Everything You Need to Know About Life in Cuba

Hours ago, as Benedict XVI entered Santiago de Cuba, the second-largest city on the island, a man broke from the crowd, shouting “Down with the Revolution!” and “Libertad!

In the humane, free, exquisitely civilized society that Fidel and his brother Raul have created during more than half a century of enlightened rule, here is what happened next:

  1. Percival

    You can’t get good Chinese takeout in China and Cuban cigars are rationed in Cuba. That’s all you need to know about communism.

    - P.J. ORourke

  2. Percival

    Oh, and there’s the life destroying, soul sucking joylessness of an existence stripped of all freedom, hope, and dignity.  Plus really rotten architecture.

  3. MMPadre
    Percival

    You can’t get good Chinese takeout in China and Cuban cigars are rationed in Cuba. That’s all you need to know about communism.

    - P.J. ORourke · 6 minutes ago

    Don’t know about the cigars, but P. J. doesn’t know jack about China.  I have enjoyed many a fine takeout meal in Kongmoon.

    Let’s hope the Pope’s presence will inspire the faith of the people there.  This is liable to have an affect on the society, but that is not his primary purpose.

  4. Pseudodionysius

    The Cuban government proudly proclaims its successful health care system, citing impressively low rates in child and maternal mortality. But the truth is that such rates are not based on a real effort to save mothers and their newborn children. Rather, they are based on the abortions performed on pre-born children diagnosed with certain types of defect which are considered life-threatening in later infant life. They are also based on the widespread use of contraceptives for those women who suffer from pathologies which otherwise might put their lives at risk should they become pregnant.

    From the Population Research Institute

  5. Larry L

    Just curious – who was the cleric on that tape?  Someone from the Vatican, or a representative of the Cuban clerisy?  Either way, seems to me that he was going out of his way to minimize what happened; i.e., “nothing to see here, move on.”

  6. Mel Foil
    MMPadre

    Percival

    You can’t get good Chinese takeout in China and Cuban cigars are rationed in Cuba. That’s all you need to know about communism.

    - P.J. ORourke

    Don’t know about the cigars, but P. J. doesn’t know jack about China.  I have enjoyed many a fine takeout meal in Kongmoon.

    Let’s hope the Pope’s presence will inspire the faith of the people there.  This is liable to have an affect on the society, but that is not his primary purpose.

    It was probably true when P.J. ORourke said it, but the Chinese are not quite as communist anymore. That’s what changed.

  7. Percival

    @MMPadre, the quote was from about 25 years ago, so the Chinese have had a little time to improve.  In addition, they aren’t really all that Communist anymore.

  8. Mel Foil
    Full text of Pope Benedict XVI’s homily in Santiago de Cuba http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/03/26/2715959/full-text-of-pope-benedict-xvis.html
  9. Albert Arthur

    I heard a report on NPR last night about how Gallway, Ireland, is erecting a statue to Che. Apparently his grandmother or something was born there. The host remarked that some people, mostly American politicians are protesting the planned statue due to Che being “controversial”. Apparently, “some are even calling him a mass murderer.” (I’m paraphrasing, but the point is that NPR didn’t go on to explain why some might consider him to be a mass murderer. Mostly, because he was a mass murderer.)

    When it comes to Cuba, Che, La Revolucion, people have giant blinders.

    For instance, I remember attending a “Free Cuba” rally with my (very liberal) father when I was a child. The goal of the rally was to lift the US embargo, not to remove Fidel Castro from power.

  10. Leslie Watkins

    That was my take too, and I think he’s a Vatican representative. I don’t know which scene is more dispiriting.

    Larry L: Just curious – who was the cleric on that tape?  Someone from the Vatican, or a representative of the Cuban clerisy?  Either way, seems to me that he was going out of his way to minimize what happened; i.e., “nothing to see here, move on.” · 23 minutes ago

  11. Southern Pessimist

    Santiago de Cuba is the site of Teddy Roosevelt famous charge of San Juan hill with his band of Rough Riders. Surprisingly there is a very nice memorial there to Roosevelt and his soldiers. Surprising in that there are few monuments to gringo capitalists in Cuba. Unless you consider 1954 Chevys to be monuments.

