Fidel Castro: Cuban Socialist Model Does Not Work, Israel has the Right to Defend Itself
It seems that the old communist dog who shaped the socialist life and future of Cuba for decades is now singing a reactionary tune. The idol of Venezuela’s dictator Hugo Chavez and United States’ post-American President Barack Obama, aka Barry Sotoero, told a national correspondent of The Atlantic that Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad should stop slandering Israel. Castro also made a surprising revelation that the Cuban socialist model doesn’t even work anymore.
Why the sudden change of heart? It will be recalled that the 83-year-old Castro stepped down as Cuban leader in 2008 due to health problems, ending the communist revolutionary’s 49 years in power. In his conversation with Joffrey Goldberg, a national correspondent for The Atlantic, Castro, who calls himself a “dialectical materialist”, talked about the continued oppression of the Jews and criticized Ahmadinejad for denying the Holocaust. The grandfather of global anti-Americanism also explained why the Iranian theocratic regime would better serve peace by acknowledging the “unique” history of antisemitism and trying to understand why Israelis fear for their existence. Here’s an excerpt of Goldberg article titled Fidel to Ahmadinejad: ‘Stop Slandering the Jews’:
Castro’s message to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the President of Iran, was not so abstract, however. Over the course of this first, five-hour discussion, Castro repeatedly returned to his excoriation of anti-Semitism. He criticized Ahmadinejad for denying the Holocaust and explained why the Iranian government would better serve the cause of peace by acknowledging the “unique” history of anti-Semitism and trying to understand why Israelis fear for their existence. He began this discussion by describing his own, first encounters with anti-Semitism, as a small boy. “I remember when I was a boy – a long time ago – when I was five or six years old and I lived in the countryside,” he said, “and I remember Good Friday. What was the atmosphere a child breathed? `Be quiet, God is dead.’ God died every year between Thursday and Saturday of Holy Week, and it made a profound impression on everyone. What happened? They would say, `The Jews killed God.’ They blamed the Jews for killing God! Do you realize this?” He went on, “Well, I didn’t know what a Jew was. I knew of a bird that was a called a ‘Jew,’ and so for me the Jews were those birds. These birds had big noses. I don’t even know why they were called that. That’s what I remember. This is how ignorant the entire population was.” He said the Iranian government should understand the consequences of theological anti-Semitism. “This went on for maybe two thousand years,” he said. “I don’t think anyone has been slandered more than the Jews. I would say much more than the Muslims. They have been slandered much more than the Muslims because they are blamed and slandered for everything. No one blames the Muslims for anything.” The Iranian government should understand that the Jews “were expelled from their land, persecuted and mistreated all over the world, as the ones who killed God. In my judgment here’s what happened to them: Reverse selection. What’s reverse selection? Over 2,000 years they were subjected to terrible persecution and then to the pogroms. One might have assumed that they would have disappeared; I think their culture and religion kept them together as a nation.” He continued: “The Jews have lived an existence that is much harder than ours. There is nothing that compares to the Holocaust.” I asked him if he would tell Ahmadinejad what he was telling me. “I am saying this so you can communicate it,” he answered.
Castro told Goldberg that he understood the Iranian-Israeli conflict, saying the “problem is not going to get resolved, because the Iranians are not going to back down in the face of threats.” He said that since Iran is a “profoundly religious country,” the dictators of Iran are less apt to compromise. This should send a message to politically correct leftists and liberals in the United States who continue to appease Islam and Iran’s evil theocratic regime, and support the proposed building of a mosque called “Cordoba House” near Ground Zero. It is interesting to note that Castro’s latest pronouncements are opposed to anti-Israel and pro-Islam exhortations of most liberals and leftists. He understood the fact that the Jews were driven away from their land, which is Israel, whereas most leftists and liberals like Helen Thomas continue to buy the Islamic propaganda that Israel is an occupied territory.
Cuba’s revolutionary leader also made a shocking revelation, saying the Cuban communist model “doesn’t even work for us anymore.” This, in effect, is a message to all socialist leaders in the Latin American region like Hugo Chavez who has been exporting Cuba’s communist model to Venezuela. However, this does not mean that Castro was rejecting the ideas of the revolution, but a mere acknowledgement that under the Cuban model “the state has much too big a role in the economic life of the country”, according to Julia Sweg, who is considered a preeminent expert on Cuba and Latin America.
Ms Sweg said that Cuba’s current President Raul Castro, the revolutionary leader’s brother, has an important role to enact the “necessary reforms in the face of what will surely be push-back from orthodox communists within the party and bureaucracy.” To implement these important reforms, Raul Castro is no loosening the state’s hold on the country’s economy, and he recently allowed small businesses to operate and announced that foreign investors could not buy Cuban real estate.
According to Goldberg, “Cuba is beginning to adopt the sort of economic ideas that America has long-demanded it adopt, but Americans are not allowed to participate in this free-market experiment because of our government’s hypocritical and stupidly self-defeating embargo policy.” In other words, Cuba is following the footsteps of China that joined the World Trade Organization in 2002 and agreed to respect property rights and open its borders to foreign investors.
However, I predict that Cuba’s post-Marxist experiment will not work without respecting people’s property rights, guaranteeing economic freedom, and the participation of the United States. In truth and in reality, the United States does not need Cuba to survive. It’s Cuba that badly needs the participation of the United States. Any self-respecting President who truly knows the concept of free-market capitalism must and ought to reject free trade with Cuba.
As to the failure of Cuba’s socialist model, of course it failed.