In 1959 Cuba was the nation that exported the most sugar to the world. In addition, its indicators in education and health were much higher than the average for the region. Also, the rate of doctors and dentists per capita was the highest in the Caribbean. Life expectancy was 62 years, surpassing countries such as Spain, Portugal or Greece.
However, as is normal in dictatorships, the past had to be erased and history rewritten to make Fidel Castro the “hero” and “builder” of the new Cuba.
A few months after the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro began to get rid of those who could overshadow him or, in his case, curb his totalitarian desires. Huber Matos, commander of the revolution sentenced to twenty years in prison, was one of the first victims of Castroism. But with a similar fate humble peasants and small businessmen ran.
Fidel Castro and Che Guevara were willing to completely subjugate Cuba. That led them to commit a series of insults, including putting Guevara in charge of the National Bank of Cuba and later as Minister of Industry.
At the end of Guevara’s ministerial administration, butter no longer existed in Cuba, coffee was restricted to 50 grams per week. In addition, rice, which had always been abundant in the Cuban diet, had been reduced to 1,200 grams per month.
What did the dictatorship do in the face of such a disaster?
A sensible measure would have been to rectify the road, but that decision was unthinkable for a couple of power-hungry gang members. Che imposed a harsh disciplinary regime of extra work. The Cubans were forced to leave their families and homes to fulfill Jordanian work days of up to 19 hours and 7 days in the sugar harvest and other branches of the food industry.
Notice the paradox. In Cuba before Fidel, workers enjoyed 50 days of vacation, but Che forced them to erase any idea of a personal life project. Leftists always talk about capitalist exploitation. However, they remain absolutely silent regarding the exploitation of the worker by the socialist state.
Juan Reinaldo Sánchez, who was the dictator’s bodyguard for 17 years, described the luxuries in which the Castros live. While seafood, Spanish hams and imported wines are never lacking on the table of Fidel and his family, millions of Cubans have serious difficulties to get their next meal.
Castro turned Cuba into his private estate, and from that position he grew rich. Let us remember that the specialized magazine Forbes revealed that Fidel Castro had the sixth largest fortune in the world, some 900 million dollars. And what about the income of ordinary Cubans? Well, they are a bit far from that figure: the per capita salary of Cuban citizens is 20 dollars a month, according to official media, which adds up to an average income of 240 dollars a year. Income that in most cases was used to buy food from companies belonging to the Cuban Armed Forces. In other words, they end up giving their little money to the Castro family anyway.
But Fidel’s ambitions were not limited to Cuba, he wanted to dominate the entire region. That led him to close agreements with criminals like Pablo Escobar, Roberto Suarez, Klaus Barbie and any terrorist organization that appears in the world. Part of the negotiations included the use of Cuban military bases to introduce cocaine into the United States. But also the training of subversive groups in all kinds of terrorist techniques.
Fidel Castro was never a politician. His real job was that of a gang member. Castro was not a giant in history, he was the biggest criminal in Latin America.