  12. Peter Robinson
    C
    Leslie Watkins: That was my take too, and I think he’s a Vatican representative. I don’t know which scene is more dispiriting. · 19 minutes ago

    Larry L: Just curious – who was the cleric on that tape?  Someone from the Vatican, or a representative of the Cuban clerisy?  Either way, seems to me that he was going out of his way to minimize what happened; i.e., “nothing to see here, move on.” · 23 minutes ago

    My take, too.  I’m virtually certain he was the Vatican spokesman or press secretary.  I suppose he was conscious that, if the press made too much of the incident, the Cuban regime might punish good people, including, perhaps, priests and bishops, who helped make possible the pope’s visit.  Even at that, my heart sank as I watched him smile an oily smile and make light of a brave man’s protest.

  13. Aaron Miller

    If y’all never saw the conservative satire An American Carol, it’s worth checking out. Here’s the scene in which they mock Michael Moore praising Cuban healthcare.

  14. TheRoyalFamily
    Leslie Watkins: That was my take too, and I think he’s a Vatican representative. I don’t know which scene is more dispiriting. · 3 minutes ago

    Larry L: Just curious – who was the cleric on that tape?  Someone from the Vatican, or a representative of the Cuban clerisy?  Either way, seems to me that he was going out of his way to minimize what happened; i.e., “nothing to see here, move on.” · 23 minutes ago

    I will agree. His Spanish isn’t very fluid, so unless he’s totally making things up as he goes, I doubt it’s his native language. Also, it didn’t sound like a Cuban accent (for one thing, I could understand him). Oh, and he’s pretty white, too.

  15. PJ Kellogg
    TheRoyalFamily

    Leslie Watkins: That was my take too, and I think he’s a Vatican representative. I don’t know which scene is more dispiriting. · 3 minutes ago

    Larry L: Just curious – who was the cleric on that tape?  Someone from the Vatican, or a representative of the Cuban clerisy?  Either way, seems to me that he was going out of his way to minimize what happened; i.e., “nothing to see here, move on.” · 23 minutes ago

    I will agree. His Spanish isn’t very fluid, so unless he’s totally making things up as he goes, I doubt it’s his native language. Also, it didn’t sound like a Cuban accent (for one thing, I could understand him). Oh, and he’s pretty white, too. · 1 minute ago

    He’s not a native Spanish speaker at all–sounded more German, in my opinion. He’s definitely not Cuban, and more than likely a Vatican press secretary.

  16. Pseudodionysius

    The Wikipedia background on Lombardi (quit snickering) is revealing.

  17. Jan-Michael Rives

    Going on over 50 years now and not a hundred miles from us. For shame.

  18. Joseph Stanko

    The Vatican has had a rather inept PR department for quite some time, nothing new in that.

  19. Stephen Dawson

    I hate to be a wet blanket, but that video demonstrates nothing with regard to the disgusting Cuban regime. Had the popemobile been going down George Street in Sydney and a protester broken through the barriers and approached, he also would have been bundled off.

    Even free societies are skittish about security at the best of times. The actions of of Mehmet Ali Agca will be present in everyones’ minds for many years to come.

    Not that the evil inherent in Cuba’s regime needs any further demonstration.

  20. Larry Koler
    Albert Arthur: I heard a report on NPR last night about how Gallway, Ireland, is erecting a statue to Che. Apparently his grandmother or something was born there. The host remarked that some people, mostly American politicians are protesting the planned statue due to Che being “controversial”. Apparently, “some are even calling him a mass murderer.” (I’m paraphrasing, but the point is that NPR didn’t go on to explain why some might consider him to be a mass murderer. Mostly, because he was a mass murderer.)

    When it comes to Cuba, Che, La Revolucion, people have giant blinders.

    Not really. Blinders are a means to prevent knowing some things. These are lies — plain and simple. 

    When discussing Cuba and Castro with liberals I always put this proposition to them: If Castro would just stop shooting people in the back who want to leave then I could handle that. But, he won’t stop killing people — or threatening to kill people. Why not?

    In the fantasy life they lead, liberals can’t go down that logic tree to give me a real answer. They just drift away into other topics.

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