

    Here in the US the great majority is the middle class. We do decide what happen here. Not the super rich even with all the money they have. Maybe they personally can have easier access have government power to listen to them but it is the collective us who place government in place.

  • http://blog.isallaboutmath.com Julio de la Yncera

    “There are those who suggest starting small with small pockets of collective ownership through co-operatives”
    This was experimented before.
    The Kibbutz I am not very familiar with the experience. I still view that collective ownership can be obtain and is obtain in capitalism as it is.
    When I buy stocks of a corporation I am an owner of that corporation. I the little guy can own a little part of that corporation!

  • http://blog.isallaboutmath.com Julio de la Yncera

    Personally I believe that communications technology is developing to the extent that whole countries can begin to manage their collective resources with greater democracy than we have so far seen.

    Again I agree with you above.

    The issue become one of educating people to make wise choices and not to let themselves be easily scare by the tactics used by many political parties. Personally I do vote here for whomever I think will be best as president and not following a party line.

    I do believe there is a need for government but with limited role to police and defense and some other things that are impossible to tackle by individuals. The rest should just be decided on the free market.
    Just like ideas, some will be successful and some will perish.
    Just like life itself.
    That process does not happen in socialism so there is no “best of”
    You basically get what you get and that’s it!
    No competition!
    Competition is good!

  • http://blog.isallaboutmath.com Julio de la Yncera

    For info on Kibbutz see here

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kibbutz

  • http://blog.isallaboutmath.com Julio de la Yncera

    Let me explain my
    Economical freedom leads to political freedom

    the phenomenon I observed while Cuba is the artificial dependency the Cuban regime creates between the people and the government. What I mean is that they eliminated that people could work on their own or even hire just a few people. Therefore if you wanted to earn money or work you have no choice but to work for the state. By doing that then the state can exercise power over this people. Now you know that if they do not like you may loose your job, you can actually loose more than your job. So people learn to simulate they like the system.
    Some may genuinely like it is a very small minority that benefits directly from it. The rest just go alone until is time. How many times people have gone send by the Cuban regime in some task and they never return?
    As you know they do punish this people and the punishment is harsh! Even with such deterrent they still do it!

  • http://blog.isallaboutmath.com Julio de la Yncera

    So for them in the leadership they really do not know who to trust!
    Who will take them down and end their reign.
    That is why we see this cyclical purges.
    Whenever someone gets too close the jar of the “Honey of Power”!
    Zap! There he goes! all the way down falling from the top.

    Why do this leaders think they are the only one that can solve problems?
    In fact they have not been solving problems they have created a bunch of new problems.

    When Cuba is free there is a big mess to be solve. We all will need to sit down and get to agreements.

  • http://blog.isallaboutmath.com Julio de la Yncera

    To the web admin of the site. Could you please increase the number of characters one is allow to enter
    Many times answers are longer than just 1000 characters. Please increase the number!

    Thanks!

    • the editor

      We will consider this in the future although so far it has seemed like a good limit to try and get readers to stick to the points of the article.

  • http://www.GRDPublishing.com Grady Ross Daugherty

    Erasmo, you’ve made a good point about the “merits” of Cuban socialism. Fidel’s April 20,2001 speech entitled “Without Socialism” expresses this. (Google it)

    What you are pointing out at the end of your article, I feel, is valid. You’re getting only a the crumbs of the feast to which you are entitled.

    I’ve tried mightily for months to encourage you to advance a cooperative program of reform for the flawed state socialism in your country, but you remain obsessed with complaints.

    There is only one hope for human civilization: authentic, dynamic socialism. We’ll either win it for Cuba and the world, or monopoly capitalism will destroy the oceans and the whole environment within several decades. Then, the debate of socialism vs capitalism will be moot.

  • Mark G

    Erasmo I’m not sure what you mean by true socialism and how that would differ from the top down socialism that was imposed on Cubans by Fidel Castro?

    I don’t think this elusive ‘true socialism’ you refer to exists. If you look at democratic countries throughout the world, you’ll find some like Sweden who tend toward socialism and others like the USA that tend toward capitalism. But in none of those countries does the government of the day try to impose ideological conformity (socialism or capitalism) on its citizens the way that Castro did in the early 1961. Nor should any government do so. It’s profoundly anti-democratic.

  • George

    Sorry, time zone difference, had to go to bed…

    Anyway Julio, can I ask you a question? Why did you choose to go to the U.S. as opposed to say Nigeria to pick another country currently following the capitalist path?

    Were you perhaps following the concentration of capital?

    Of course material wealth is more in the U.S. As I’ve said elsewhere, the U.S. consumes five times it’s fair share of the world’s resources. That means for everyone to have the same average income as the U.S. would take five planets! And where did that capital come from? Slavery, colonialisation, etc. So you see even if you had a capitalist system in Cuba you would not be able to compete, as most of the rest of the world knows.

  • Friedrich Joestl

    @Julio de la Yncera12 :sure you can decide whether you accept a salary or not. But its no free decision, because its the firm who decides your salary. How long can you risk refusing jobs because the salary does not appeal to you? What do you do when you`re unemployed? Sorry, this argument doe not work, because its no free decision, because you have no say in it anyways. The right of existence, home, living is for everyone, and not only for the ones who decide ( through your salary among others) over your life. As far as cab driving academicians, that`s not just a Cuban phenomena. I do agree that the gap between sarary and cost of living is enormous in Cuba and the government ( I don`t see any “regime” as you put it) admits it itself and is very much conscious about that this has to change. But at the other hand, how many f.e. Americans have two or even three jobs to be able to survive, hardly can go on a holiday or travel???

