January 05, 2004


Gloria La Riva seeks to put Cuba’s socialist revolution in perspective:

In Cuba, a third television station was added called the "University for All." Its programming includes English, French and Spanish lessons, mathematics, geography, history and culture. It is revolutionary mass media at work, educating and spreading culture that inspires solidarity, not cutthroat competition and demeaning behavior.

You will never see a Jerry Springer or Cristina show on Cuban television. Or a commercial, for that matter. That alone proves socialism's superiority over capitalism.

Cuba provides the essentials of life for every citizen of its country. It's a country free of landlords; imagine not having a landlord breathing down your neck. That's real freedom, that's workers' democracy.

Even better: imagine not breathing at all, like the three men executed last year for attempting to escape the “freedom” of Castro’s “worker’s democracy”. It must puzzle idiots like La Riva why so many people want out of Cuba, while the numbers inbound are fewer than La Riva's intelligent thoughts. Cuba provides the essentials of death for every citizen of its country.

UPDATE. A few years ago La Riva was the PeaceTard Party’s candidate for Governor of California. Let’s see how her platform compares to conditions in the “worker’s democracy”:

• Full rights for immigrants. There are no borders in the workers’ struggle.

Cuba’s workers perpetually struggle to flee Cuba’s borders.

• Abolish the death penalty.

According to some estimates, Cuba is per capita one of the leading practitioners of capital punishment in the world.

• Raise the state minimum wage to $10/hour.

The average Cuban brings home only $20 per month.

• Stop police abuse. Justice for all victims of police brutality.

Especially for the victims of Cuban police brutality.

• Support women’s right to choose.

Abortions in Cuba must be performed within 10 weeks of conception. By contrast, in the US about 9% of legal abortions are performed in the second and third trimester.

• End lesbian/gay/bi/transgender oppression.

Castro rounded up gays and put them in forced labor camps.

La Riva should run for office in Havana. They need someone with her passion for social justice.

Posted by Tim Blair at January 5, 2004 02:39 PM

...not to mention the lovely "sanitoriums" they have set up for homosexuals.

Posted by: Tex at January 5, 2004 at 02:50 PM

It is comforting to know that, seventy years after determining that Stalin was the future (and it worked), fifty years after Mao's "barefoot doctors" and "Great Leap Forward" marked a glorious new chapter in development, and forty years after decrying the failings of the likes of Chun Doo Hwan and Park Chung Hee, next to Kim Il-Sung, a REAL Korean patriot, that the fire still burns bright and that Marxism-Leninism, now under Castro, will light the way forward.

And if the pressure turns up on North Korea, look for some Lefty or another to not only decry American imperialism and wonder why we go after them and not Uzbekistan, but also that North Koreans are better off under Kim Jong-il than their oppressed brothers and sisters in the south, w/ an American (sorry, Amerikkkan) boot on their necks, their women turned into bar-maids and prostitutes, their culture sullied, and their whole nation exploited, unlike the worker's paradise just across the DMZ.

Posted by: Dean at January 5, 2004 at 02:57 PM

What about all the snappy Batista-era Buicks, Chevs, De Sotos and Plymouths cruising the streets of Havana (When they can get fuel)? At least Beardy-Boy didn't make his tropical hell-hole totally fun-free by filling it up with Wartburgs and Volgas.
(Then again, he probably couldn't afford them).

Posted by: Habib at January 5, 2004 at 03:04 PM

Is she SWP? Sure sounds like the SWP to me....

Posted by: KevinV at January 5, 2004 at 03:26 PM

Hold on, they only have 3 television stations all state-run? I'm sure they don't have any nationalist propaganda and "Fidel = God" crap on it either.

Posted by: Marty at January 5, 2004 at 03:30 PM

Castro's going to die one day. Who is in line to replace him? Was he planning on living for ever so there is no succession plan?

I don't know (and cannot be bothered goggling) if Castro has kids or not but in usual dictator-style I would expect that Lil' Castro Junior would be the next in line.

Perhaps the Beard takes over when he is gone...good beard that.

Posted by: Jake D at January 5, 2004 at 03:35 PM

What would they advertise? The one type of butter, produced by a state-run company, infrequently available and rationed to boot?
And Jake, I recall that one of Castro's own children has escaped as well.

Posted by: Infidel Castro at January 5, 2004 at 03:45 PM

What a glorious achievement for socialism, Cubans can learn to say, “I’m starving” in English, French and Spanish!

Posted by: perfectsense at January 5, 2004 at 03:48 PM

"imagine not having a landlord breathing down your neck"

It's called buying a house.

Posted by: Mike Hunt at January 5, 2004 at 03:49 PM

Have some idea that El Lider Maximo does have a daughter but she's anti-communist and has defected to the US. True, mate, true.

Posted by: Noami Kleimpsky at January 5, 2004 at 04:22 PM

Does Castro's daughter follow the rule of dictator's daughters everywhere and appear to be very, very hot?

Posted by: Quentin George at January 5, 2004 at 04:33 PM

For reasonably current info on Castro's daughter including a creepy shot of her with dad on her wedding day, go here.

Posted by: J F Beck at January 5, 2004 at 04:50 PM

Come the counter-revolution, Cubans will be queueing for miles for the opportunity to pimp-slap some sense into the likes of this cloth-eared idiot. We can raise money screening it on pay-per-view... now THAT'S entertainment.

