Imagine that the U.S. Constitution is set aside by a populist leader who promises social justice, government programs, free health care, education and equality. Sounds great, right? There may be a bit of a price to pay….
Imagine that to unify the country all the newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations are taken away from their owners and substituted with U.S. government media. All journalists who disagree are jailed or have to escape to exile without taking their money or personal belongings.
You think this sounds impossible? Ready to stop reading? Don’t stop yet. There’s more you need to know. In order to get the government to able to take care of you….
All artists and intellectuals are warned “With the new government everything, against the new government NOTHING!” Artists and intellectuals who disagree are sent to concentration camps to be re-educated or to psychiatric hospitals for shock treatments in such places as their genitals and to receive psychotropic drugs. The lucky ones escape to exile. The ones who become obedient to the government become the “official artists and intellectuals” of the new order–but always looking over their shoulders.
In order to take care of everything for you, the government needs to be able to manage things, so your freedom slips away. Human rights don’t fit in. The new government has to be able to execute without trial anybody who wants freedom. Otherwise, it doesn’t work.
Free and democratic elections have to be eliminated. The American Civil Liberties Union and The National Rifle Association are dissolved and all weapons in civilian hands are confiscated.
All businesses are confiscated. All farms are taken and made into collective farms operated by the government. It’s the only way the government can take care of everything for you. However, the resulting lack of incentive brings a collapse of agricultural production and farm produce disappears from the grocery stores along with other necessity items–like toilet paper.
All private and religious schools are confiscated. Priests are sent to exile or to concentration camps along with the gays and other undesirables of no use to the new order.
Parents no longer have the right to make decisions about the education of their children. The government now makes the decisions about what education your children receive and what school your children will attend.
Some children will be sent to China, Russia, Vietnam, and North Korea, and others to far-away cities to form them into the “new man” the government needs to breed for the new society. Imagine that during school vacations, your children will be sent to work in the fields for free. This system is what is known in the world media as “free education for everyone.”
Imagine that your very own children are requested to inform their new “teachers” about your political beliefs. They are being taught to hate religion and everyone who disagrees with the new order. (If that doesn’t sound good, abortions are performed on demand and the fetal tissue is sold abroad.)
A rationing book takes care of your food, clothing and gasoline. But, well, most of the time, after spending hours in lines, the goods are not there anyway. “It’s not easy.”*
You can no longer decide to buy a car, TV set, video player, stereo, cell phone, computer, refrigerator, washer and dryer, etc. Now you have to ask permission to purchase from your employer, who is, of course, the “giver”, the government. If your performance is appraised as good, you will be placed on a waiting list that may take years. However, if you happen to have access to British pounds (sanctioned by your government) you can buy anything. I hope you have some family members living well in England!
You work and live where the government decides in small dwellings and at a fixed salary in U.S. dollars which have become worthless due to the collapse of the economy. You cannot change your job or residence without permission (maybe with a bribe if you can get enough British pounds).
You have to carry a legal national ID card that the police can request at any time on the streets. That card contains the data that the government keeps on you. If you are “illegal.” you will be arrested. No excuses, no questions. Big Brother has his reasons. How else can he “protect” you?
The government provides “free” health care for everybody, but there are no medicines – unless you have British pounds. So you will have to depend on your exiled relatives abroad for the British pounds you’ll need if you get sick. But anyway, the best hospitals are now being reserved for foreigners and the new government elite. The elite has to stay healthy, because they are the ones taking care of you.
Imagine asking your government for permission to travel inside your country and of course, forget about traveling abroad. Remember when you used to vacation in the Caribbean and all over the world? That’s history!
Don’t bother asking permission to go on vacation to Miami, Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Denver, etc., because they are reserved zones for foreign tourists from Canada, Mexico, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, etc. and members of the government elite of course.
There is apartheid now. Regular U.S. citizens are not allowed anymore on beaches or in hotels, restaurants, casinos, etc., that are catering to foreigners. But the insensitive foreigners don’t care, lured by the cheap vacation packages that the U.S. government–in complicity with the new foreign investors–is offering.
Your sacred U.S. mail service is no longer. Letters take an eternity and are being monitored as well as the phone (when it works). But if you try to convey the reality abroad, the government cuts your phone service–in complicity with the Italians who are the new co-owners of the U.S. Phone Company. The government is the only ISP (Internet Service Provider). Big Brother is listening and watching to everything. They have to, in order to “protect” you.
Imagine self-censoring everything you say. The good old days of “political correctness” in the U.S. are over. Now everything you write, say or whisper is 100% censored. However, you have to pretend to love, support and applaud the government since your standing impacts how much food you get. And everything else. Including your job. Nothing is easy.
U.S. citizens now live in fear of the neighborhood committees that are watching and reporting, as well as the rapid deployment battalions–the government paramilitary thugs in civilian clothes who demonstrate outside the houses of those dissatisfied and beat them up at any sign of political dissent. Overcrowded, filthy jails and concentration camps, i.e., forced labor camps, have proliferated throughout the land, although the government claims to have no political prisoners–only “common criminals” in its jails.
If you become a human rights defender, a democracy supporter or a journalist independent from the government, at best you and your family could be evicted from your home and sent to a homeless shelter. At best.
U.S. citizens are thinking all the time of how to escape abroad or how to survive among the ruins of the formerly free and prosperous country. At the first chance they have, they risk their lives trying to escape in makeshift rafts toward England. Imagine that after a perilous trip in which about 2,600,000** lost their lives so far, England is now returning them to the U.S. where they will suffer harassment and more persecution from the government due to a “wet foot dry foot” political agreement with England.
Now, don’t even think that “it won’t happen here” because it has been gradually happening under your nose while you are distracted with all the activities you enjoy, not to mention your responsibilities as a citizen.
And when the “fundamental transformation” is complete no one will be safe, not even inside their own house–not even the precarious elite. Imagine that in order to survive inside the new, “egalitarian” U.S., all have to be looking over their shoulders 24-7-365.
I’m not done yet. It happened because U.S. citizens have not been informed about the techniques, glorious sounding promises, or the realities inside communist societies. In capitalist United States a contradiction: the new generations have been educated by Marxist professors!
Marxism is the base of Socialism and Communism. Socialism is the beginning of the communist process. Learn from history. It doesn’t work! It has failed everywhere it has been tried. Be educated in order to be free. Ignorance is a bad adviser.
I personally hope that U.S. citizens never have to do any more than imagine this nightmare. All of this continues to be the day to day reality after 57 years of Castro’s “the government takes care of you”.
“It can’t happen here!” That’s what Cubans said.
Agustin Blazquez, U.S. citizen, producer director of the series COVERING CUBA, writer & author
© ABIP 2016
* “It’s not easy” – commonly heard among the Cuban people to describe such situations.
** At this writing, an estimated 89,000 Cubans have lost their lives trying to get to the United States on rafts. The United States population is about 30 times larger than that of Cuba’s, hence the 2,600,000 figure.