  • Friedrich Joestl

    You say you learned to know the advantages of capitalism, getting a good salary and so forth. Sure, you can, and be happy you could. But just from the sight of your own subjective situation you cannot judge either socialism or capitalism. And don´t forget, that still the wealth being aquired goes at the cost of more than 2/3 of the world population, not to talk about the destruction of the earth, wras etc. At the other hand there rises the question whether consumism and all the nonsense being produced is really the highest aim in life,including all the consequences. Don`t you think that it is perverted that in the developped countries a big part of people die because of overweight f.e. while in about 75% of the worl you´ve got millions of people starving. I mean we could go on endlessly. As I said, it`s a question of philosophy, a look towars life and what meaning you give to life.

  • Friedrich Joestl

    And out of the 198 countries ( or more) about 170 live in quite a misery, and they all have a capitalist system.
    And, what does property really mean? It´s an infantile stade of development ( Freud would put it into the anal fase). I mean what do you need property for ( in capitalism you do, of course). Socialism is the most simple and most complicated thing on earth: 1) basically there`s everything on earth, we just have to share it 2) everybody can get everything, his house, food etc. 3) we produce together and share together, everybody according to his abilties ( i mean Marx wrote about this all, so there should be no use in repeating it), but just let your imagination go a little: can`t you imagine in what a marvellous society we could live, where f.e. the best artist build the most fantastic buildings, where the best scientists work on the best results, etc.etc., where there`s no limits of money, just production matters…yeah my utopy of socialism. But first you`ve to

  • Friedrich Joestl

    get oout of the prison of our prefabricated culture, of which we are marionets and victims. This culture imposed on us by mass media, politics, propaganda.. You might say, if one doen`t like it, well he can live his own way. Sorry, you can`t escape the system. If I would like to live my alternative way, I´d be gone within no time in the system we live. So spiritual freedom? where? Or I have to adapt myself to the system, do things I don´t even account for, or commit suicide or move to another planet or live this eternal scizophrenia of lies. And at the end its a question of where one stands. Economical power means power over others, not freedomThe same right of existence for everybody, to begin with is the most important thing, not that one because of his economical power can dictate on others. No one in the world gives the right to take power over others, profiting out of their need ( and there we are back to the salary and what you call free market), Its profiting out of the need

  • Friedrich Joestl

    for survival, nothing else, degenerating people to objects of profit. And coming back to the economic misery of Cuba, what do you expect after almost 60 years of a non declared war against Cuba? Everybody is aware of that. So deal correctly with Cuba, establish commercial, cultural relations without blackmailing and dictating, accepting that there are other possibilities of societies and you`ll see that lots of problems will change rapidly. Why urge Cuba to change its system? Did Cuba ever urge the States to change its system. And don`t just make a negative selection on Cuba, there are so many positive things there, and, in comparison to other countries of the developping countries, Cuba with all its problems, still is better of than most of those countries. Sorry could write pages and pages. So, there`s no use in destroying socialism, but working on creating a better one. I don`t blame anybody, who left the country for economic reasons, but what I do hope is that those people help

  • Friedrich Joestl

    help their own country, as many Cubans ( and non Cubans)working outside of Cuba do, as I said, things are possible, but as long as there is just hatred,threatening and a warlike situation, especially between th US and Cuba, it´ll be difficult to change much for obvious reasons. ( Just one example: I`m sending money every month to Cuba, it has to pass through a bank in Germany, Italy or Spain because of the embargo, so I cannot send it directly from my own country).
    And, last not least, don`t forget, the social welfare and well-being in most of the European countries, is due to long and often drastic fights up till now by Unions, Communists or Social Democrate and also the fear of communism ( Soviet Union). We didn`t get the minimum for free . And things have drastically changed here too, after the fall of the Soviet Union and the Socialist countries, more and more cuts on social programs were put through, unemployment still is exploding, about a 25 million people in the EU.

  • Friedrich Joestl

    So glabally seen, I don`t really see all the advantages of a capitalist society. But I guess I have to stop, otherwise they might kick me out of the page. Good luck anyways, and don`t forget your country.

  • http://Blog.isallaboutmath.com Julio de la Yncera

    George
    I noticed that you keep quoting and placing words of Marx this and that.
    I do recognize that Marx was an smart person but what he wrote I already try to express was li tied by the type of capitalism that he witness. The capitalism of today is not the capitalism of Marx time. It has change for the better. In my experience I do have a voice in a capitalist country that I never had in Cuba. I can influence politician and they will take the trouble of answering me and responding in Cuba is a different story. You get directed or commanded as to what to do. The paternalism inherent in Cuban society is horrific. No room for personal grow. It’s always them first over the collective.
    It’s very curious that even if capitalistm at first sight looks like a selfish and individualistic society the end result is not. While in socialism that tries to promote unselfishness and collective behavior does end up worst on those matters.

  • http://blog.isallaboutmath.com Julio de la Yncera

    George

    We came to the US because it offered freedom.
    We did not know what jobs we will do here. I actually end up pretty well. But I had no idea truly.
    We also had family already here and we are more affine to the US since is not culturally too different from Cuba even as they speak a different language.
    Incidentally I do not live in Miami. That is the usual stereotype for Cubans here.
    Do not get me wrong I love going to Miami but since my family was north we choose to be close to them.
    My step father was a political prisoner in Cuba that is how we got visas to come here.

    Maybe that will clear things up.

