And it's the way it has always been.

Cuba offered to send hospital ships to New Orleans to treat victims of Hurricane Katrina. The Bush administration refused the offer. (I am sure Clinton or Obama would have done the same in similar circumstances.)

Free markets have an invisible hand of protection that prevents any invidious comparison in outcomes between capitalist and socialist regimes.

I tire of abstract entities' welfare having priority over living beings. And my fatigue wears on daily.

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.. well & truly done.. Nate ! 🏴‍☠️🦎🇨🇦 Gracias Amigo !

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Hi! I am from Montreal and I travel to Cuba 1-2 times a year. I speak spanish and I subscribe to the independent Cuban newspaper 14yMedio.com. I have Cuban friends whom I have conversations with every week.

The situation in Cuba has very much deteriorated over the last few years. The elites are corrupted. There is no food, no medications, no freedom of speech, no opportunities and much suffering.

My friends, although embracing socialist values and denouncing+++ the US embargo, say their country is in a state of decadency.

The emigration crisis is huge: doctors and qualified people are leaving the country by thousands. Domestic violence is on the rise.

On a more personal level, one of my Cuban friends committed suicide in October. I wonder what are the actual suicide rates (and I certainly would not trust the numbers coming from official sources).

Your article is very interesting, and yes Cuba was a country very advanced in biotechnologies, but the living conditions are getting worse by the day. Of course this has to do with the US embargo but not only. One must resist idealizing the Cuban regime.

My own thoughts: Cuba had a terrible COVID Delta wave brought by tourism in the summer of 2021. It happened before the population had had access to the very efficacious Cuban vaccines due to logistical problems w the vaccination campaign.

I wonder what is the rate of Long COVID, how it is affecting the work force and how it can be related to the overall collapse.

This is a very interesting blog that you have, and yes capitalism is deleterious for infants, children and adolescents. But socialism as it is imposed to the people of Cuba is not the solution either.


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Dec 30, 2023·edited Dec 30, 2023Author

Thank you for this comment. I am aware of 14yMedio, run by the activist Yoani Sánchez. She has an interesting history, and is very much loved by neoliberal western politicians. I also speak Spanish. There is simply no separating Cuba's current conditions from the blockade and embargo. A UN report last year said the sanctions had cost Cuba $130bn dollars in economic development, and were the primary obstacle in developing infrastructure and progressing conditions for Cubans. Yet despite this Cuba still manages to have the health outcomes of a developed country. Of course people are leaving, yes people commit suicide, yes they had a delta wave, yes there is long covid, yes there is corruption. These things happen, and often with far greater prevalence, in rich countries with infinitely more resources than Cuba. I don't romanticise any system of government, but what Cuba has achieved in the face of the world's longest running and most vicious sanctions by the world's singular imperial power, is remarkable.

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Hi Nate!

Have you even listened to Yoani Sanchez “Cafecito informativo”? She does it every morning on weekdays directly from Havana.

She is much like you: a journalist committed to analyzing and trying to improve her fellow citizens’ lives.

But she works in a country where she could be jailed for it, and where the theatre man Yunior Garcia had to flee because of intimidation (his speech when he arrived in Spain is also worth listening to).

My own Cuban friends are not involved in politics. They did not go out in the streets to shout “Libertad” in July 2021. They told me that it was not worth getting jailed or being sent to work in the fields.

Yet they agree that the situation has never been that bad. Every day their electricity is cut for many hours (there is a rotation). There are huge dengue fever outbreaks (in a country that has much experience with these outbreaks and knows how to prevent them), the hospitals are filthy, one of my friend’s mother just died at 58 of cervical cancer, another was very sick with dengue 2 months ago along with his wife and a majority of people in the little town they are living in.

There is extreme inflation since the money system was changed 2 years ago. There are basically 2 classes of citizens: those who have access to hard currencies and those who don’t.

Hunger has made a huge come back.

I fully agree that US embargo is inhumane and has to do with all this. But my friends are convinced that their country is in a state of decadency.

Looking at my friends, what really strikes me is how monotonous their lives are. One of them said to me that monotony is killing them.

Cuba has managed to keep its head high and achieve incredible successes considering the vicious economical sanctions, but it’s system is collapsing.

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I had a friend die of cancer at 28, suicide is the leading cause of death in working age males in the US and UK. You think western lives aren't monotonous? Activists in the US and UK are being jailed for *years* for peaceful climate protests. You are accusing Cuba of everything we see in the west. Of course the things you are referring to happen, but I prefer to punch up, at empire, not down at the victims of empire

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Thank you. We all really need truth and hope. The agendas have to stop and focus on saving lives.

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I am a doctor and a citizen of the world. I live in Canada and I speak french. As far as I

know, people do not get jailed in Canada for expressing their opinions, and I have gone to manifestations demanding a ceasefire in Palestine twice in the past few weeks without getting harassed.

I have always prefered to look at things from people’s perspective, and not from ideological perspectives.

What I am saying here is that Cubans are suffering more than ever. It is related with the US embargo but also because their elites are mediocre. I speak from their own perspective, this is what Cubans are saying.

No, their regime is not any better.

If what you want is to put human interests and planet earth’s welllbeing at the center, we will have to rethink capitalism and socialism. The answer is neither.

Have a good day!

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