Black Market Strength and Future Capitalism in Cuba.Avoiding a Replay of Russia in the Early 90's

As far as I can recall there has never been an issue more divisive in American politics than former President Jimmy Carter’s trip to Cuba. The words treason and sedition are being used. These are words being used against John Walker Lindh for fighting with the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Others say that it is a great move to bring an end to the suffering of the Cuban people. The issue has split American politics in a way that none could have foreseen.

Although Mr. Carter’s mission, from its inception, has been labeled as a humanitarian endeavor, the political overtones have been difficult to overlook, mainly this is due to the fact that the regime of Fidel Castro is one of the world’s longest standing dictators. The Castro Regime has been guilty of some of the most heinous abuses of human rights, and those opposed to Mr. Carter’s visit see it as an ongoing tool in Fidel’s subterfuge.

If see a softening of the Red Wall separating Cuba from the United States, it came at the nod of Fidel Castro, who some say needs a public relations score after being fingered as part of the “axis of evil”. The only tangible score for Castro & Co. was when Jimmy Carter stated that he found no evidence of Washington’s claims that Cuba is providing military biotechnology to rouge nations. Perhaps Mr. Carter’s US Naval Academy background in nuclear engineering gave him some insight to he laboratories he toured, but most think that he was as out of place as the common man is walking into auto repair shop. How could he tell the difference between a penicillin factory and one making germ warfare technology? Despite this, Mr. Carter pronounced that Washington is wrong on their ascertains that their warning of Cuban bio-terror programs are dangerous. As for statements calling for the lifting of the impoverishing embargo, no score there- a broad coalition in this country has called for its end since the embargo began. Score one for Team Castro, but the scales were overwhelmingly tipped in freedom’s- and Mr. Carter’s favor.

But the question has to be raised, “Who’s the boss here?” In a stunning miscalculation of his own influence and control over his own system, Mr. Castro allowed Mr. Carter free reign of the nation. In an unprecedented move, Mr. Carter was allowed to address the nation from the University of Havana on television in Spanish. The message of freedom and democracy was impossible to ignore. It is obvious that Fidel thought hat he could harness the voice of Jimmy Carter to gain what he has accomplished from so many others- a public relations victory, and it was not to be the case. Mr. Castro has no other choice but to allow the mission to continue as (un)planned.

For over 40 years, the US embargo with Cuba has impoverished the Cuban people. It is time to end the sanctions against the Cuba. For the last ten years or so, the great question among Fidel watchers has been, “who will take over when Castro kicks the bucket?” It is time that the US began using its power and might in the world economy take the opportunity to answer the question.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the eventual fall of the Soviet Union, the only remnants of structure able to survive the great crumble of communism was the mafia and associated evils. The black market foundation was strong enough to not only survive the political revolution of the early nineties; it morphed into an entire social movement. The United States and capitalism is regarded contemptuously in Russia today because we left them hanging in a lurch after the fall of old central economy.

For the sake of the Cuban people, the United States must not let this happen again. The biggest source of foreign aid for Cuba is the American dollars being sent from family members living the US. The black market is well developed and has far reaches into Cuban society. If the roots of capitalism are not sown while there is still structure, even under Castro & Co., the political direction will be hard to control when the vacuum of Fidel’s leadership comes to fruition.

Stephen A. McDonald

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