  • http://blog.isallaboutmath.com Julio de la Yncera

    Editor I see a few comments of mine still have not being published on this post. Any reason why not?

    • the editor

      Yes, the editor was unable to be at the computer during the day. That happens some times.

  • http://Blog.isallaboutmath.com Julio de la Yncera

    editor thanks for publishing my comments!
    Sorry you could not get the comments to be unmoderated for people that you trust are not spamming the site. That could also be a nice addition and will save you work.

  • http://Blog.isallaboutmath.com Julio de la Yncera

    Friedrich
    Now I ca read all the cooments you wrote back. It’s very difficult to stablish a dialog with he comments having to first be approve by a 3er party. But it is what it is.
    I will try to read and answer as I can here in this same post.

  • Mark G

    Wow, 42 responses to a blog entry by Erasmo has got to be a new record. I really hope that all of those who have responded will agree that it’s incredibly sad that Erasmo lives in a country which denies him the right to respond in real time to the debate that the rest of us are free to engage in.

  • http://blog.isallaboutmath.com Julio de la Yncera

    Friedrich, this will be long and fragmented but please read it.

    About the my salary I explained it is mostly rule as any salary in a capitalist country

    Demand and offer with some degree of flexibility depending on personal talent and knowledge of the person. So salaries for any profession are usually statistically distributed around a Bell curve with many in the median salary a few at the high percentile and a few at the low percentile. This is normal for other measurements of a population. What is not normal is to have everyone or pretty much everyone earning the same independent of acquire knowledge and value to society. Value should be determined by demand and offer since that will naturally tend to fill gaps. I can go into a lot more detail of what I am talking about hope what I just mentioned above is sufficient with regards to salaries.

  • http://blog.isallaboutmath.com Julio de la Yncera

    I can refuse salary or take it the ultimate decision is mine since is the value of my labor what I am selling so I am in control and not some government bureaucrat like in Cuba.

    I understand that some other countries suffer the same or similar problems as Cuba I hope their citizen will try to fix them and maybe we can learn from their solutions. I call the Cuban government the regime because government is when there is consent from the governed. Many in Cuba have not given that consent unfortunately. I know that many Americans are much less fortunate and some do work as you say, I do not see anything wrong with that, people do make choices in life. For example like having a child when you are still a girl or a boy and they are not left abandon by the government, help is provided to them but do you think is fair for them to be at the same level as the one who expend their time studying? This is of course just one simple example.

  • http://blog.isallaboutmath.com Julio de la Yncera

    I am not judging just from my own point of view I have friends and friends who have friends in Cuba and here and I know and I can judge from this collective knowledge the general feeling as to what is good and bad on each of the system. I am not saying that capitalism is perfect. It does have problems too. But it does evolve, it is natural for capitalism to evolve because is a democracy. While socialism the kind I saw in Cuba is stagnant the revolutionaries soon begot into reactionaries in power.

  • http://blog.isallaboutmath.com Julio de la Yncera

    Yes obesity is an issue in this country and yes I will love for people in other countries not to die from starvation. People here do help thru churches and charitable donations and also the government. I wish personally we expend more in helping others countries than in war. Help can be in something more valuable than money. Expertise and know how I think is better. It is better if I show you how to fish instead of giving you the money to buy the fish. There is multiple efforts in that arena. Believe me some people here are very good. And we are humans too.

    I am not sure what the individual situation of each of the countries you mentioned is. I can relate a lot to Cuba because I was born there and to the US because is my adoptive country. The rest I know only from information I get in the news or Wikipedia or the web and is not the same as the experience so I will prefer not to pass judgment on them.

  • http://blog.isallaboutmath.com Julio de la Yncera

    I am sorry to tell you that

    1) basically there`s everything on earth, we just have to share it

    2) Everybody can get everything, his house, food etc.

    3) We produce together and share together, everybody according to his abilities

    These 3 things can not be possible at least for now because we humans as I was saying are imperfect. Some are very selfish. As I was saying capitalism is the natural system for imperfect humans.

  • http://blog.isallaboutmath.com Julio de la Yncera

    How would you explain the corruption issues in Cuba and many socialist countries? These I will explain because of the imperfect humans that we are we still want the best for each of us and for our families.

    If you are given the choice to send your children to the best university possible would you tell them go to the worst because some other kids that are less fortune should go to that one?

    Unfortunately I have to say that the situation is even worst. We are all not equal. Not everyone is as smart or as skinny or as beautiful etc. This is another source of inconformity. I you think on this for a while you realize it is actually a good thing. Imagine we all like the same woman because we all have the same taste! Then this will be world war III :-)

  • http://blog.isallaboutmath.com Julio de la Yncera

    What I am trying to say is “viva la diferencia”. For example is there was not evil you would not know that there is good. As if always was night you would not know about night and day. Is it bad that there is night and day? No both are beautiful in their own right! These contraries are necessary you as a Marxist should know that. Having this contraries creates change creates improvement. That is why capitalism succeeds when communism fails. Elimination of opposition parties in a communist country is a grave mistake. Not having competition the communist leaders become lazy in a way. They forget that the reason they are in power is to solve problems for the people and not the other way around. The people are not there to be the slaves of the communist party.

  • http://blog.isallaboutmath.com Julio de la Yncera

    With regards to Cuba I have express in other places that I do not agree with the embargo and travel restrictions and many other things. My point of view is that we should change the status quo. And yes I will admit also that not everything in Cuba for the regime is negative. In many instances they have apply the wrong solution to a problem creating secondary and tertiary problems by the initially bad solution.

