21 July 2008

Offers That Could And Couldn't Be Refused

I keep getting alerts for two books about Cuba that must have just been published.

I’m weak. I clicked.

Apparently one is a novel about some Americans that were living the high life in the United Fruit Company’s “colonial” Cuba . Yes, before WalMart and Haliburton, there was the United Fruit Co. It all came to end when the Castro mob muscled the Americans out.

The other is about how the Cosa Nostra lost Cuba to the Castro Nostra. A turf war between mobs, basically. Only the Castro mob had and Army with planes and tanks and everything- no match for mafiosos with tommy guns, ‘45’s and shark skin suits.

These books are really, really, really, according to the reviews, good because they explain the historical events and the social injustices that fermented and justified the rise to power of Castro & co. Those other books written by Castro’s victims show the misery and pain that Cubans have had to endure since then, but lack the nuanced historical perspective that explain what led the young revolutionary to destroy a country in order to save it from itself. In other words, the heroics. Here we are fifty years and counting and we’re still trying to rationalize and justify the evil that befell Cuba.

I get the Mafia thing every so often… “Didn’t you see The Godfather II?”

Aside from the fact that it’s asinine to get your history from Hollywood movies, it’s even more stupid, naive and offensive to justify the thousands of deaths and the many years of oppression inflicted by the Castro mob because at least they got rid of Mayer Lansky.

Back during Prohibition, gangsters ran the big cities like Chicago and New York-Didn’t you see The Untouchables and The Godfather?

A mobster named Bugsy Siegel built Las Vegas… “Didn’t you see Bugsy?”

Jeez, maybe they should have declared martial law, suspended habeas corpus, rationed food and closed the borders for fifty years to eradicate the mob. It sounds, by some of the comments I get, that some Americans would have agreed with those courses of action. After all, it worked in Cuba and they make it sound like Castro’s actions were partly justified because there was gasp! Organized crime involvement in the casinos!

Then there’s the whole Cuba as colony of America and its corporations idea. Certainly America because of its wealth and proximity to Cuba, had a lot of influence on the island. But the American companies did employ Cubans directly and because of the free market, whose basic laws of Supply and Demand where the same as they are now even in the fifties, were forced to pay a fair wage and abide to Cuban law. Any unfair business practices would have been subject to those laws. And any employees of the large American corporations in Cuba were free to find another employer. They didn’t steal land, they had to buy it, you could refuse their offers. If the “Anglos” barricaded themselves in company enclaves where they didn’t have to deal with the local Cuban, perhaps that was more due to their prejudices and fears than to a way of life. All other immigrants in Cuba, and there were MILLIONS, became Cubans. They chose to segregate themselves and mimic the plantation lifestyle of old Dixie as was their right and choice in a relatively free Cuba.

Those days stand in stark contrast to Cuba under Castro where workers are only allowed to work for one employer who sets prices, wages and controls everything in society. A Cuba where there are no more immigrants, but one that lost over 10% of its population. A Cuba where foreign companies cannot pay the Cuban worker directly, but must pay the Castros who in turn make the Cubans and offer they can’t refuse.

I don’t see how getting rid of a rich, foreign aristocracy and a few thousand, rich powerful and influential families justifies enslaving a whole population, destroying the whole middle class by making everyone equally poor and destitute and ruled by one super rich, super powerful family and its minions.

1 comment:

Adamgv said...

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