September 25, 2021


cuba after castro

Abandoned building during Castro’s Marxist regime.

  “If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”
Samuel Adams

Much is been written of Obama’s impending trip to Cuba, and much will also be written afterwards.   The reality is that after the dust settles not much would have changed in the oppressed island.   The proponents of the visit composed mostly by special interests, political ambitions, and in Obama’s case, a misguided notion of his legacy, justify the visit and rationalize their real objectives as an attempt to bring freedom and democracy to the “suffering population”.   They use the twisted logic that if the US would open up commerce, tourism and friendly relations with Cuba, even if it has to be through the dictators, it eventually will trickle down to the people and in turn they would demand a change towards a free democratic society.   In order to achieve their real goals of personal gains, they are consciously accepting the permanence of Castro and his elite rule hoping that a small improvement on the lives of the citizens would justify their actions.

A barrage of publicity to attract visitors and alleged openings in Cuba’s economic structure is being made by the media.   That same false notion will be exploited during our president’s visit.   Even when the present “rapprochement” has been one sided with Castro receiving and not giving, the attempt to fool “we the people” will continue.   Obama will be shown the best the regime has to offer, his family, including wife, children and mother-in-law, will enjoy a vacation and Obama will deliver a speech mentioning human rights and democracy while at the same time confirming his policy of non-intervention.   He will meet briefly with the “loyal opposition” in the presence of Raul Castro and call that a step forward.   His spokespersons will exaggerate what is falsely called the “selfemployed” and “entrepreneurs”.   These persons do not exist in Cuba. Some small businesses and employments have been granted licenses to operate, closely regulated, severely taxed, obliged to buy supplies at government stores, and having no access to loans, or ability to sell or expand.   They don’t own their stores as there is no free trade. As far as entrepreneurs the basic definition of the word requires freedom to establish a business and assume the risk, which in Cuba defines the ruling class not the individual operators.   We, the remaining few that still long for the Cuba we lost, with memories of a politically struggling, brisling economy and increasing middle class young country, will continue to oppose these actions based on our principles of individual freedom, and a desire for a Jeffersonian style of democracy for all.   We also understand that even if our values and moral will not be deterred, if only to honor the memory of our fallen friends that sacrificed everything for these principles, the Cuba we lost is no longer and our hopes are in vain.   Cuba is one of Castro’s doing, and the majority of its people has never lived, do not understand, and do not consider a priority the idea of freedom.   They will be contented with an improvement, whatever small, of their living conditions and have long lost a hope for the future.   As John Adams stated they will gladly, with few exceptions, “lick the hands that feed them”, gratified by some improvement on their well being.   This is the sad reality we should all, albeit reluctantly, accept.


Fernando J. Milanes, MD