As the President of the United States noodles around Cuba, opening up relations and trade for the first time in half a century, one obvious obstacle to progress sticks out: Fidel Castro is still alive, and his brother, Raoul, still runs a one-party state.
It is worth reminding Americans how desperately socialism in Cuba requires repressive one-party rule. Sometimes folks forget. As Bernie Sanders pushes a “democratic socialism,” we should wonder where he and his Sandernistas stand on Cuba’s brand of socialism, i.e. without the democratic part.
Months ago, an old 1985 video surfaced of Bernie Sanders, then mayor of Burlington, Vermont, back from trips to Nicaragua and Cuba. Frankly, I agreed with his opposition to U.S. intervention in Central America. But Bernie also praised the Cuban government, asserting that Cubans were not “against Fidel Castro” because “he educated their kids, gave their kids health care, totally transformed society.”
He did not mention what Fidel didn’t give, indeed, would not allow: opportunity, progress, autonomy, freedom, democracy . . . the list is long.
Cubans who speak out are arrested, imprisoned.
Bernie did add: “Not to say Fidel Castro and Cuba are perfect.” But failed to make any mention of the total political repression of democratic activity.
The necessity of violence to establish socialism should be obvious. Even Bernie’s so-called “non-violent” supporters engage in raucous, invasive protests against Trump, and litter Twitter with indecent talk of assassinating the Republican front-runner.
What would they do with official power?
Are they committed to democracy as a process, really? Or to their programs alone?
Programs that rely upon mass expropriation and strong-arming governance. No matter what Sanders says about “love.”
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
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