Thursday, February 20, 2014

Free Enterprise Without Freedom

Free Enterprise Without Freedom / Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo
Posted on February 19, 2014

"Invest in Castro, it does not matter: Castroism will condemn you. . ."

Cuban exile mogul, Alfonso Fanjul, has traveled to Cuba several times
between 2012 and 2013. Recently, he has declared that there's a "soft
spot in his heart" and that he has an "open mind" towards the prospect
of investing his fortune in the Island. Given the "right circumstances",
and "legal grounds", and on the basis of an "appropriate framework."

That's only one example, of course, but it is far from being the only
one among millionaires in the Cuban exile. And it wasn't long before
this caused a media outrage, including at the highest levels of American
politics. Republican Senator from Florida, Marco Rubio, said he was
"surprised and disappointed" with Fanjul's change in perspectives , a
person who for decades supported many initiatives that were forthrightly

The key question at the current historical juncture would be the
following: Do human rights violations in Cuba even remotely concern the
economic interests (whether foreigners or Cuban exiles) that loom over
the island? First of all, the Havana's government doesn't even allow
Cubans living on the island to invest or associate peacefully in their
own country. According to foreign interests, it seems we don't even
deserve it. I we've already waited half of century a despotism, we might
as well wait out one hundred years of impunity.

European politicians take advantage of the circumstance to start asking
for the same. Let's give our support to Castro, and let Castro deal with
the Cubans.

And just like that, they aim place themselves on the best possible terms
with the dictatorship, with the idea of eventually "democratizing" it
through gradual blows of solvency. The bet on the miserliness of the
Chinese model based upon Raúl Castro's stagnant reforms, supposedly with
the idea of not upsetting the Moribunds-in-Chief, and avoiding radical
tendencies that could end up turning the Island into a Caribbean North
Korea. Ha!

But this is a false argument, the demagoguery of the Castro lobby
complicated with donations to the presidential campaign every four
years. In practice, Cuba has already shown the voracity of the markets
of Beijing, as well as the criminal despotism of Pyongyang. Perhaps
through this justification these tycoons expiate their totalitarian
guilt of ending up talking about profits with former Castro supporters
and former Castro enemies, indistinguishable from each other in the face
of post-Castroism.

What's surprising is that the international entrepreneurs insist on not
acknowledging that in Cuba their investments will be more than insecure.
Unless they're all moles of State Security since the beginning of the
Revolution, or they had been lured/blackmailed by it (like the Catholic
Cardinal and his string of priests). In fact, more than a few investors
have ended up being accused of corruption and had all their assets
confiscated. In the best case, they were deported to their country of
origin without indemnity rights. In the worst, they're still in prison
(without trial), or dead just like the mafia that was left behind by the
thug Max Marambio in his stampede-like get-away.

Amassing wealth through the humiliation of others is a feudal formula.
Above and beyond the rule of law, decency is the source of all legitimacy.

John Stuart Mill's phrase is well-known: "One's own freedom ends where
the freedom of the others begin". In the case of the foreign business
dealings with the castro regime, that quote can very well be
re-inscribed as followed: "One's own freedom ends right where the
freedom of others ends."

Translated by W. Cosme

10 February 2014

Source: Free Enterprise Without Freedom / Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo |
Translating Cuba -

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