Jan 27, 2010

Fidel Castro's Legacy to the Cuban People

Originally in Spanish and posted by el maestro Alfredo Pong in his blog Cuba Humor. Pass in on. The world needs to know Cuba's reality during the past 50 years. And they need to know about the unsurmountable damage that will need to be undone by future generations of Cubans, after the dictator dissapear from the face of Earth.

Fidel Castro's Legacy to the Cuban People
By Marzo Fernandez
Free translation by Cubanita

According to all predictions, 2010 will be the year when Fidel Castro will physically cease to exist. Even the babalawos "here and there" agree that it is this year when huge changes will take place in our beloved homeland. That's why we have come up with a summary of what the Cuban people will inherit from the dictator:

1.-One of the richest rulers of the world. The 5th richest one, according to Forbes Magazine.

2.-A nation paralized in time and closed to the rest of the world, where listening to or watching a foreign radio or TV station, reading a (foreign) magazine or having access to the Internet could mean long jail terms.

3.-The country with the world's highest emigration rate (even above Mexicans): more than 23% of the Cuban population lives abroad, the only country that forbids individuals awarded with international recognitions from traveling abroad, and even prohibits them from returning to the country where they were born. And to travel internally, inside the island, official authorizations are required.

4.-One of the world's highest suicide rates, second to the world's top, Japon, with 42 suicides per 100,000.
5.-The highest divorce rate in the geographical area: 65 % of marriages are dissolved within the first two years.

6.-Serious problems with Cuban's national identity: more than 3 million Cubans have requested the Spanish citizenship (via family lineage) and nearly half million have requested visas to emigrate to the United States.

7.-One of the world's larger prison populations: nearly 300,000 inmates, out of a population of 11.2 million. And also the highest rates of executions in the firing squad: more than 5,000, a number that has been properly verified in the last 50 years.

8.-Serious racial disparities: only 6% of the country's leadership are Blacks, in a country where more than 60% of the population are Blacks or racially mixed. However, 80 % of Cuba's inmates are Blacks under the age of 40. In Cuban universities, only 22% of students are Blacks.

9.-A huge level of corruption that has taken to jail and to the firing squad higher ups such as generals and public officials from ministries, under charges of grand theft, drug trafficking and more. Even the elites from the PolitBuro have been involved in common crimes such as theft, embezzlement, influences peddling, etc.

10.-Cuba has become a fiscal paradise for all sort of capitals from questionable sources, money laundering and to support, protect and export international terrorrism, and such as is the country being considered now. Swiss banks have been penalized twice for money laundering of dollars originated in Cuba. And let's not forget that in the sixties, Castro placed Cuba in the brink of a nuclear holocaust with his policies of inconditional support to terrorrist movements all over the world.

11.-The military missions in more than 10 countries, where the lives of 30,000 young Cuban men were senseless sacrificed; more than 76% of those young soldiers (on mandatory draft) were Black.

12.-The only country of the world where being in posession of a copy of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a crime punished with jail time, where dissent and disagreement with the goverment's policies is a crime considered as treason, persecuted them all by the state's secret police. A country where repression is live and well in all sectors of the socio-economic life. 

13.-The country with the highest per-capita external debt of the world, totaling nearly 40 billion dollars: each Cuban that is born, does so assuming a per capita debt of $4,000. - Some context here: the average monthly salary is 25 dollars

14.-The longest and most cruel rationing (system) that ever existesd in any country in times of peace. Almost 50 years of submission to a tight food control. Within the last 50 years, Cuban's height has decreased an average of 10 centimeters. Only in 1993, due to the crisis caused by the extintion of the former Soviet Union, the body mass of Cubans older than 18 decreased an average of 15 lbs. In this (phenomenon) also played a role the 3 million of bycicles imported from China that came to substitute the (ruined) public transportation infraestructure.

15.-The inability to provide the basic needs of the population, such as clothing, food, and shelter (and I personally would like to add running water)

16.-The housing shortage, made public by the Cuban government itself, is more than one million units. Sixty percent of the capital's housing units are considered inhabitable, due to the lack of proper maintenance and repairs.

17.-The sugar industry, once the staple of the nation, along with the cattle industry, are both in the brink of extintion.
18.-A road's infraestructure that is in a critical stage of destruction. Recently, Homero Crab, director of roads from the Construction Ministry, publicly recognized that 70% of the country's bridges are irreparable, that 60% of Cuban roads need major repairs, and that 55% of rural roads have irreversible damages. Not long ago, he also said that more than 50% of the running water that is distributed to the population ends up lost in leaks.

19.-A cruel "apartheid" system that limited regular Cuban's access to tourist and recreational instalations, even if they tried to access them accompanied by relatives who residing in a foreign country. Even in that case (the regular Cuban) was discriminated against. - I had several personal experiences with this in the past . This policy was officially changed in 2004, but again the access became unaffordable for the regular citizen. Remember, $25.00 a month.

20.-Irreversible damages to ecosystems and the enviroment, due to the lack of priority given to the conservation of national resources. Cuban rivers and bays have been rated as highly contaminated by international organizations. Soil salinity and deforestation are creating serious problems in the agriculture.

21. Last January, the goverment recognized that more than 50% of the country's productive land is not being cultivated; a country that, in the last three years, has imported more than 2 billion dollars in food from the United States. On top of that, the marine's faunas in the island's platform is practically extinted, due to uncontrolled fishing and explotation.

22.-From having a Cuban peso equal to a dollar in 1959 (1 peso=1 dollar), we inherited the socialist peso, the convertible peso, a currency that has not buying power whatsoever and that you can not exchange it anywhere in the world.

The most importante legacy of the dictator:

The total prohibition of political parties, of free elections, of access to mainstream media, of the right to organize, of free expression, of traveling freeling, of private property, of having a judicial system that truly defends the individual rights of Cuban citizens.

As I always say, Castro never confiscated or nationalized anything. He privatized everything under his name and stole our homeland, CUBA.

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