Common sense solution is taboo! - Cuba shows way out of financial crisis

Tony Gosling tony at
Thu Feb 23 17:08:21 GMT 2012

Cuba Sets a Global Example for the Achievements of Socialism

By Peter Phillips

In an all day conference, February 10, 2012, some 
120 authors, professors, and journalists, from 
dozens of Caribbean, American and African 
countries, met with Fidel Castro. Those attending 
were invited participants for the Intellectual 
Encounters for Peace and the Preservation of the 
Environment event at the Havana Convention 
Center. Topics discussed in the nine-hour session 
were world peace, environmentalism, neo-liberal 
capitalism, and the continuing importance of socialism.

Fidel Castro (age 85) urged those assembled to a 
moral duty to prevent the extinction of humankind 
and challenge the expanding predations of 
neo-liberal global capitalism. He expressed 
concern for the inevitable collapse of Wall 
Street and the international monetary system. 
Paper money is worthless without backing from 
gold or other assets, Castro asserted. 
Environmental destruction is classless in that 
eventually all will suffer—both the rich and the 
poor—if neo-liberal capitalism continues on its 
rampart global destruction, he professed.

Castro’s main message was clear. Cuban socialism 
is an international example of a humanitarian 
economy in the world.  “We have over 80,000 
doctors,” he said, and “we are currently training 
830 Pakistani medical students and many others from around the world.”

Fidel Castro, reverently referred to as 
“Commandante” by many of those present, was 
flanked by the Cuban Minister of Culture, Abel 
Prieto, and the president of the Cuban Book 
Institute, Zuleika Romay.  The participants in 
the encounter were invited guests to the 2012 
International Cuban Book Fair that ran from February 10 to 19 in Havana.

The nine-hour session went from 1:00 PM until 
after 10:00 PM, with only two short coffee 
breaks. Fidel gave extended responses during the 
event, commenting on the presentations, asking 
questions, and recalling the history of the Cuban 
revolution and Cuba’s humanitarian efforts over 
the past fifty plus years.  Some 40 people 
presented briefings on their concerns.  The lies 
and propaganda of the corporate/capitalist media 
were important themes for the day. One 
participant remarked how the global corporate 
media seeks to create a monoculture of the mind 
inside the capitalist countries.

As an invited author for the International Cuban 
Book Fair, I was honored to participate in the 
discussions held with the “Commandante.” His 
energy is inspiring and his command of history 
and contemporary issues is phenomenal. Castro had 
serious health issues a few years back, but 
remains mentally alert. He walked with assistance 
from his bodyguards, but remained fully 
participatory in the nine-hour session.

Cuba is an international example of the 
potentialities of socialism, and an ongoing 
symbolic challenge to marketplace capitalism. In 
the United States there is a continuing 
propaganda drumbeat against the Cuban revolution. 
Castro is often described as a military dictator 
repressing his people and blocking freedoms in 
Cuba. But this description ignores some 
undisputed social advances under his leadership 
that could serve as an example of what a society 
can do when it turns its resources to humanitarian purposes.

Contemporary neo-liberal capitalism undercuts 
wages, unions and social welfare, which results 
in the expansion of poverty, hunger, and extreme 
inequality. Cuba is a demonstration that 
humanitarian socialism can work for the masses. 
Cuba is the number one organic farming country in 
the world. Cuba has full employment, zero 
starvation, and some of the best health care in 
the world.  Cuba’s life expectancy is equal to 
the United States and education up through 
university is paid for by the state for all students.

As a media-reform advocate, participant and 
observer, I watched tens of thousands of young 
people arrive at the International Book Fair in 
the old Spanish fort overlooking downtown Havana. 
These are multi-generations of people who have 
never suffered media advertisements. Three 
University of Havana literature majors, with whom 
I spent a full day, laughed hysterically when I 
asked them if they wanted a McDonald’s Happy 
Meal. They represent a people who accept the 
equality of socialism and collective growth of 
human betterment, and will strongly defend their 
way of life if necessary. As literature majors 
they have completed three years of Latin, and are 
starting classical Greek. They have had courses 
in historical and modern Latin American and 
European literature, and art. Their university 
education costs them nothing, and the government 
provides all textbooks and living expenses.

After the collapse of the USSR, Cuba lost most of 
it subsidies from the socialist block of nations. 
The early 1990s were a difficult transition. This 
was when Cuba opened it doors to those who wanted 
to leave. Some 30,000 people choose to move to 
the United States. Yet, ten million people choose 
to stay and build the independent socialist 
country that Cuba is today. Several other South 
American countries, notably Venezuela and 
Ecuador, have taken note of Cuba’s successes and 
are moving in a similar direction seeking socialist equality.

Some in the US believe that when the senior Cuban 
leadership from the 1959 revolution passes away, 
US corporations and displaced Cubans abroad will 
waltz back into Havana to return capitalism to 
the island. It is very clear to me, and many 
contemporary observers, that multiple generations 
of socialist Cubans will never allow this to happen.

Peter Phillips is a Professor of Sociology at 
Sonoma State University and President of Media 
Freedom Foundation/Project Censored. He co-edited 
with Mickey Huff Censored 2011, which was 
published in Spanish for the International Book 
Fair in Cuba. Mickey Huff is the director of 
Project Censored and editor of the recently 
published Censored 2012, which was presented to 
Fidel Castro February 10, 2012.
On Feb 22, 2012, at 4:58 AM, Tony Gosling wrote:

>"Capitalism is institutionalised bribery."
>"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic 
>poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
>Fear not therefore: for there is nothing covered 
>that shall not be revealed; and nothing hid that 
>shall not be made known. What I tell you in 
>darkness, that speak ye in the light and what ye 
>hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. Matthew 10:26-27
>Die Pride and Envie; Flesh, take the poor's advice.
>Covetousnesse be gon: Come, Truth and Love arise.
>Patience take the Crown; throw Anger out of dores:
>Cast out Hypocrisie and Lust, which follows whores:
>Then England sit in rest; Thy sorrows will have end;
>Thy Sons will live in peace, and each will be a friend.

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