Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Intellectual Honesty - Cuba Libre

M here...

During my recent travels out of the country, I had to take advantage and have a Cuban cigar. This little self-indulgence brought up the topic of Cuba and its government. I mentioned that if Cuba wasn't run by a Communist, military dictator that I would like to be able to buy their cigars in the US. Forgetting that I was a US Citizen traveling abroad, meaning that I was the face of the enemy, I apparently sparked some anti-US, pro-socialist sentiments from another person close-by around me. I was "informed" that Cuba has "a great educational system and public health-care" that was much better than what we had in the evil United States, where everyday "the rich get richer and the poor get poorer."

Let's be honest here. First of all, I don't think I am the enemy. I have never intentionally harmed anyone else. I have donated time and money to those that need it out of a personal desire to leave the world better than I found it, which I find to be true of just about every American I know. I have helped to build houses for the homeless, worked for a summer at an orphanage, volunteered at the local children's hospital, etc. If that makes me evil in your eyes, then I will never be able to understand your point of view.

To say that Cuba's government is somehow "better" because they offer good, public, state-run healthcare is the moral equivalent of saying that it is okay to rape someone as long as you take them to a good doctor afterwards. To impose an act on a person, without their consent, is just that, a nonconsentual act from a more powerful entity on a less powerful entity. I'm not saying the US government is anywhere near perfect, but at its core, its central philosphical basis, the American people get a choice about what is imposed on them by their government. The state exists by the consent and for the benefit of the citizen. In Cuba, the state is greater than its citizens; at its extreme, citizens exist only for the benefit and at the consent of the State, as can be seen by the population control tactics in communist China. The "State" decides what is best for its citizens without their input.

My statement to the woman who decided to "educate" me about Cuba, is that the ends should not justify the means here. Maybe the people of Cuba would rather not have the kind of government that they have. The fact is, no one knows, because they do not get a vote.

This conversation is especially prudent given the participation of the Cuban baseball team in the World Baseball classic. My brother lives and works in San Diego, and works in the hospitality business there. He was able to observe the Cuban team this past week, and made some interesting points that I wanted to post. The team is on lock-down. They go from the hotel to the field, and when they return to the hotel, they are locked in their rooms. This is done to prevent anyone from defecting. I'm sure that their family members are under threat of retaliation from the government should anyone choose to try to defect to the US. Could this truly be the actions of a "just" government? These players have proved that they are among the best baseball players in the world, yet their Communist salaries pale in comparison to the potential that awaits them in the Major Leagues. They don't have that choice though. One player, allowed to play in the US, could make enough money to support an entire village in Cuba quite comfortably, but what would happen if the Cuban people were allowed to advance themselves in a free-market society? That would certainly threaten the control of the State, which is why its not allowed, because the beneficiaries of that success might not be so against the idea of capitalism then, huh? A government's primary role should not be self-preservation at the expense of its people. Those amazing Cuban athletes deserve a chance to be all that they can be. The Cuban people deserve a choice in the way their lives are governed. And, one-day, I would like to buy a Cuban cigar without thinking of it as contraband. And this does not make me evil. In fact, a true, intellectually honest person, has to believe in freedom for the people if they do in fact truly care about the well-being of the people.


Comments on "Intellectual Honesty - Cuba Libre"


Blogger leftside said ... (3:42 AM) : 

Where to begin? First where you are just wrong:

Any Cuban player could have easily defected. There were US police and INS agents everywhere in San Juan and San Diego, who vowed to protect them. Is it tht hard to belive there are people who care more about pride and country than money? It's the secret to their success. No one's family has ever been hurt by the Govt. for defection...

Cuban baseball players are now allowed to play in other countries. There are 2 playing in Japan. Many countries, including Japan, restrict players ability to play abroad... you have to play for 5 years i think.The reason is for the citizens. They don't want to be another Dominca, where there is no real domenstic baseball league, it's all about teenagers taken out of high school to play for some MLB whore house, where 99/100 end up unemployed...

We get a choice and Cubans don't? Where is our choice in our workplces? In Cuba, even the lowly get to act as managers and help make rules. Where is our choice in our system, you have to be a millionaire to elected. In Cuba, anyone can run for office and have an equal opportunity to win. In Cuba. 95% vote... Castro would win any vote by a landslide. They have amazing unity, which is a marvelous thing.

You say Cuban athletes could be more here, but those that come to the US rot... that is the sad history. The US is good for making money, but if you are an artist, or athlete, or educator, or someone who wants to do good, Cuba is the place.


Anonymous lurch956 said ... (6:22 AM) : 

I have heard that Cuba has an excellent medical system, excellent education, and now 95% voting. Of course, you are basically only getting the governments viewpoint. You probably won't hear from the Cuban people.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:07 PM) : 

Leftside, so that's why everybody wants to stay in Cuba, right? I mean, with all the great healthcare and education, it's a fucking worker's paradise. Here's some stats for you, you Communist fuck:

125,000 Rafters, Mariel Boatlift

50,000 Rafters, 1994 Balsero Crises

1,000,000+ CUBANS IN EXILE

Cuban votes don't count in that one-party worker's paradise Leftside idolizes. So they vote with their feet, their hands, their LIVES and LEAVE that madhouse whenever they can and in whatever they can. Just like East Germans did when they fled into the West and Capitalism.


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