The way the world treats Cuba is a mystery. There is no other way to describe it.
Any ruthless military dictatorship should be denounced and ostracized. In the case of Cuba, there can be no excuse for failing to condemn its human rights abuses and or expose its socialist-driven poverty. Its rabid persecution of the Faith is unspeakable. Everything should be done to hasten the happy day when the country might again live in “the liberty of the glory of the children of God” (Rom. 8:21).
However, this is not happening. Security forces are brutally suppressing widespread protests against the appalling conditions on the island. The regime will not accept Western medical aid even though people are dying from Covid. The situation is ripe for a regime change, but it will not happen.
Scandalous Support for the Cuban Regime
Leftists the world over continue to express sympathy for this monstrous regime. They do not blame the communist government for the nation’s ills but America. Communist Cuba can do no wrong.
A scandalous example of this support is the statements of the Black Lives Matter movement favoring the regime’s suppression of the Cuban people—including many who are black. Other American leftists have remained steadfast in their insistence that Cuba’s problems stem from the American embargo that prevents capitalist goods from rescuing the socialist disaster.
The protests, violent crackdowns and Internet blackouts prove the extent of the undeniable misery on the island. These things also confirm that the leftist support is based on ideology, not sympathy for the suffering Cuban people.
Cuba as a Litmus Test
Cuba is a litmus test to see who is truly leftist. The greater the sympathy for the regime, the greater the person’s degree of Marxism. The more appalling the conditions appear to the world, the more dogged is the support the left gives to this disgraceful tyranny. The leftists can be counted upon to disregard the most damning evidence that Cuba is an economic basket case.
Hence, the mystery is at least partially solved. The left worldwide unites around Cuba for ideological reasons. Leftists see any hostility against Cuba as an attack upon their cause in general.
Cuba as a Symbol of Defiance
However, this conclusion only explains part of the problem. It does not reveal why the left gives so much importance to the small Caribbean island.
Cuba is much more than just a random communist country that oppresses its people as communists have always done. The left needs Cuba because it is an important symbol and rallying point. Leftists, Marxist guerrillas and all liberals worldwide seem to gather courage from the fact that Cuba has defied the West for 62 years and survived.
Cuba is so important because it is the sole survivor of the communist revolution of the sixties. It still retains something of the legend of those heady times when hardcore communism seemed to be the wave of the future. Western leftists have always held Cuba up as an example of that idyllic Marxist “paradise” where all equally shared the hardships of carrying forward the socialist future.
The Spectacular Failure of the Soviet Empire
This legend became more critical with the spectacular failure of the Soviet empire in 1989. Imagine the left’s discouragement at seeing this empire suddenly pulverized. It was a frightful psychological blow for card-carrying communists the world over. It was especially disheartening to the West’s rich “useful idiots” who supported the communist revolution from the luxury of their townhouses and condos. The defeat proved embarrassing to liberal macro-capitalist mass media that presented the Soviet bloc as an immense world power.
Indeed, the left can take some consolation as long as a communist Troy still burns in tiny Cuba, which radiates its evil influence to the three Americas and the world. It will even tolerate the hordes of European and other tourists that fall over each other to support the island prison with their contaminated capitalist euros.
The Catholic Left Sees Cuba as a Paradise
Indeed, rather than deny people’s misery, the left embraces it. Thus, there is the tragic support of the Catholic left that has long seen Cuba as a bastion of evangelical (imposed) poverty where all are assumed to be happy, unencumbered by materialism. The supporters of liberation theology, ecological stewardship and tribal religious currents find a sanctuary from Western consumerism in this atheist stronghold. They help perpetuate the brutalities, cruelties and religious persecution that reigns in Cuba.
Even the latest violence has not diminished the almost religious fervor of the Catholic left for communist Cuba. Brazilian Dominican Friar Betto defends the island prison as a “paradise” for the poor or homeless and a “hell” for the rich and powerful. He further excuses the present suffering of the Cuban people saying, “The resilience of the Cuban people, nourished by Marti, Che Guevara and Fidel, has shown itself to be invincible. We must have recourse to this resilience and all fight for a more just world and show solidarity.”
Cuba: The Periscope of a Submarine
One final advantage for keeping communist Cuba alive is that the nation became not only a symbol but also a flag bearer for all leftists as they figure out how to push their nefarious agenda forward. Cuba is needed to keep the Marxist dream alive.
The brilliant Catholic thinker, Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, likened the situation of what is left of classical communism to that of a rusty old submarine. The communist crew is disheartened and asphyxiated by the unpopularity of leftist ideas.
Communist Cuba plays the role of a periscope that also serves as a snorkel, providing oxygen to the crew members’ languid lungs as they navigate in their sea of misery. Cuba keeps their hopes alive by proving that these pure communist ideas can exist in the real world. If communism still breathes today, it is because Cuba survives. The island prison serves as the periscope/snorkel to sustain the Marxists in their twisted and horrific convictions.
Rushing to the Defense of Cuba
That is why the left worldwide rushes to the defense of communist Cuba. Activists want to save the periscope/snorkel regardless of the consequences. They don’t care how ridiculous they look. At this stage, the facts don’t matter. The future of the left is at stake. While the regime suppresses the protests, the worldwide left acts as their vacuum chamber, completely silencing the screams from the streets!
Thus, Black Lives Matter risks everything by issuing a blistering statement against the United States. “Since 1962,” it absurdly claims, “the United States has forced pain and suffering on the people of Cuba by cutting off food, medicine, and supplies costing the tiny island nation an estimated $130 billion.”
The White House avoided any condemnation of communism for five days, attributing the unrest to “mismanagement.” President Biden finally admitted that communism is a “failed system” but will take no significant steps to alleviate the plight of the Cuban people. Major leftist figures like Sen. Bernie Sanders politely asked the Cuban government to refrain from violence but did not hesitate to blame America for its cruel embargo. Liberal media also repeated the mantra that the American embargo lies at the root of Cuban misery.
Lifting the embargo will only enable the communist regime to continue its oppression.
The important thing to remember is that the Cuban crisis is not about Cuba. It is about the future of the left worldwide. The left knows this very well. Most in the Christian West do not comprehend the stakes. That is why a regime change is needed. That is why the world must be rid forever of the periscope/snorkel that keeps the left breathing. There is no other solution.
Updated July 21, 2021.