On July 11, the world was shaken by the news. Cubans had taken to the streets to demonstrate and demand what, for 60 years, the dictatorship has denied them. Millions of Mexicans and citizens of the world supported our Cuban brothers. Still, there are always those ignorant, blind and obtuse who, from the comfort of freedom and free market, immediately took their iPhones, and while drinking a coffee from their nearest Starbucks, perhaps wearing a Ché t-shirt, and many days without a shower, made use of their freedom, on platforms created by the “destructive capitalism” and stood in favor of oppression. These pseudo leftists, akin to the party in power in Mexico, expressed their support for Cuban tyranny.
Starting with President López Obrador and the former secretary-general of the Morena party, Yeidckol Polevnsky Gurwitz -whose real name is Citlali Ibáñez Camacho- and multiple members of the party, as well as journalists sympathetic to the Morena regime, YouTubers and influencers, came out to make unfortunate statements in favor of the repressive Cuban dictatorship. But, apart from their support, they expressed another common point: the farce of the “economic blockade” of Cuba.
After more than sixty years of communism, the terrifying ghost of Cuba’s disastrous economy has resurfaced. Once again, it has come to public light, this time in the face of the mega demonstrations clamoring for homeland and freedom that is shaking the “Castro” dictatorship, whose repression to date has claimed the lives of the dead and hundreds of disappeared. Unfortunately, and as expected, López Obrador’s government has not lifted a finger to support the Cuban people in their struggle against tyranny. Instead, he attacks from its morning pulpit those who do so. That includes the users of Twitter whom he minimizes by saying they are “an irrelevant 10 percent of the population”.
The Mexican Executive has become an accomplice of an old lie of the Cuban communist propaganda, repeated by Fidel to exhaustion: that of the alleged economic “blockade” imposed by the United States on the island.
However, neither AMLO nor the tyrant in power Díaz-Canel tells the world that Cuba has more than 70 trade agreements with the rest of the world. Nor do they say that they import from the United States Food and medicines. For example, USD 258 million in 2019 and 2020, although there was a 36.6% reduction compared to 2019, purchases were for more than $160 million. So? Where is the “blockade”?
The much-mentioned and “evil” specter called “blockade” consisted of a series of economic, financial, and trade sanctions. The purchase and sale of goods from and to Cuba were restricted, limiting transactions with other countries. Although this practice existed in the past as a pressure mechanism, today, there is no “blockade” of any kind on the island of Cuba. I repeat, TODAY, THERE IS NO “BLOCKADE” ON THE ISLAND OF CUBA contrary to what the regime’s propaganda maintains.
On December 17, 2014, Barack Obama and Raul Castro agreed to improve political, social, and economic relations between the two countries, including the so-called “embargo” that limits the financial ties with the island. The reason that embargo exists, which the leftists have forgotten, was that Fidel Castro did away with private property. He appropriated, took, stole, and never compensated those stripped of their assets. For years, the United States has tried to prevent the Castro dictatorship from doing business trading with those goods stolen from millions of Cubans who ended up murdered, imprisoned, or exiled.
There is no better demonstration that there is no economic “blockade” against Cuba in 2020, that the island imported goods valued at more than 10 billion dollars, its main trading partners being: Venezuela, China, Spain, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Russia, Italy, Germany, France, Vietnam, Algeria, Argentina, Holland, the United States, Belgium, South Korea, Portugal, India, and Colombia. The United States alone, generates between 5 to 8% of the island’s imports, including more than 50% of the food that arrives in Cuba.
While we are on the subject of Mexican hypocrisy, it is essential to mention how López Obrador claims, defends, and demands respect and non-interference of other countries in Mexican affairs. Still, he is the first one to stick his nose into the affairs of others. He attacks Spain, the United States, national and foreign companies, and businessmen for being corrupt. Still, he demands contributions in exchange for tamales de chipilín, and he raises the discourse of the “blockade” from that comfort and freedom that allowed him, democratically, to be the current president of Mexico.
This false left emanating from the presidential party becomes free-marketeer at convenience. Let’s invest in a Mayan train, in a refinery, let’s bring in foreign investment… but let’s bend the free market to convenience when evaluating what protectionist trade measures to take with gas increases. They only care about free trade when they begin to see that the “200 pesos” in the president’s pocket will not be enough for the handouts and well, they need to win elections.
Let’s call a spade a spade. The debate of what is happening right now on the island of Cuba is MUCH MORE than an economic issue. It is the lack of civil, political, social, economic, cultural rights—the right to self-determination, equality, development, peace, health, private property. And if what they want to talk about is economics, there is not much to say, Cuba is bankrupt, and its production sunk by sixty years of communism. Sixty years of unproductivity.
I reiterate what I have said before. If anything, Cuba’s history has taught us, in its pre-independence conflicts up to the revolution, one thing and one thing only. Bringing Cubans together is easy, but uniting them is almost impossible… and now, Cubans have united. They have come out to protest, they are losing the fear because they are fed up. A life in misery is not a life—and no one who can stop now, what started on July 11.
PATRIA, VIDA Y LIBERTAD – CUBA LIBRE!
For Times Media Mexico
José E. Urioste
July 15, 2021
Facebook – @JoseUriosteMx
Twitter – JoseUrioste_
José Urioste is a Yucatecan-Cuban businessman and professional in “Business Intelligence” and “Research and Development.” He is also a writer, editorialist, and columnist. He has worked in different media groups and has contributed to newspapers, magazines, on various topics ranging from professional to editorial.