WASHINGTON – In a longish report from Cuba, The New York Times tells us about various opinions expressed by different people on the island about the news of the new dialogue with the United States, with the possibility in the near future to re-establish diplomatic relations.
Cuba is a communist country
However, reading this article a not particularly well-informed reader would not get a few basic facts about Cuba. Number one, after 55 years Cuba is still a communist dictatorship that continues to outlaw free speech, while denying basic human rights. Number two, the Cuban economy, on account of 55 years of mismanagement by the dictatorship, is a basket case. But you get none of this from the NYT report.
This is rather amazing. Cuba is a communist dinosaur. But the NYT does not seem to know this. During the Cold War the Castro brothers managed to preserve their absurd regime in part thanks to Soviet subsidies. With the Soviet Union gone, more recently Cuba got help from like-minded Venezuela in the form of below market price oil supplies. But this help does not make much of a difference. Indeed, several analysts describe Cuba’s economy as “moribund”, “frozen”, “stuck”, “hopeless”, and so on. But you get none of this from The New York Times.
On the contrary, the article points out a few significant social achievements of the regime: namely universal public education and health care for every Cuban. Now, one could wonder why such a super healthy and super educated population performs so poorly. But this issue is not explored.
The thrust of the article is about an old US-Cuba political feud that may be finally settled thanks to Obama’s more realistic approach.
We had no relations because of the communist dictatorship
And why is there such a dispute? Perhaps it has something to do with a communist dictatorship in Cuba that throws political opponents in jail, while it prevented economic growth by outlawing private enterprise?
In order to avoid any misunderstanding, I stated before and I repeat now that I am completely in favor of this new “Cuba policy” just announced by President Obama. With the Soviet Union gone, Cuba is no longer a threat to America. The old “no relations with Cuba” approach makes no sense.
Still, as we enter this new phase inspired by pragmatism, let us not forget whom we are dealing with. Honest reporting that tells readers what kind of country Cuba is would be a good start.