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Cuba was under sanctions for 56 years. Beat her record?

American President Obama acted like a famous cartoon cat Leopold – he flew in on (or “in”) Cuba and said: “Let’s live together”. And even tried to Pat on the shoulder, the younger Castro, who inherited power on liberty island his older brother Fidel. Before 56 years Cuba has been under sanctions from the United States.

                                            Куба была под санкциями 56 лет. Побьём её рекорд?

Now it has become customary to compare the record duration protivotumanki sanctions against those who tolerate this Russia. But according to my understanding such sanctions, as in Cuba, we suffered all the years of Soviet power from 1917 to 1991 If Fidel just squeezed out of the country his predecessor Batista, the Cuban “revolution” would be regarded a powerful neighbor like another coup in a banana Republic. Without some sort of sanctions. But he succumbed to the propaganda of Khrushchev and announced that he intends to build socialism at the side of America. And for that the USSR will feed the Cubans and to call them friends. And for such cases the mechanism worked out in 1917-and we still remember the iron curtain, which is now enjoying a half-starved North Korea.

I had the good fortune to compare the Soviet “developed socialism 1984 with the Cuban underdeveloped. God forbid: such poverty and dependency I had no idea. Later I had the opportunity to learn how people live in North Korea, so there is at least something to build, including housing. And the capital of Cuba, Havanna though and is divided into old and new, but the “new” Dating back to when Batista and when Fidel nothing.

My impressions from visiting Cuba 32 years ago as confirmed by the columnist of the weekly “arguments and facts” Georgy Zotov, who visited the “other” Cuba in 2016 after the lifting of sanctions…

                    Куба была под санкциями 56 лет. Побьём её рекорд?

Article from the newspaper: the Weekly “Arguments and Facts” № 24 15/06/2016

In 56 years of sanctions against Cuba, the United States has not achieved the weakening of power, but Castro failed to prove their case.In fact, the opposition owes nothing gave. Only Cubans half a century were half-starved existence.

                     Куба была под санкциями 56 лет. Побьём её рекорд?

On the Boulevard del Prado in the centre of Havana from the balcony hangs a huge banner with the image of the revolutionary”barbudos” (bearded) – holding his rifle in one hand, a clenched fist with the other, he faces the void. Before a fist was in the nose of the symbol of the United States – the lanky Yankee hat from the American flag. Due to the recent visit of Barack Obama to the Cuban authorities considered this gesture is indecent: therefore, Uncle Sam simply painted over.

Other changes in relation to America, yet little – dollars in exchange of the liberty Island are buying, Stripping 10% Commission: as noted by the cashier, this “tax on imperialism.”

However, there have already been tourists from the US – they filled all the restaurants and don’t cross rum, salsa dancing under the rhythms of street musicians on the background of the slogan “Socialism or death!”. The square of the Revolution set the advertising Board of the Agency of the son of the ally of Fidel Castro Ernesto Che GuevaraJr.: guests from America offer trips for $3500 in a week “the glory of the great Che.

In March of this year, President Obama announced the restoration of relations between the two countries, abolishing the most severe sanctions. They acted against Cuba 56 years (!) and resulted in zero results.

Seniors in queues

– Russia does not even dreamed of the horrors of the embargo, which brought us to the United States, says Jorge Luis Martinez, a Professor of medicine from Havana. – Cuba was forbidden to sell everything – food, cars, electronics, medicines: in the early years before we built our health system, died many children. Food was also very bad, because Cuba imports 80% of food: I remember in school we were fed the “chops” from a banana peel. But the main thing is we survived, not caved in under American policy, and now the US have to offer the lifting of sanctions. But in 1960, when they were introduced, and in 1991, after the collapse of the USSR, Washington was sure that the Castro regime has definitely come to an end. Not wait.

                     Куба была под санкциями 56 лет. Побьём её рекорд?

This is indeed the case in 56 years of sanctions, the Americans have not achieved any success in weakening the power “rain of Communists”. However, it is not necessary to prevaricate: the Cuban mouse stood against American dinosaur, but the victory was given her extremely hard. The stores in Havana and can be seen the queue of people waiting for the chance to buy food cards for rice, beans, sugar, vegetable oil, milk for children. As usual, the crowd swearing, shoving and heard the long-forgotten we have a phrase: “sir, you were not here!”

It is still heaven on earth – a few years ago coupons were given toothpaste, potatoes, in the free market was not even pineapple for a tropical island full Apocalypse. Now heaps of fruit at the farmers markets, at almost no cost – a kilo of bananas costs 5 rubles and sold for national pesos.

But if you want something extra, then you will need convertible pesos and special shops. Yes, Cuba runs two currencies – imagine that in the USSR on a par with the ruble would be accepted in supermarkets, dollar receipts for the stores “birch”. People go to Havana on the broken cars of the 50-ies – those that left American businesses and escaping from the island. Miserable wages – an average of $20 per month. At the same time, no one here is starving, and the amount of payment of utility services will cause us to laugh.

Bananas coupons

– The example of Cuba shows that sanctions in principle, the thing is useless, – said a petroleum engineer Emilia Morales, in 1985-1990 studied in the Soviet Union. – We have them in derision called “Cocos” – the Americans were once banned the export of these nuts from our Islands. If the West with all its might was not able to “bend” a little socialist state with Russia, and a fortiori it can not cope.

But it is foolish to claim that we do not notice the effect of the embargo: Cuba has lost about hundreds of billions of dollars of damage to the economy caused by huge. Life has become worse in only the common people, and none of the officials was injured. In fact, the sanctions have not helped to bring about revolutions – neither in Iran nor North Korea nor Cuba. I’m glad to Americans half a century reached – the government is not overthrown, the leaders of the country must not threaten, and negotiate with them. At the same time, if the Cuban leadership not only tighten, but also to mitigate the position, we would have avoided bananas for coupons. Was it worth the insane tenacity of 56 half-starved life? Hard to say…

The Chinese way

Instead of a hotel, I rented an apartment in a private house: the Cubans were allowed to rent housing to foreigners. At each junction farmers sell their fruits, everywhere, like mushrooms, grow an outdoor cafe. Cuba no longer looks exhausted, which seemed to me during past trips: half a million people (!) here registered as entrepreneurs and passionate new to the liberty Island thing – making money. And here comes to mind – after all, the country is much easier to survive sanctions, realize it 25 years earlier to go the Chinese way: allowing private business and strongly supporting farming. But Fidel could not compromise on principles… but as it seems to me personally, the first thing to feed people with food, not slogans.

The case of Cuba, in fact, two sides of the coin. One – it is significant that the strongest militarily and economically and the government has failed to cope with a small but proud island, eventually making concessions. What then was the fuss to begin with? Other – if the island itself was less pride, and more ingenuity to alleviate the living conditions of its citizens under sanctions could previously, and to agree about their withdrawal too. Russia and the West are similarly doomed to make peace – the EU and the United States eventually will realize that sanctions do not work, and with the Russian Federation need to talk in a different tone. Meantime, we should not exercise in mutual abuse, and to strengthen its economy. Believe me, once that is certainly will not.

(According to the materials of the weekly “arguments and facts”, №24, 2016)

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