  • http://blog.isallaboutmath.com Julio de la Yncera

    It seems to me that the regime needed an enemy to justify the war with its own Cuban people oppose to the system. That enemy was easy it is the super power to the north, the old legend of David against a Goliath of biblical proportions. That legend got lots of appeal and is popular.

    Truly USA is not a Goliath neither Cuba is a David.

    Freidrich, I am here because I like to help my country and the Cubans. Many times when I eat I think if they can eat what I eat and I know they can’t, at least the ones at the bottom of the pyramid maybe a few at the very top. So you see that is socialist justice for you? Why?

  • http://blog.isallaboutmath.com Julio de la Yncera

    Many over there may blame the US. My stock reply is what if the US did not exist? Then it will be some other excuse and so on. There is this custom of not taking responsibility for the problems in the country.

    I can tell you that I was very surprise to read speeches by Fidel Castro around 1959 to 1960 period where he was talking about the farmers in Cuba were worry about how to sell all the meat they produce and that they will make about 100 million dollars at the time.

    Sad thing is Cuba has to import now many things that could produce itself! Do you know who is responsible for that?

  • http://blog.isallaboutmath.com Julio de la Yncera

    Friedrich good luck to you too! Hope you keep commenting. We do not have to agree. I do understand your point of views I just think they can not be successful in reality. Socialism as it is. Is the wrong solution to a problem.
    As a solution. Capitalism is better for economic problems and democracy for social ones. Unless we come up with something else. :-)

  • Luis

    No, Mark G, I don’t agree with that. Because it’s not a right, but a privilege – for the vast majority of people in the world – to do so.

  • Friedrich Joestl

    @ Julio de la Yncera: thanks for you reply. I guess we could discuss for hours andh hours – same thing with the other participants in this forum ( thanks Herald by the way) and a big thank you to all of them. Just one remark: have you ever considered the limits of Capitalism in respect of democracy and vice versa.?Whatesoever, pity we can´t just sit in Havana, I´m here in Vienna, missing all my Cuban friends, whether in Havana or on la Isla de la Juventud. Hope we´ll meet at another occasion on Havanna Times. Once more, thanks for your discussion and good luck once more, with kind regards. Wish you all the best.

  • Friedrich Joestl

    Ps. of course forgot something: I´m discussing also an Cubadebate.com, thinking this is a great forum, too. So here just my invitation for all of those who might be interested in, to participate.The wider the range of opinions, the better.Sometimes a little tough, but absolutely worthwile.

  • George

    It is really sad to see someone go through the Cuban educational system and end up so naive about how global capitalism works which is why Erasmos work is so important. It is completely simplistic and misleading to view the captialism/socialism debate as one between Cuba and the U.S. a country whose consumption no other country can hope to match, not even Europe which consumes three times its fair share. Under capitalism, capital either continues to concentrate into the hands of those who have the most, or is transferred through acts of war. Julio you should really ask yourself why there are not millions of people trying to emigrate to Nigeria, or Mexico to pick another capitalist country. Or read the latest article on Havana Times about how the capitalist model works so well in Haiti, another country you didn’t chose to go to. Many of your criticisms about Cuba are important, but the foundations of your argument are weak at best. I wish you all the best in the U.S.

  • George

    Julio, I am glad of many of the things you have posted, and I agree with your criticisms of the Cuban model.
    The difference is that I do not believe that capitalism will make things better. As you say, we are not perfect, we strive to find the new ways of doing things. It is only through such striving that anything improves. The Cuban Revolution is one example of such striving, and its impact has been to improve conditions in the capitalist world which you now so enjoy. The challenge is to move forward. I honestly would have ignored you if you had not been a “new man” as you put it. As you can see, with 60 posts so far, replying has energised the conflict, but since you are a “new man” the postings have constituted a good debate as opposed to a slanging match ;) I honstly hope you make the most of living in the most wealthy country on the planet.

  • George

    One last post Julio, because I am worried that my last two might seem a little ingracious. Perhaps you will like this idea that my old Mathematics supervisor who is from the former Yugoslavia believed:
    “I support the communists in opposition. I don’t support the communists in power!” ;)
    There’s a dialectical approach if ever there was one ;)

  • http://blog.isallaboutmath.com Julio de la Yncera

    Agree George.
    I believe very strongly in something that Voltaire wrote a while back

    “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”

    I think we should never ignore or attack a person just because their ideas are different that ours.
    The humility that comes from respecting the other person point of view illuminates us.

    Those who engage in those kinds of confrontation are what I call the cheer leaders.
    They can not generate new thought as they can only reflect light from others!
    We each have our own light some have it small some have it big as a sun.
    The objective is not turn off everyone else but to enjoy the Universe!

    We are such a little speck of dust in this universe!
    When one looks things that way then one realize about how petty we are most of the time.
    I respect Ideas. I think Ideas should be try and experimented with.

    We can always all learn from each other.

  • http://blog.isallaboutmath.com Julio de la Yncera

    The interaction of both sides the left and the right is necessary. I think we all end with something better at the end. Everything is made out of opposing forces/opposing sides this confrontation is the best source of new Ideas and solutions to old problems and to improve solution.
    Here in the US it does happen. The democratic party is the left and the republican party is the right in each party you do have people that are all the way to the left and some all the way to the right. So you get almost a full spectrum of opinions and ways to solve problem.

    Is sad to see Cuba’s 100 percent of people in the assembly agree without really discussing and ending up not solving problems with best solutions. To get the kind of discussion needed you need to have people that really believe in something else. That will make Cuba democratic since everyone will be able to participate. Not just the communist or the left.

