The Castro (and now post-Castro) regime in Cuba is a deeply repressive communist dictatorship whose final place within the proverbial ash heap of historical past can not arrive quickly sufficient. A retrograde relic of the Chilly Conflict period—when it served as a strategically positioned Soviet satrapy—the impoverished island nation has barely modified an iota for the reason that fall of the Berlin Wall. The newest bout of unrest there, spurred by a restive Cuban inhabitants craving for the fundamental freedoms that almost all of their Latin American neighbors take with no consideration, can also be a harrowing portent of what may sometime come if the “progressive”—in lots of circumstances, more and more outright socialist—left will get its manner right here in america.
I’ve been to Cuba and seen the barren fruits of this hellish, “revolutionary” regime with my very own eyes. Components of Havana are positively charming—the historic elements that predate the revolution, no less than—however the majority of town appears to be like prefer it was simply hit by a neutron bomb. Dilapidated buildings that appear to be they’re out of Mogadishu circa 1993 are the norm. Skeleton-thin stray canines wander the streets, whereas locals are normally reliant on government-provided scraps to get by with naked life requirements. The Malecon, Havana’s preeminent esplanade alongside the water, is of course lovely. It’s straightforward to see what Ernest Hemingway fell in love with when he wrote “The Outdated Man and the Sea.” However as an alternative of glowing five-star resorts dotting the panorama, there’s rubble and desolation so far as the attention can see.
Cubans additionally lack essentially the most rudimentary of civil liberties. The regime’s inner safety service is a thuggish brownshirt militia that beats and subjugates perceived enemies—all with out fundamental procedural norms, comparable to due technique of legislation. The web, which is pathetically gradual, is consistently surveilled by politburo lackeys. Each time a Cuban steps out onto the road to complain to a compatriot in regards to the struggles of every day life and his common hopelessness at life development, he’s below menace of being watched and spied upon. And complain they often do—my very own journey there belied the notion that each Cuban is a totally indoctrinated Castroite.
That, in a nutshell, is post-”revolution” Cuba. However it’s actually not what the American left sees when it appears to be like to the island simply 90 miles south of Florida.
The latest grassroots protests in Cuba, instantly spurred partly by the federal government’s horrible dealing with of the COVID-19 pandemic, are straight conscious of the Cuban individuals’s decades-long oppression on the behest of a genuinely evil, communist police state. As former President Donald Trump put it in a press release on Thursday, “The proud individuals of Cuba are determined to be free from the iron boot heel of the Island’s depraved Communist Regime.” That’s certainly what has been taking place over the previous week.
However when the fashionable left, for whom such males as Sen. Bernie Sanders—a dyed-in-the-wool communist who honeymooned within the Soviet Union and defended his erstwhile reward of Fidel Castro as lately as final yr—are more and more emblematic, appears to be like at Cuba, it sees one thing fairly totally different. Specifically, they see a chance to bash the long-running (and sometimes tweaked) U.S. embargo of Cuba—which was the focus of Sanders’ feedback this previous week. Leftist “it lady” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has as an alternative opted for deafening silence—however the Democratic Socialists of America, of which AOC is a member, forthrightly tweeted that it “stands with the Cuban individuals and their Revolution on this second of unrest.” Black Lives Matter, apparently not content material with the $1 billion to $2 billion in paid insurance coverage claims from final summer season’s riots that it helped spawn, condemned america for “tr[ying] to crush this Revolution for many years.” That a big portion of Cuba’s tyrannized populace is itself black seems to not have crossed BLM’s thoughts.
As Jeffrey Scott Shapiro, former director of the U.S. Workplace of Cuba Broadcasting, detailed in a February op-ed at Newsweek—the place I’m opinion editor—the Cuban regime is, to this date, an unmitigated totalitarian catastrophe.
“Medical doctors who’ve tried to flee the island have usually confronted persecution and harsh punishment,” Shapiro wrote. “In different situations, dissidents in determined want of medical consideration, together with most cancers therapy, have been denied correct medical care merely due to their political actions.”
That is the regime that giant swaths of the American left has been willfully ignoring, defending, or outright egging on because it has taken to the streets this previous week to terrorize a citizenry craving fundamental human dignity. Keep in mind that the subsequent time you go to the poll field in these still-free United States.
Josh Hammer, a constitutional legal professional by coaching, is an opinion editor for Newsweek, a podcast contributor with BlazeTV, of counsel at First Liberty Institute, and a syndicated columnist.
Views expressed on this article are the opinions of the writer and don’t essentially mirror the views of The Epoch Instances.