Published: Friday | October 30, 2009
The Editor, Sir:
The Jamaican Government must be complimented on its principled stand
with regard to its position on the American trade embargo with Cuba.
There can be no doubt that at this time, the embargo has proven to be
totally fruitless and has not accomplished what it was originally
intended to, that is, to effect regime change in that country. In
addition, it has also contributed to the economic hardship of Cuba and
A proper analysis of the Cuban situation, however, would confirm that
the embargo only represented a small portion of the ills that have
bedevilled Cuba over the years. During that time, it did become
fashionable to blame the embargo for all the failures of the regime as
it was politically very expedient to do so.
In the early days of his revolution, Fidel Castro had open to him the
opportunity to embrace any form of government that he chose. His choice
of totalitarian governance over free-market economics was indeed what
has impoverished his country most over that period.
The reason Cuba is today among the four poorest nations in the
hemisphere was not caused by the embargo. The reason Cuba still rations
food 50 years after his revolution is not the fault of the embargo.
President Castro chose socialist revolution over a free-enterprise
economy and, as we know, it is an incontrovertible fact that socialism
impoverishes nations. This is not in dispute. There is empirical
evidence to prove it.
Cuba today has the greatest resource of any nation in the region sitting
dormant within its own borders and totally unexploited: that is the 11
million disciplined, educated and hard-working of its own citizens.
If Raoul Castro would, instead of exchanging oxen for tractors in his
fields, extract the entrepreneurial force locked up in his people
through a free-market mechanism, the result would be an explosion of
economic activity unparalleled in Cuban history and rivalling the
Chinese. Power, however, is heady stuff and that transition would have
to wait until the passing of the Castro brothers.
I am, etc.,
Jamaica Gleaner News - LETTER OF THE DAY - Cuba and its people - Letters
- Friday | October 30, 2009 (30 October 2009)