Normally, a ruthless military dictator of a small island country would weigh little in world events. Normally, the world community would try to ostracize this ruthless leader and hasten the day when the nation could live in freedom.
However, that logic does not apply when it comes to one military dictator. That exception is Fidel Castro, an unabashed Stalinist who has maintained Communist rule over Cuba for nearly fifty years.
Far from welcoming a change in his ruthless regime that may come due to Castro’s declining health, the left worldwide has united around the Castroist regime hoping for a continuation of the misery of the Cuban people.
Why are leftists who claim to be so compassionate so adamant when it comes to Cuba? Perhaps it is because Cuba is an important symbol and rallying point to the communist movement worldwide. Leftists, guerrillas and even American liberals seem to gather courage from thCe fact that Castro and Cuba have survived.
The following article analyzes Cuba’s great importance among leftists even as the leader of this despotic regime appears to be nearing his end.
Cuba and the Submarine
If there is a revolutionary remnant in the world today where the communist flag still insults the sun’s rays with its presence, that remnant is Castro’s Cuba.
Communists, more or less everywhere, have been scared and disconcerted by the spectacular collapse of the Soviet bloc. Certain macro-capitalist mass media always boastfully presented that bloc as being the second international empire after the United States.
Now Russia — this nation of tattered wretches reduced to beggars by the cruelest of tyrannies — was suddenly pulverized, and this was a frightful psychological blow for communists the world over.
Nevertheless, these same communists are consoled to see that in small Cuba there still burns a communist Troy, radiating to the three Americas — even to Africa — her evil electro-political vibrations.
Cuba, the island-prison of the Antilles, nonetheless, is submerged in chaos. Castro appears to be “without oxygen” and the only possible way out for his delicate situation is his propaganda support from outside Cuba.
In this sense, caravans of colorful foreigners have not hesitated to give him this indispensable support.
Happy spokesmen of the Brazilian Catholic left such as the Dominican, friar Betto, the ex-Franciscan, Friar Leonardo Boff, and others of the same persuasion, go there often. Forming a choir with ecologists and tribalists, these “showmen” of liberation theology continue to repeat the same song and dance which can be summarized more or less like this:
“The people in Cuba are happy. There is misery, that is true. But, what is the difference between misery and poverty? In the final analysis, is not a bearable poverty better than consumerism? Is it not at least the lesser of two evils, since the population is not obliged to work so much, in order to produce so much? Does not the idleness of misery bring attractions along with it? Is this not better than the vertiginous keeping up with the Jones’ of the consumer civilization?”
Since they have no other defense of the island-prison, these apologists dedicate themselves to this lewd defense of misery. They could care less about the fact that their attitude helps perpetuate the brutalities, cruelties and crimes of Stalinist communism, that failed in Eastern Europe yet still reign in Cuba.
In spite of all this, international communism accrues a great advantage by preserving Cuba as a Stalinist holdout. Cuba ends up being their flag bearer, while they attempt their metamorphosis throughout the world.
For the sake of comparison, imagine a submarine, in which the periscope, besides its optical function, also serves as a snorkel which lets air in for those inside the vessel.
Cuba, presently, is playing the role of the hypothetical periscope. The communist crew, submerged amid the waters of misery, feels diminished, disheartened and asphyxiated before the vision of the sinking of Russian communism. However, the existence of Castro’s Cuba brings oxygen to these lungs. In such a fashion that if communists breathe today it is because Castro breathes. And this is of great importance for the survival of communism.
The preceding article written by Professor Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira was originally published in Agência Boa Imprensa – ABIM in the first half of July, 1992. It has been translated and adapted for publication without his revision.
Written in the early nineties the article refers to the then-recent fall of the Berlin Wall. However, the left still flocks to communist Cuba and takes courage in its continued existence. –Ed.