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The back story to this post is somewhat lengthy, but basically my former professor (a German Marxist) sent me this response to an article about the Ant Bully that another former student had sent him. And then I replied. I think it makes sense.

Professor: I am not very interested in this film, but I was surprised to see the graphics on Cuba and Castro and Guevara, I always thought, compared to most other Less Developed countries, Cuba was very good, particularly if compared to Columbia: no street chikldren in Cuba, death at birth rate more or less like in Develioped countries, virtual 100% literacy rate, nobody starving, everybody housed, virtually nobiody dying in hurricanes, in Columbia dozens per month die in political violence for decades now, in Cuba maybe around 10 a year(which of course is terrible, just to compare) Would you not agree with me that one should help Cuba, hurt by decades of sanctions by the US and still providing these socio-economic benefits? Or is there somethuing I am missing here? Wolfgang

Me: On the question of Cuba:

The hostility of the American governments has been used as an excuse to suppress the civil liberties of the Cuban people for 40 years. Anytime someone mentions the repression of human rights and political oppression in Cuba, leftists always blame this on "American imperialism" and "US aggression". As though the US is to blame for the fact that the Cuban people lack freedom of the press and freedom of association. But these repressive laws are maintained by nearly every Communist regime, even those who are not threatened by hostile neighbors.

It is not enough to feed and cloth a population...humans are not merely domestic animals, they deserve more. The social achievements brought about by the revolution are meaningless so long as the Cuban people don't have freedom and dignity, which are necessary for the emancipation of humanity.

The people of Cuba deserve freedom. They deserve the right to travel abroad to visit relatives, they deserve a free press, the right to access the internet without external monitoring, and to watch television without foreign broadcasts first being jammed.

Issues of freedom, democracy and human rights should stand on their own, whatever you may think of US imperialism (which I don't believe is a true factor here but thats another argument). I oppose the diversionary tactics of the Western leftists who point at the social achievements and choose to ignore the denial of basic freedoms.

I believe that the achievements of society are nothing without basic freedom... I suppose that is the core difference between libertarians and socialists...

Remember, a government that is big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take it away...

Best of luck with your new semester.

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