Posted by: Fidens at January 5, 2004 at 04:52 PM

A little about Castro's daughter.

Posted by: ilibcc at January 5, 2004 at 04:55 PM

Fidel Castro's designated sucessor is his younger brother Raul, who was with him from the beginning of the Revolution. Other than his brother, Castro's pretty strongly avoided nepotism.

Fidel has seven sons (one from his first marriage to Mirta Diaz-Balart, one from a another woman, and five from his current marriage). Fidel has taken great effort to keep his private life private. Only his eldest son, Fidel "Fidelito" Castro, has a government policy job (and not a very important one in the scheme of things). Only Fidelito has ever been mentioned in the Cuban media. The only pictures of Castro's sons ever published were of two sons, taken in secret by a man who later defected and provided the film to the Miami Herald.

Raul has a son and three daughters, and they've all been kept out of the Cuban media, too. None of them is in Cuban government, either, though the husband of one of his daughters is Luis Alberto Fernández, a lieutenant colonel who heads the umbrella agency that administers the Cuban military's businesses.

After Raul Castro and Luis Alberto Fernández, the only family members who are in government are Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balart, a couple of anti-Fidel U.S. Congressmen. Their aunt Mirta was the mother of Fidelito, so Fidel Castro tells Americans that visit him that he's got two nephews in Congress.

Posted by: Warmongering Lunatic at January 5, 2004 at 05:36 PM

Workers World?! You're blogging on an article from the Communist Party's crackpot house organ? Come on Tim, don't bother with the low-hanging and overripe fruit.

Posted by: John Pearley Huffman at January 5, 2004 at 07:14 PM

What is it with Castro and Che' (Fidel's dead buddy) that so many young, hip Westerners are in love with? I don't get it...

A great book is "Whisper of the Blade" by Erik Durschmied, who actually met Castro.

A great passage follows:

"The prisons will overflow, not the prisons." (Che' to assembled journalists on the fate of political dissidents)
The room
fell into stunned silence. With a single phrase, Che, after Fidel Castro, the most influential man in the country, had condemned hundreds of political opponents to the firing squads.

and later in the same chapter

"My revolution has not shrunk, and will not shrink from serious decisive measures if dictated by necessity. The proof of this is the shooting of military and political criminals"

Such remarks gave pause to those who still viewed Fidel Castro as a romantic, misunderstood figure.

Castro showed his true colours decades ago - why do people ignore the man's own words?

Posted by: Quentin George at January 5, 2004 at 07:47 PM

Because they want power, or at least, to be close to the most powerful alpha male they can find. They have rejected the gods, but still yearn to worship something, hence today's modern idols (Che, Fidel, Marx).

Posted by: Andrea Harris at January 5, 2004 at 09:19 PM

Also, studies reveal that the majority of the population has its first extramarital sexual encounter during adolescence.

Is this someone trying to put a spin on teenage prostitution?

Posted by: Andjam at January 5, 2004 at 10:09 PM

La Riva's a paid Communist agent. The best thing she could do for the Cuban proletariat is to visit soon after Castro dies, and his politburo is overthrown. There, the Havanans could shave her head and harry her through the streets, in the traditional way of dealing with female collaborators.

I'm sure they'd find the experience enormously therapeutic.

Posted by: Byron_the_Aussie at January 5, 2004 at 10:27 PM


Posted by: LB at January 5, 2004 at 11:14 PM

Don´t forget their famous healthcare! I actually visited in Cuba 2 years ago. In our group of German tourists was a doctor who had brought a bag full of drugs he wanted to donate, knowing that these are scarce in Cuba. So our bus driver stopped at a hospital in the country and when the doctor returned, I heard him muttering to his wife: "There´s nothing there. Appliances, drugs, they have nothing."

Beautiful country, very nice people, but desperate. No landlords? How about no roofs? The foreign commies who applaud Castro aren´t just fools, they are criminals. And I am sorry I went there because I´m sure most of my money ended up supporting the regime.

Posted by: wf at January 6, 2004 at 01:43 AM

If you leave the low-hanging fruit, though, it will have a chance to fall and sprout more lies.

Posted by: Tatterdemalian at January 6, 2004 at 01:58 AM

Hey, I think it's cool you can get the BBC in Cuba...

Posted by: Jerry at January 6, 2004 at 04:20 AM

It would be appropriate to mention that the three men executed by Castro were Black.

Posted by: Chris McGarrigal at January 6, 2004 at 08:22 AM

I once asked a very pro-Castro Spanish professor why so many people had fled Cuba with such horrifying stories if the regime was as good as she said.

Those who want to leave are worms who want to live on the back of workers. They want to lead comfortable middle class lives while forcing others to do all their dirty work. Cuba is better off without them.

It's truly disgusting that people actually buy this. But, as I've now heard similar sentiments about almost every brutal government on earth (so long as it's anti-American and preferablly communist/socialist), I'm sad to say it no longer surprises me.

Posted by: Julia at January 6, 2004 at 08:48 AM

Castro rounded up gays and put them in forced labor camps.

Here's another show they don't air in Cuba: Queer Eye for the Totalitarian Guy.

Posted by: Alan K. Henderson at January 6, 2004 at 04:08 PM