Cuba's Protests Are NOT About COVID-19 or the Embargo
Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.
Sixty-two years. It's been sixty-two long years characterized by oppression, coercion, and the eradication of all property rights. Sixty-two years of being told what you can and cannot say, what you can and cannot do, and where you can and cannot go. Sixty-two years of being so intensely isolated for fear that you may learn of the riches and freedoms under which the non-communist world lives, that you have no idea what Miami, Florida, a mere 230 miles away, looks like, nor have you met any of your relatives living there. Sixty-two years of being told that in order to advance you have to join Cuba's Communist Party. Sixty-two years of your family's food being limited to one chicken a month and one gallon of milk. Sixty-two years of having your children abducted by the government to work in the tobacco and sugar cane fields of the country's interior so that they may produce for the government and be properly indoctrinated in the ways of La Revolución. Sixty-two years of being bartered like cattle to serve in far off lands where you know not the language nor the customs, just to bring in capital for El Régimen.
And now, after sixty-two years of failing to live a fully human existence, the Cuban people are raising their voices to ask the question, "¿Hasta cuando?" or "Until when?" And America's leftist media have the audacity to explain away the Herculean events they are witnessing with COVID-19 and the American Embargo!
On July 13, 2021, while Cubans were literally fighting for their lives, the leftist propaganda bureau, CNN, had the audacity to claim that the Cuban people were taking to the streets "to protest a lack of food and medicine as the country undergoes a grave economic crisis aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic and US sanctions." The observation is as tone deaf as it is incredulous.
Ask CNN and the rest of the American socialists this: if the Cuban people are so oppressed and angered by the American embargo, then why is it the American flag they carry alongside the Cuban one while they chant for libertad?
No. The protests are not about the United States or its embargo. They are about the problem Cubans have with their own regime. And by the way, hasn't CNN been making the argument for years that the American embargo is ineffective? Yet now it's working?
Well, which is it?
As for COVID-19, the chronic humanitarian crisis in Cuba is so much bigger than an invasion of some Chinese-released virus. Let's not forget that the United States has the highest reported number of COVID-19 cases in the world and ranks thirteenth in number of cases per capita. Meanwhile, Cuba ranks 77th in total cases and 109th in cases per capita. But the reason for the political destabilization in the lesser-affected nation is COVID-19?
Similarly, according to the oft-repeated datum Cuba's healthcare system is superior to the United States, as it is ranked 37th best in the world compared to the United States at 39.
Once again, which is it?
There really is only one explanation for the appearance of mass protests amongst the Cuban people, and they are screaming it to anyone who may listen. That underlying cause is ¡LIBERTAD!
There is something in the human spirit that makes man long to achieve, to wonder, to believe. It is an instinct that drives him, that instills in him his attraction to greatness, but it is a drive that is totally and utterly repressed by communism.
For sixty-two years the Cuban people have been stripped of that basic human element by a dictatorial regime intent on making its subjects mere pawns in its quest to amass more power. Generation after generation of Cubans have been stripped of their abilities to grow, to achieve, and to thrive. Like puppets in some dystopia, ask a campecino who Jesus Christ is and he will answer that he has never heard of him.
Despite CNN's blindness to the matter, for the Cuban people, the time has long past for the oppression and dehumanization to stop. In fact, only two questions remain to be answered. One, will the Cuban people be able to pry themselves away from the godless grip of communism? And two, will the world listen?
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Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopaedic surgeon and lawyer living in Venice, Florida. He served in the Florida House of Representatives. He is the author of numerous books including The Federalist Pages, The Case for Free Market Healthcare, and Coronalessons. He is available for appearances and book signings, and can be reached through www.thefederalistpages.com.