Castro: What he has and what is required from him [Archives:2007/1057/Opinion]

June 7 2007

Farouk Luqman
While the Cuban leader Fidel Castro struggles with senility, the international media continues publishing various analyses about Cuba under Castro since the 1959 Revolution against the regime of the former President Partesta, who had closer ties with the United States.

Until the Revolution broke out via guerrilla wars in the mountains of the island, Cuba had been a territory for wasting the U.S. capitals, gambling, and prostitution. The territory had been administered by the American Mafias in collaboration with local traitors.

Cuba was a big tourist destination for American visitors, who used to come from different parts of their homeland, particularly the State of Florida, which is closer to the island (roughly 90 kilometres from Cuba's shore). Up until today, we find the city of Miami in Florida to be Cuban in originality and its population speak the Spanish, in addition to the English because the city remained under the Spanish Occupation until the U.S. restored it in the war it waged in the 19th century to force the Spanish occupiers from the Caribbean Sea and South America. At that time, the U.S. controlled Guantanamo Bay and constructed a military base, airport, and a port in it for unlimited time period. There was no hope for negotiations to help Cuba restore the Bay, which is used by the US as if it is a part of its own land, during the reign of Castro or after his reign.

In this Bay, the U.S. doesn't obey the rights of humanity and citizenship, nor does it apply the requirements and conditions of imprisonment and trials. Since it waged a war against Afghanistan and changed the Bay into a large prison, similar to the ugliest European detention centers in the past and the ugliest African, Asian, and Arab jails at the moment.

Since Castro assumed power and announced in a historic address that his tendency is Marxist but he tried to conceal this tendency during the war in order to win the support of Washington, which has been boycotting Cuba in all areas.

During the reign of the American President John Canady, the U.S. launched a war in 1962 against Cuba via the Bay of Pigs. The U.S army failed and was defeated in a similar manner to what is happening in Iraq and Afghanistan today, as well as what happened in Vietnam at an earlier time.

Castro remained in power for nearly 50 years, and when senility incapacitated him, he behaved like Kiem Elsung, the North Korean President, and some Arab leaders. There is no controversy that Castro, who asked Moscow for help during his economic and security resistance against Washington, succeeded in carrying out several reforms, which both friends and enemies praised.

The world longest-serving leader eliminated the local and U.S. mafias, shut down the gambling, and publicized prostitution houses. We say “publicized prostitution” as it is impossible for anyone to eliminate all the forms of prostitution.

Additionally, Castro reformed the corrupt civil service system, which had been experienced during the reign of his predecessor and ensured employment opportunities for the people of his country. Moreover, he gave top priority to education and public health. He also sent medical teams to the friendly Marxist countries with little cost such as the former Democratic Republic of Yemen. Further, he sent professors to teach students of medicine colleges in South Africa and Asia.

Thanks to a lavish assistance from Moscow before the collapse of Soviet Union, Castro maintained the stability of prices of sugar, which is the biggest Cuban product, and low prices for buying oil. Even after the fall of Soviet Union, the Cuban leader concentrated his efforts on improving the living standards of citizens and fighting all the forms of corruption despite the low average national income and the continued immigration of citizens to the U.S. coastal city of Miami.

Cuba is still receiving great influxes of tourists from the U.S. itself, particularly after alleviating the travel restrictions, due to its natural attractions, low living costs, and people being fund of the famous Havana Cigarette. Visitors of Cuba favored the Cuban medication due to the creativity of doctors and the reasonable prices of treatment, compared to the medication prices in other parts of the Americas.

The political and economic stability prevailed the relatively small island, the area of which is 110 thousand square kilometres and is populated by 12 million souls. The average per capita income in the island seems to be good, estimated at $4,000 per year despite the U.S. embargo.

On the contrary, the people of Cuba suffer the absolute dictatorship exercised by Castor and his brother Raul, who is currently in charge of Castor's duties. The Cuban people are deprived of enjoying human rights, a fact usually realized in some third world countries and the former European Communist countries. Even after the fragmentation of Soviet Union and the end of Castro's reign, colored with the extremist Marxism, nobody expects foreign investments to reach Cuba or any economic liberalism to be perceived in the island due to totalitarianism.

No doubt, Castro's regime is still easier than any other regimes in some of the third world countries in Africa and Asia. Despite the fact that some Asian countries turned to be liberal, the African states ranked on the bottom of the list of world countries because of their failed democracies and ailing economies.

After Castro passes away, people expect for sure that his brother Raul, who is the aged Cuban leader's student and beloved one, will assume power and rule the island. There is an exception that Raul may not succeed his elder brother if there is a popular revolution due to break out because of a half century of oppression, totalitarianism, and slavery.

Farouk Luqman is a Yemeni journalist from Aden. He is editor in chief of Malyalam News and Urdu Magazine published in Saudi Arabia.