Thing is, I don't. Yeah, yeah, the dude handed the former USSR their very own version of Airstrip One and together, they and JFK cruised to the brink of nuclear war, along about the time I lay in bed with rheumatic fever clawing at my joints, shrieking in pain any time footsteps made the floor move even a little (and what a treat that must have been for my parents, an annoyingly-sick kid plus the possibility of atomic annihilation. Or maybe Khrushchev dangling that sword overhead helped make it bearable: at least if the commies started WW III, my parents and pre-teen sister wouldn't have had to tiptoe every time they went down the hall).
Thing is, civilization blundered through and past that and Cuba settled down to a long, hungry stretch of irrelevance. Sure, there was the occasional airliner hijacking, misfit revolutionaries trying to export themselves to a country that had already had its revolution and didn't want any more, no thank you Mister yanqui. And there was the far larger flow of people headed the other way on whatever they could manage to get floating or, tragically, not quite.
But that was it. Cuba was no worker's paradise, but then, it never had been. Poor as it was, the inadequate provisions of a communist regime were still more than the majority of Cubans had known. Propped up by Soviet largess, exporting sugar and a few luxury consumables to the Warsaw pact, Cuba tottered on. Michael Moore praised Potemkin-villiage hospitals and missed the struggling, undersupplied health-care providers serving the vast majority of Cubans; the country exported doctors and revolutionaries wholesale and retail, and it still never much mattered. Castro handed off the reins to his slightly younger brother and so what?
Castro's dead and so what?
The TV is treating him like a movie star. It wasn't a movie, people. It was real and it still is. You want to know the truth about economic systems? Compare Florida and Cuba, 90 miles apart at their closest approach. 90 years and a century of progress; the difference between the poorest Cuban and the poorest Floridian can be measured by the dumpsters they dive into seeking dinner -- well, the Floridian does; Cubans still can't afford to throw edible food away.
Capitalism, much like democracy, sucks; but in practice, it sucks way less than any other economic system the human race has devised.
Castro's dead. The only-slightly-better-off-than-before Cuba he built remains. Talk about that, TV. Even just a little.
T. R. MCELROY'S STREAMLINED TELEGRAPH KEYS
1 year ago