  • http://blog.isallaboutmath.com Julio de la Yncera

    It has been a pleasure talking to you Friedrich Joestl and to George.
    Hope we can continue our conversations on further topics by Erasmo or others here and yes I think we could talk for hours and hours.

    I see Erasmo in some way as myself when I was back in Cuba.
    He does still believe somehow that the system could be successful.
    I do not shared that optimism. At least not the way the system is now.

    Cuba needs to be again Cuba and not a revolution.
    What I mean by that is that you can not go classifying people into revolutionaries and counter revolutionaries.
    It needs to let everyone participate and for that
    being Cuban is more than sufficient.

  • Greg Dean

    I agree. Although I’m a firm believer in socialism and marvel at what Cuba has achieved, especially in the first 6 years under Guevara’ economic program, Cuba needs systems which engender meaningful participation. I was with the Canada Cuba Friendship Chairman on the trip when he delivered a video about Cuban political participation and democracy. So I know the traditional line.

    The the fact is that in the economic realm, other than a few consultation programs that the bureaucrats have never necessarily heeded, the average Cuban worker has no real power or participatory recourse.
    Of course the blockade makes open, participatory democracy difficult without opening to security risks of infiltration, but at this point I think there is no other choice but to take the risk. Or all too many Cubans will continue to give up on a revolution they see as stagnated and indeed repressive. And the great gains of the revolution will crumble from the within, probably just from pure…

  • http://www.GRDPublishing.com Grady Ross Daugherty

    This has been a really good exchange.

    Wouldn’t it be great to have a TV show called something like “Roundhouse on Cuba,” in which various people both inside and outside Cuba could have their say–in English–and controlled by a really good moderator!

  • George Teichrib

    Usefull idiots for the cause of socialism. Have any of you even been to Cuba? I doubt it. Why don’t you people get jobs and create some wealth. All you people do is whine about how every socialist country that has attempted to “do” socialism properly to date “missed” something or did not apply the theory to the practical. Please people, get a life!

  • http://www.javiermiyares.com Javier

    julio de la:
    yes, you are correct, and the invasion of vietnam, dominican republic (1965), chilean coup (1972), dirty war in central america (1980’s), panama invasion (1988), Iraq war I (1990)…the list is too long so…etc….were also perpetuated myths! you are either ignorant or you are a liar.

  • http://blog.isallaboutmath.com Julio de la Yncera

    Javier, sorry to disappoint you but I am not a lier and am very far from being ignorant.
    Why do you resort to attacks ad hominen? Is very telling that you do. People who resort to attacks ad hominen is because they are unable or incapable of defending their point of view.

  • grok

    I read about 2 lines from the 1st commentator — & decided that reading his & all the other comments simply is not worth the effort. Such willful ignorance. Hopefully there R some good comments in there 4 balance.

    Simply put: the objective circumstances 4 creating socialism in Cuba — or any other poor country with little industry & infrastructure — R practically non-existent without the spread of Internationalist socialist revolution around the globe. Add hostile & powerful adversaries which never give up trying to sabotage even the little you can do as an isolated “socialist” entity — & it indeed becomes almost an essentially impossible task.

    Socialism requires LOTS of resources, rationally allocated for the best use for all of society. & I believe that even a dozen or two poor countries which carefully co-ordinate a tight United Front against all the forces of imperialism could & would prevail, even (but look at the reality of the “Non-Aligned” “Movement”…) However, socialism has always been conceived, in the best objective sense, *as a project best suited to the imperialist metropoles themselves*.

    As things stand, Cuba is STILL essentially isolated, even with projects like ALBA, & collaboration with stalinist & ex-stalinist countries underway. Venezuela is strait-jacketed for instance, by the bourgeois-electoralism of a pro-capitalist clique around the increasingly wayward Hugo Chavez & a very weak working-class with bad leadership. Not to mention what goes on in Bolivia (NOT including the indians — who intend to fight with guns in hand, for socialism). & so socialism remains practically a pipedream for all these countries — **until socialist revolution finally breaks out in earnest in the capitalist West**.

    & then everything changes. So Internationalism is REALLY, really the key. Stalinist nationalist “socialism in [one][our] country” is the sign of the complete failure of an Internationalist vision & strategy.

  • Gerald Hebert

    Julio de la Yncera , Wake up call for you……..

    The semantic juggling practiced by the U.S. government to deceive and confuse (propaganda) as regards to its true intentions towards the Cuban Revolution, as a subversive strategy in the field of ideas.

    Possibly one of the best examples we can invoke to define the most important U.S.measure against the Cuban economy is the substitution of the word “blockade” with “embargo”.

    The U.S. Government’s intentions are still very much alive today. If only the AVERAGE U.S. citizens knew what these terrible intentions really are: a total economic and genocidal war, even at this very moment, a war more intense than ever; a war where the U.S. Government has weaved a complex spiderweb of prohibitions, penalties and aggressions against Cuba.

