Cuba – The Castro Brothers Failed Experiment (9/13/12)
I just returned from a trip that not many Americans get to take. I spent nine days in Cuba, authorized by the U.S. Treasury department. Our days were packed with tours of museums, historic and scenic locales, and interaction with countless Cuban citizens.
I would love to tell you that Havana is beautiful and vibrant and the people are doing well, but neither appears to be true. Fidel Castro's communist experiment appears to me to be a total and abject failure. I don't think it ever worked, but once the Soviet Union was unable to subsidize them after 1990, it went from bad to worse.
We just don't have the kind of pervasive poverty in the United States that most Cubans are experiencing. You can tell that Havana has buildings that were beautiful in their day but the overwhelming majority -- I would say 98 percent -- are in terrible disrepair. Some are crumbling and run down, many are flat-out unsafe for habitation, yet people live in them anyway, and virtually all of them need paint. This country has just 600,000 vehicles and half of them are owned by the government. At least 100,000 of their cars are U.S. made from the 1950s. They have managed to keep them running, but they are almost all in very bad shape.
Most of the tractors they had in the ‘50s have broken down now and can't be repaired. Cuban farmers have reverted to using oxen to plow their fields in 2012!
Many I spoke with believe life will not improve until the Castro brothers are dead. Hopefully that will be soon. The egoism and stubbornness of those two have just had devastating results on the lives of millions of decent people.
I'm Bill Lamb…and that's my Point of View.