Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Castro rule jeopardizes new U.S.-Cuban diplomatic, trade relations

In December 2014, Cuba and the United States established diplomatic relations after having none for more than 50 years. This new relationship started when the president of Cuba, Raul Castro, released an American prisoner accused of being a spy in exchange for the American government releasing three Cuban prisoners also accused of espionage.

Most of the countries in Latin America celebrated the fact that Cuba and the United States had re-established relations. Many Latin American politicians hope that the United States will lift the trade embargo over Cuba. They think that if the embargo is lifted, the Cuban economy will recover and the poverty rate will fall. But there is still a big problem in the way of Cuba’s growth: the communist regime of the Castro family.

In Latin America, it is common to blame the United States for the poverty and social problems of the region. Socialist leaders’ favorite thing to do is blame the United States and imperialism when something is going wrong. Venezuela and North Korea have done it recently and Cuba has done it for the last 50 years. It is easy to say that the situation in Cuba will improve when the United States lifts the embargo, but that does not mean that the Cuban government will stop controlling prices and salaries for the people.

The median salary in Cuba is 20 U.S. dollars a month, but some people earn fewer than 12. The government controls the wages in Cuba and rarely lets college graduates go abroad for fear that they might escape. Each time Cuba sends people abroad, some escape from the hotels where they are staying. When Cuban soccer teams come to play in the United States, at least a couple of them escape every time. Doctors and other specialists tend also to escape, since a doctor in Cuba makes approximately 30 dollars a month, while in countries like Mexico they can make up to 1,500 U.S. dollars.

As we can see, government control of the economy and wages is an obstacle to Cuban growth. People that work in private businesses like hotels have to pay lots of taxes from their wages. As long as the Cuban government keeps controlling the wages of its people and keeps limiting them to buying only from government stores, the quality of life of the Cuban citizens will not improve.

There is one thing that really bothers me with this new relationship between Cuba and the United States, and that is that Raul and Fidel Castro will continue to hold power on the island. I cannot believe the United States is negotiating with criminals like the Castro family, who have committed terrible crimes against human rights and have destroyed democracy in Cuba. Fidel and Raul Castro are dictators and they have to pay for their crimes.

Latin American governments criticized the government of Pinochet in Chile because he was a dictator backed by the United States. In the end, Pinochet was tried in court and condemned to prison. But with Cuba, Latin American governments have ignored the situation. Few of them have accused Fidel Castro and Raul Castro of being what they really are: dictators. I think that the Latin American governments have not accused Castro directly because he is opposed to the United States and because of his socialist ideology, which is predominant in most Latin American countries.

I don’t think Cuba will progress with the communist government it has. This system was the one that made millions of Cubans emigrate to countries like the United States, Spain and Mexico, where the economy is not controlled and they can enjoy freedom. In Cuba, people do not even have Internet in their houses. The complaints of citizens cannot be heard because they cannot reach the outside world.

Communism has failed again, and now a communist government asks desperately to fix relations with an old enemy in order to obtain hope for economic recovery. Even if the situation of the Cuban people improves after they re-establish a diplomatic relationship with the United States, the people must not forget that Fidel and Raul Castro are dictators and deserve to be punished.

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