  • http://google.com/news Raul

    Most people would find it interesting as to how you explain when you were born. It is almost as if you blame the CIA for bringing you to this Earth, but it would not surprise me as anything that is “wrong” in Cuba is either blamed on the CIA or the United States. After all it seems to keep him happy and all those that live in Cuba unaware of the TRUTH!
    Speaking as one of the ones that live in a free country (US), unlike yourself, I have the choice of speaking publicly about anyone that represents this government, and I will not be placed in a cell for doing so.
    As to why you are a socialist, I believe that is for the last 49 years you have been listening to Castro preach, on the radio, the newspaper, the airwaves, what other choice would you make as he is not only a socialist, but also a communist. Having said that I guess I will not bother to try and attempt in changing your ways, after all, it seems your mind is already “closed” and not open to new opinions, but as one that was born in Cuba, it saddens me reading your blog.
    Before you ask why I bother, I will say that I will read it as I like my mind to stay OPEN and it is the best way to avoid making mistakes as you do in all those negative comments about the US. Do not go in water that you are not familiar with, as sharks might be in them, as for me, I have a house, a job, and soon I will retire making in one month more than you will make in one year. Yes I pay taxes, and yes I vote …. Why ….. because in the United States one CAN …. And DOES!
    In closing all I hope is that one day you can see the US as a friend, not the enemy that Castro has planted in your mind.

  • Dr. Damir Matulovic

    The most dangerous, as the history teaches us, thing people can do to themselves is to exchange ideas and then fight over them when they disagree.

    One such idea planted into the human subconsciousness is that a “system” is guilty for something that goes wrong in a society. The fear from the unknown has been the main motivator since the beginning of humanity. We were given the tribal chiefs so that they can hold together the group and “protect” it against the strangers “who hate us”. Then we got kings and priests to cater for all our needs, who in turn got replaced (mostly) by “democratic” parliaments and presidents, who then were overthrown by socialist revolutions.

    Yet, the fact is simple: it was never the system that was at fault. It was always the people, the leadres to be precise, that had failed to make the most of the system at hand, and live up to their promises.

    And as teh time went by, the economic and social development went on in two levels: one, for those in power and the other for the rest of us. A simple illustration will help us understand what happened. Did you know that in feudalism, with all its oppression and hardship, one had to work only three or four months a year to be able to feed the whole family for a whole year?

    Compare that to your current situation. Can you do that? Short of being a child with rich parents, or winning a lotto, chances are you have to work at least 11 months to be able to pay your bils and survive in todays “modern” society. So who is economically better off? You or your ancestors living in feudalism?

    Yet, the capitalist revolution, which was bloody and armed and tens of millions of people mostly innocent bystanders perished, came and told us that they are fighting for our rights as human beings to be free and decide our destiny because, after all, we are all brothers, equal and free.

    And how long did it take for capitalists to enslave us with obligation to buy only from them, pay for everything with the paper money, which actually does not have any value, except a perceived one determined by the people in power? How long did it take then for capitalists to introduce slavery as their right to cut costs of production they claimed would keep the prices down, but it never did (and suddenly we had to learn abut the new concept called “inflation”), yet the capitalists-turned-slaver owners got richer and richer (thanks to the “inflation”)?

    And then the new people came and introduced us to the socialism, a new and wonderful concept that would ensure we are indeed free and equal, as we intended when we went into the war for capitalists. Again, the concept was sound, the idea was great, and we went to war, killing each other and fighting for someone else’s ideas simply because the systems proposed were good and we could see their value for us.

    It is in human nature to be stupid and to be willing to be led. It is also in human nature to take advantage of that stupidity and desire to be led, and to take the lead and rule. “Homo homini lupus” unfortunately always wins over “Homo, sacra res homini”. The power of an idea is actually measured by the phisical force of the people arguing their ideas. There is a lot of good in capitalism. Yet it fell over and died in 2007, despite all it’s positives. Just as the socialism, which is even more advanced system, yet it too did not survive the humans.

    Which “system” is the best is a wrong question. Which people are the best to do the job of governing our common resources is the question we should ask ourselves. The answer is simple: the people who understand that managing common resources is just a job. A serious and responsible job, but without any perks, like a limousine, title akin to that of a “king” or an “infallible” leader, things like that that those power-hungry manipulators usually seek when competing for those jobs.

    In conclusion, you can continue the cyrcle of human stupidity and blame the “system”, but the fact is that the leaders you and I helped create are the real culprits to blame. And, by association. you and I. We made wrong choices for the top jobs, and so we too are to blame. And we shall be guilty until we all understand that simple fact. Only when we stop treating those in power as royalty and untouchable god-like creatures, the system we have will start working well.

    Any system, as long as we choose it right, just like the people to manage it for us.

    • Eloi

      WE, THE PEOPLE…

      Dear Dr. Matulovic,

      Your eloquent, erudite and impassioned (hence – often unedited) writings on different sites keep raising issues close to my heart (with consequent preferential treatment in my idle mind) yet rarely they provoke a response they deserve, much less open up a discourse of matters that should be a concern of us all. Perhaps, if I add my two pence worth, others with two pence to spare will do the same…

      1. “…it was never the system that was at fault. It was always the people, the leaders to be precise, that had failed to make the most of the system at hand, and live up to their promises…”
      a. … to deliver ‘government of the people, by the people, for the people’ – if I may add a useful and crafty sound-bite from the otherwise nauseating war-mongering harangue. Nice to pinpoint a distinction between the people, the people and the people in the above jingle. And then, you went for the jugular:
      2. It is in human nature to be stupid and to be willing to be led. It is also in human nature to take advantage of that stupidity and desire to be led, and to take the lead and rule.

      a. Yes, we are all cocktails made of many potions, the above two being ubiquitous, but in differing proportions. The major benefit of those two potions is that it provides ligature for the framework of social structures. The overwhelming majority (sometimes called the silent one, but usually claimed by the noisy ones, e.g. The Occupying “99%”) has the first potion as a base, and just a dash of the second for taste. The select (or chosen) minority (The “1%”) has the reverse proportion. Similar division exists across the board regarding another potion – ‘love of Me & Mine’ versus ‘love (of) thy neighbor’ (and his neighbors). The real draw-back is that the second group (the one about neighbors) is an endangered species across the board, and practically extinct amongst the “select” ones. For some further musing on the subject, please see my comment: http://nkatic.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/monetarna-politika-i-integritet/#comment-1464

