Third World healthcare and totalitarian Cuba

Communist sympathizers cite Cuba’s “free, high quality, universal primary health care” as “its stunning accomplishment.” But nothing they do can overcome that totalitarian country’s stunning failures—economically, culturally and politically.

When the Castro revolutionaries violently overthrew the government in 1959, that once more prosperous and free island was reduced to what has been described now as “time worn” and “dilapidated.” That’s what socialism does everywhere its cultural venom is injected. And it begins with indoctrinating children with illusions of “equality” and the “Welfare State.”

In a recent email I received from social activists in New York State (Link below), they praise the Cuban Latin America School of Medicine and its students from poor countries who get “free education.” They forwarded an article titled, “Are Some Cultures Better Than Others at Cultivating Empathy?” Author Gary Olson (no reference citied) glorifies Cuba’s “medical internationalism,” providing gratis work in 33 of the world’s poorest countries. Mr. Olson writes, “For many scholars, the Cuban health care system is the jewel in the crown of Cuban achievements.”

Scholars may believe this social service is a gem, but we don’t learn what the oppressed, poverty-stricken Cuban people get out of it—likely it’s more like a typical communist lump of coal to them. The bureaucracy of socialized medicine is notoriously inefficient and uncaring.  And this system always ends up with long waits and shortages (we have a sampling of that here in America with the government Veterans Administration health care bureaucracy).

To help counter anticipated “cynicism” about this story, Olson cites a Canadian professor who interviewed Cuban medical volunteers. He confirms my point that communists indoctrinate the children with that ideology to get their minds right about socialism. According to the Canadian professor, to understand the “myriad” motives of the volunteers we have to understand “the form of socialization that Cubans are reared in, and develop throughout their formative years.”

Beginning in day care Cuban children are “socialized” to care for the weakest and to “empathize” with the less fortunate. A physician noted, “We Cuban doctors devote everything to love and solidarity because that’s what we’ve been taught since we were little, in school.”

Olson says that this was the Cuban revolution’s “founding principle.” He believes the illusion that Cuba’s “robust medical internationalism contradicts the common-sense, bleak view of human nature, the dominant narrative of hyper individualism and the profit motive.” Olson says it’s perilous for us not to learn more about this.

It’s much more dangerous for us to be lured into the false dogma and delusions of socialism. Ludwig von Mises, the famous Austrian economist, has warnings about them in his book “Socialism—An Economic and Sociological Analysis.” In a chapter on “The Motive Powers of Destructionism” he describes the utopian beliefs of socialists and the false premises of socialism.

“(T)he socialist idea is nothing but a grandiose rationalization of petty resentments. Not one of its theories can withstand scientific criticism and all its deductions are ill-founded. Its conception of the capitalistic economy has long been seen to be false; its plan of future social order proves to be inwardly contradictory, and therefore impracticable. Not only would Socialism fail to make economic life more rational, it would abolish social co-operation outright.” Anyone can see this in today’s Cuba.

History shows the results of a society that for over one-hundred years has “endured radical politics and social strife.” Since 1959 the people have been ruled by the Communist Party of Cuba. Half of the doctors fled the country, thousands of former residents have escaped the repressive regime (many died trying), and people trying to escape are “a continuing problem.” Critics of the government are jailed, tortured and killed. Everyone left is equally miserable—a primary promise of socialism.

The Internet warns tourists of hazards awaiting them on this island of “paradise”:  At entry be prepared to get a “tourist card” from the “maddeningly… frustrating Cuba-style bureaucracy”; don’t drink the water; U. S. appliances don’t work there; visitors can’t use the Cuban peso; the food is unflavored because condiments aren’t available; bring extra  hygienic and personal care items to give to hotel workers who can’t afford to buy them; watch out for street panhandlers; don’t expect buses or tour guides to show up on “Cuban time”; the Internet is highly regulated, expensive and requires a special permit to use it (watch what you communicate, it’s closely monitored; the secret police could come knocking on your hotel room door—if it has a door). The final insult is a $25 cash-only tourist departure tax.

Americans who want free health care might want to live there, but I’ll stay in North Carolina and continue to fight those who want our State to be like Cuba.


About R. E. Smith Jr.

Mr. Smith writes essays and commentary on politics, American history, environment, higher education and culture. He's been published in print media and at blog sites for about 25 years. Smith's formal education includes B.S. and M.S. degrees from the State University of New York and Syracuse University. He has earned a 21-credit hour Certificate in Professional Writing from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. Training/work experience: NYS Ranger School; U. S. Army, Corp of Engineers; soil scientist and forester with USDA; Assoc. Professor at SUNY; real estate agent; small business owner.
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