Communism: A filthy word commonly associated with tyranny, anti-religious movements, and ultimately, something to be feared and unctuously derided as a scourge of the modern world?
In the post world era, the Cold War hung over the heads of a fearful world, dominated by the politics and the mad-cap ethics of MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) weapons and a protracted antagonistic stance between democratic nations led by the United States, and the supposedly rogue Communist nations led by Communist Russia.
In such wars of attrition, irony plays a huge part in such conflicts: Vietnam became the staging ground between the North and the South, as was North Korea, each side armed to the teeth with weapons from the United States and Russia respectively. It is as if, both superpowers were fighting a proxy war via feeder nations, in a bid to avoid direct confrontation.
And it is in view of the cold war that Cuba, of all communist nations, stands alone and unique in today's politics: As the closest communist neighbor to the democratic bastion of the US of A, she has rode the rough storms of a cold war era, suffered from numerous sanctions, threats and embargoes, and the fact that she has stayed largely intact as a communist nation is testimony of her resolve against a superpower dominated by anti-communist rhetoric fueled by the religious right.
Anton Kozlik gives an excellent account of this appalling state of affairs in the beleaguered Caribbean nation, and how Obama's bold step to unravel the evils of a misled American public is the first step towards a healthier state of affairs for both sides:
“US America takes a step towards becoming a moral nation!”
President Obama takes a bold step
The recent relaxation of some of the sanctions US America imposed on Cuba over the last 50 years is a welcome step by President Obama.
The move has done much to improve US America's tattered claims of being a moral nation. It was a long time coming since China and Russia had been enjoying trade, travel and commerce with US America for years.
Cuba: Lack of Natural Resources
Cuba was at a serious disadvantage because it didn't represent a major market or supplier like the other communist countries. Also, Cuba did not have oil reserves.
More than 50 years ago, thousands and thousands of rich and immoral citizens of US America enjoyed living it up in Cuba. They could do things there that wouldn't be approved back home in the USA where many of them enjoyed a respected presence in its religious communities.
The Hypocritical Religious Right
I would like to point out that this could be another case where the religious kept turning their heads when people from their congregations did dirty deeds. Those bad deeds apparently didn't count because they were out of sight .
They had paid for that right to have their fun by supporting Batista and greasing the necessary palms. Between the two of them, US America and Batista, they made life pretty horrible for Cuba's peasants. Those same peasants found no respite or remedy from their church. It seems the church had also been bought off – at least to the point that they weren't going to make waves with the existing powers.
The North American press and priests paid lip service to Castro's fight by appearing to champion his cause. There were even minor celebrations when he took Havana. The pesky US American's beat a hasty retreat.
It is possible that US America merely felt this would be a change in leaders and they would continue to enjoy their debauchery once again by just paying off the new “landlord”.
It didn't turn out that way.
And, when threatened with sanctions, Fidel turned to Russia and that dreaded political thing called communism. The Catholic Church excommunicated Castro.
And the fun began.
Like playground bullies who had their toys taken away, US America proceeded to make it a living hell for anybody inhabiting their old playground. It placed an embargo on trading with Cuba – at least one that it could claim to the rest of the world.
Enforcing an Embargo & Trading via the Back Door
In spite of this embargo, US America found ways to keep the recently nationalized oil and sugar refineries operating. For example, regular private flights from Canada supplied Cuba through Canadian subsidiaries of US corporations with equipment, parts, and US service personnel. Trips to Cuba did not show up on passports. The idea was to keep things operating until Castro was overthrown and US America could resume its ownership and control. The practice was abandoned when it was apparent that US America would not be reclaiming its control over Cuba.
Demonizing Communist Cuba
What happened during the next thirty years would be considered political and economic skirmishes with US America claiming righteousness by battling “communism”. Who did what to who and how is really not the point. Cuba was the enemy, it was communist, and it was only 90-miles from US America.
Also, Cuba was smaller than Russia and China – and it certainly didn't have oil.
It also embarrassed US America by providing troops and medical aid to other nations who also had issues with US American support of questionable regimes. And while it enjoyed support from the USSR, its universal health care was headed to being one of the best in the world.
Incidentally, Cuba was able to secure its oil supply from Argentina by exporting hundreds of its medical professionals to help with Argentina's struggles – also with US America.
Survival of the Fittest: No God Involved
I believe President Obama relaxing US America's sanctions will help Cuba regain its position as an important member of the North American community.
Cuba has also shown shown that it can survive and strive . . . without gods!