      3. “Which “system” is the best is a wrong question. Which people are the best to do the job of governing our common resources is the question we should ask ourselves. The answer is simple: the people who understand that managing common resources is just a job.”

      a. It would appear that this is the right answer to the ‘wrong question’ but a wrong answer to the right question – surely, ‘the best to do the job of governing our common resources’ are the people that have:
      i. The right motivation, (e.g. like the above mentioned endangered species)
      ii. Relevant competence, including experience with provable positive results (and no negative ones), and
      iii. Unhindered opportunity to serve their country, if they wished to do so.
      (Motive, Means and Opportunity – elementary, my dear Dr. Watson…)
      The above applies to any job (mutatis mutandis), certainly for the CXO level, so it should certainly apply to the most important job: “the job of governing our common resources”

      Only then comes ‘condicio sine qua non’ – people that are motivated (interested, willing), capable (educated, informed, experienced) and unhindered (by the existing social structures and mechanisms) to perform the selection of the above defined individuals. Once again – Motive, means, opportunity…

      4. “ we are all brothers, equal and free.” = Liberté, égalité, fraternité!
      a. There are major issues with the above notions – their meanings, interpretations, applications, implementations and malignantly fraudulent misuse. But that is another story, perhaps next time…

      Best regards,
      Eloi

  • John Goodrich

    Julio de la Yncera,

    I just recently found the Havana Times on line and so am late getting into this discussion.
    You asked about U.S. aggression which shows that you need to do a lot of reading on U.S. foreign policy history.
    I strongly recommend that you go to the “Killing Hope” website. It deals completely with the post WWII U.S foreign policies which involved over 75 interventions into the internal affairs of other countries.
    I urge you to read the “introduction” if nothing else just to get an inkling of the true U.S imperial foreign policy. The author is anex-CIA employee and has another website entitled “Rogue State” which you would do well to read. I recommend you also read the chapter in Killing Hope on Guatemala in the 80’s.
    For a view of world events that counter the lies in the U.S corporate media I recommend ZNET and any of the books written by Noam Chomsky.
    You, my friend are badly misinformed if you think that the U.S is about doing good in the world.

  • John Goodrich

    For those who wish to argue in favor of capitalism, I would like their solution to the tens of millions of people who die each year because they live in poor capitalist countries and have no money. Please don’t give me the line that they need to pull themselves up by their (non-existent) bootstraps. The fact is that there is enough of everything in the world for every human being to be afforded a decent and fulfilling life. The ONLY reason billions are denied that decent life is that we use capitalism as the means of distribution and not human need.

    Capitalism is anathema to democracy. It is totalitarian rule from the top down . It goes hand in glove with the corrupt multi-party electoral systems such as found in the United States and which are likewise totalitarian.

    At this point the gung-ho Americans are shaking their heads and are thinking “This guy is nuts”.

    Okay, think about this. When you go to the voting booth for your thirty seconds of democracy, you are presented with a slate of candidates who have been PRE-CHOSEN by the two parties (third parties almost never win elections) . A small group of Democrats or Republicans get together and pick the person who will serve the needs of the party. No rdaical is ever chosen because the Dems and Republicans do not want to change the status quo (see Obama). After they are nominated by that handful of people, their campaigns are financed by big corporations and the wealthy. When the candidate wins they then serve the interests of those who bribed/financed them.
    Is that what you would call, democracy; rule by the people?
    It is a government in partnership with the corporations and the monied class.
    It is not democracy if the people cannot choose their representatives.
    Capitalism is totalitarian. The form of electoral system that now exists in the United States is totalitarian.
    The people have no say in how things are to be run either in the economic or political spheres.

    Given these facts I find it passing strange that so many people in the USA can criticize Cuba as a dictatorship when they do not know the meaning of the word nor understand that they themselves live in a totalitarian society.

  • John Goodrich

    I wish that we could all agree on what various terms mean.
    Socialism and capitalism are economic forms and not political/electoral forms.
    Democracy means rule by the people and in both Cuba and the United States we have republics which are representative democracies. We elect people to be our representative in the government.
    Communism is a FUTURE egalitarian utopian state in which everyone knows their place and responsibility to the society and in which there is no need for a government.

    The word communist is thrown around so easily and so erroneously that it has lost its true meaning.

    There are Communist Parties which ostensibly are working towards a communist future but there aren’t any communist societies or countries or economies or anything, just parties with that name.

    China is ruled by the Communist Party and it is going in exactly the opposite direction that any true communist would go; to capitalism which is the antithesis of egalitarianism.

    Socialism is the interim stage between capitalism and communism but so far we have not seen much of a democratic form of that and due in no small part to the U.S wars on any socialist state that has come into existence.
    So we have a Leninist Cuba led by charismatic and benevolent leaders in which freedoms are somewhat limited and often necessitated by the U.S war on the revolution’s socialist economy.

    The newer generation is badly underestimating the evil that is the United States and ignoring what has happened in well over 50 countries in the world in which socialism was being attempted.

    That 100 year foreign policy is still in effect as the war on Cuba and the U.S. antagonism towards Venezuela and Bolivia evidences. Most dumbed-down U.S citizens are of the opinion that the Cold War ended with the collapse of the Soviets and think that the U.S has its war against Cuba in place to fight the dictator (retired) .

