News and Facts about Cuba

A Poor Quality Product

A Poor Quality Product / Fernando Dámaso

Fernando Damaso, Translator: Unstated

Socialist ideas, which enjoyed a certain prestige among some sectors of

the world's population at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th

centuries, failed spectacularly when put into practice in numerous

countries. They resolved none of the problems they promised to solve,

plunging these nation's inhabitants into backwardness and poverty.

In the case of Cuba these ideas were summed up by the term "vernacular

socialism"—a form replete with excesses and absurdities—which did not

achieve even the minimal successes of its "brothers" in Eastern Europe,

requiring the country to be subsidized, principally by the former Soviet

Union. Unproductive Pharaonic schemes, the elimination of financial

controls, the abolition of money, a foreign policy worthy of a

superpower and other follies ruined the nation and wasted the time and

resources of generations of Cubans, who were conned by the idea of

socialism as a mythic cure for all of society's ills.

These worn-out banners are now raised only by a few demagogues. Although

they do not really believe in them, they use them to confuse the

politically naive masses and certain people from the world's foolish,

ingenuous left, who adopt them more as social pose than as real,

activist commitment.

In a game of words they sometimes try to equate them with social

democratic ideas, which have validity and are successfully applied in

some European countries, when one has nothing to do with the other. In

these countries of is respected, private property

exists, and citizens are able to enjoy full rights—things which are

non-existent under "real socialism"—because a great deal of attention is

paid to these things and ample resources are dedicated to social

problems, allowing them to enjoy magnificent care, and

social security systems, among other benefits.

Trying to sell socialism as a development option is like offering a poor

quality product, one that has demonstrated in full (and also in poverty,

suffering, pain and even blood) its inefficiency. As a result, those who

have experienced it do not want to hear any more about it, much less see

it restored in their countries.

"Tripping over the same stone, again and again" seems to be a Cuban

trait, along with "overshooting or falling short, never hitting the

mark." "Updating socialism" is simply that— continuing to trip over the

same stone.

October 11 2012

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