Photo: Miguel Díaz-Canel’s twitter account, retrieved.
Consider this tweet from Yeidckol Polevnsky, President and Secretary General of Morena, the Mexican far-left political party, part of the coalition that took Andrés Manuel López Obrador to the presidency:
En el 60 aniversario de la Revolución que nos mostró que la dignidad, la solidaridad y la batalla de las ideas son las armas más poderosas de los pueblos, enviamos al Gobierno y al Pueblo de Cuba nuestra alegría y parabienes.
“Un mundo mejor es posible” @DiazCanelB@yeidckol
— Yeidckol Polevnsky (@yeidckol) January 1, 2019
Polevnsky (born Citlali Ibáñez) took a moment to congratulate Miguel Díaz-Canel, current Cuban president, for showing how “a better world is possible.”
It’s shocking that this kind of thing still needs to be debunked in 2019.
The world Polevnsky pines for is one that nearly dragged the planet into nuclear war, where anywhere between 237 and 4,000 people have been executed (mostly for political reasons), where freedom of speech and assembly are severely restricted, where censorship is a state policy and where over 4,500 arbitrary detentions were reported just in 2017.
But Polevnsky isn’t alone. Around the world, thousands see the Cuban Revolution with pride, wearing Che Guevara t-shirts and expressing their civil rights with a freedom that Cubans can only dream of. Former Colombian President and last Secretary General of UNASUR, Ernesto Samper, also expressed his admiration for Castro’s project a few days ago.
La revolución de Cuba es la revolución de la igualdad. Cero analfabetismos; cero desempleos; atención integral de salud; vivienda para todos; educación gratuita; comida para todos. Sí la ausencia de necesidades como dice Amartya Sen no es la libertad, entonces, ¿qué será?
— Ernesto Samper P. (@ernestosamperp) January 6, 2019
Many of Cuba’s international admirers are especially proud of the way the revolution reaffirmed Cuba’s pride, its autonomy and its independence. This is perhaps the weirdest propaganda lie of old: founded on a hopelessly dysfunctional Marxist economic model, the Cuban revolution has never been viable on its own. Instead, it’s relied on leeching resources from a series of ideologically aligned petrodictatorships: After the Soviet Union’s collapse sparked years of widespread misery and disease (proving how deeply flawed Cuba’s model was), many thought that Castro’s lie would finally be evident to the world. But then, in 1999, well, we all know what happened.
Twenty years ago, desperate to replace the Soviet teat, the Cubans helped Chávez reach power. And boy, did it pay out.
Thousands see the Cuban Revolution with pride, wearing Che Guevara t-shirts and expressing their civil rights with a freedom that Cubans can only dream of.
During 2008, when oil prices peaked, Venezuela sent about 115,000 barrels every day to Cuba. Since its domestic consumption is about two thirds that number, and the island itself produces some 50,000 barrels daily, some analysts believe that part of this oil was resold at international prices. In return Venezuela got low-quality medical assistance and PE teachers. By 2017, after the economic crisis accelerated and oil production plummeted, PDVSA still sent some 72,000 daily oil barrels, a number that has furtherly reduced since then, but that still costs Venezuela over a billion dollars every year.
The Castro regime, meanwhile, gave its arguably real contribution to chavismo, by turning Venezuela into a failed colony of sorts, where the economy falters but repression thrives. Little did Fidel know in 1967, after the failed Machurucuto Incident, that three decades later he would conquer the country without a single shot.
Now the second teat is running dry, and the Cuban tyranny is again looking for an oil rich foreign stooge to bankroll its failure into the future. Along come Andrés Manuel López Obrador and his leftist allies. No matter how many people try to deny it, among growing lines outside gas stations, López Obrador’s sabotage accusations and even people looting broken down cow transporter trucks, México looks more and more like a terrible déjà vu.
Will the situation there get as bad as it is here? It may be too soon to tell, but what’s certain is that, as long as the Cuban regime keeps finding hosts, so will its heroic lies, repeated by people like Polevnsky, blinded by their own ideology and unaware of the monster they are inviting home.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.