    Let there be no mistake; the United States is attempting to destroy socialism in Cuba because the people who really run the country; the corporations, the wealthy and the parties they OWN have no greater fear than a socialist world where they would have to share their wealth with the billions of poor they have created .

    Cuba, despite the war waged against it by the United States (something NO other country has ever survived)
    has placed 51st on the United Nations Human Development Index, placing it in the first tier of all nations.

    What socialism has done for Cuba even under siege for 50 years, socialism can do for the world.

    That socialism can and does work needs no more proof than the fact of the continued U.S war against Cuba.

    If, as the opponents of socialism claim, socialism can’t work , wont work , why then doesn’t the United States just leave Cuba alone and let it sink without giving “Castro” the excuse that the U.S war is causing so many of Cuba’s problems?

    I’d like those who think that socialism can’t work to explain that to me.

  • http://blog.isallaboutmath.com Julio de la Yncera

    Dear John Goodrich
    I decided to answer this call

    “I’d like those who think that socialism can’t work to explain that to me.”

    and will focus specifically on this statement you made

    “The fact is that there is enough of everything in the world for every human being to be afforded a decent and fulfilling life. The ONLY reason billions are denied that decent life is that we use capitalism as the means of distribution and not human need.”

    I was trying to follow your logic about equal distribution to see how that will work now.
    For example I went to FAO web site – faostat.fao.org/567/DesktopDefault.aspx?PageID=567#ancor

    to get the total number of oranges produced let us say for example in 2009. The number of tons of oranges produced in that year for the whole world was about 67601635 tons. Now assuming and average weight of 200 gram per orange there should be about 4535.92 oranges in a ton. So that makes the total of oranges produced in the whole world in 2009 to be about 3.06636*10^11. Hope you can understand scientific notation. Anyways, if we divide that number by the number of inhabitant on earth right now (presumably more that were in 2009) then we arrive to the quantity of 44.4332 oranges per person on earth.

    So far so good. But here is the problem I have with your theory of equal distribution and socialism being better than capitalism. I choose oranges on purpose because is a crop that cuba produces.
    Unlike you I lived in Cuba for 26 years and I have practical knowledge about what is to live in Cuba and I can tell you that I never ate 44 oranges in any single year. not even 10 oranges a year in fact maybe some years I did not eat any. Because the Cuban regime exported all of them and when we were able to get a hold of some oranges usually they will be in very bad condition probably something they will not be able to sell to any other country because their people will never purchased such substandard and low…

  • http://blog.isallaboutmath.com Julio de la Yncera

    So far so good. But here is the problem I have with your theory of equal distribution and socialism being better than capitalism. I choose oranges on purpose because is a crop that cuba produces.
    Unlike you I lived in Cuba for 26 years and I have practical knowledge about what is to live in Cuba and I can tell you that I never ate 44 oranges in any single year. not even 10 oranges a year in fact maybe some years I did not eat any. Because the Cuban regime exported all of them and when we were able to get a hold of some oranges usually they will be in very bad condition probably something they will not be able to sell to any other country because their people will never purchased such substandard and low quality product.

    So is this the socialism you are trying to implement all over the world? One that does not care about their own citizens? Is this the equality you talk about?

    I could choose other crops that are not as abundant as oranges or products and then the numbers of those products per person on earth will really get to be infinitesimal numbers. (Very very small numbers).

    So you see John your theory of equal distribution does not really work for everyone on earth since some will be left with nothing. Do you know what they do in Cuba in such cases?
    They have priority grouping. The elite of the country gets first pick. That means they get the best doctors and medical care possible. They get the best food available in the country and so on. They have access to all the information and full access to internet etc. I could go on. They have their own cars even their children may enjoy much better status compare to normal cubans. Hey that does not look to me like the equality you were talking about. It looks to me like they replace money for power. So those in power are the new bourgeoisie with all kinds of privileges. To belong to this special class you need to be a supporter of their ideology. You need to be a supporter of those that hold the power and…

  • http://blog.isallaboutmath.com Julio de la Yncera

    So you see John your theory of equal distribution does not really work for everyone on earth since some will be left with nothing. Do you know what they do in Cuba in such cases?
    They have priority grouping. The elite of the country gets first pick. That means they get the best doctors and medical care possible. They get the best food available in the country and so on. They have access to all the information and full access to internet etc. I could go on. They have their own cars even their children may enjoy much better status compare to normal cubans. Hey that does not look to me like the equality you were talking about. It looks to me like they replace money for power. So those in power are the new bourgeoisie with all kinds of privileges. To belong to this special class you need to be a supporter of their ideology. You need to be a supporter of those that hold the power and this have to be unconditional support. You will be ordered and you can not be critical. So you see John things are not so beautiful any more. This people are even worst that the bourgeoisie that you detest. Because they do not want people even dissenting. You could end up in prison when that happens.

    So I hope that my words reach you John. I hope they could touch you and help you understand in some way that socialism and communism are not the solution. Capitalism maybe bad but it is infinitely better as economical system than socialism ever was.
    Socialism have also being by design invariably link to totalitarian and authoritarian systems. Some say that it is imposible to have socialism without a totalitarian system in place. I guess we will never know.

  • http://blog.isallaboutmath.com Julio de la Yncera

    Dear John Goodrich I have posted the same answer that appears fragmented here at havanatimes in one post at my blog so it is easier to read.
    blog.isallaboutmath.com/2011/02/19/my-44-oranges-and-why-socialism-does-not-work/

  • virgis

    only cubans peaples must decide-i wish them the best