Kaieteur News – Why did it take the Cuban people so long to rebel against a system that for 62 years denied them a decent living that all humans by natural law are entitled to? From 1959, the year of Fidel Castro’s overthrow of Cuba’s dictator Fulgencio Baptiste, to 2021, the Cuban people have lived without modern things of all kinds, including basic food items.
Cuban people have wondered all over this world looking for a better life. We, Guyanese, need to open our hearts to them. Burnham, like Castro, caused their people to become refugees, desperately seeking survival from each country that took them in.
If there is any nationality that should understand how permanent power destroys the soul of a country, then it should be Guyanese. We, Guyanese, then should display prodigious empathy for the Cuban people. Fidel Castro was a failed revolutionary leader. He failed because liberation never came to Cuba.
What came to Cuba after 1959 was the exact thing Thomas Hobbes wrote about in his brilliant philosophy book, “The Leviathan.” Castro’s favourite philosopher was Karl Marx. But that was a deception. Castro followed Hobbes’s teaching meticulously. Castro was the 20th century’s only implementer of Hobbes’s philosophy.
Briefly, Hobbes argued that human nature is so flawed that people will not obey laws and accept a quota of resources that each human should have. Instead, humans will seek to snatch your quota leaving you without. Justice and access to resources are best guaranteed if you have an absolute leader who will share a social contract with you. He will not harm you. He will guarantee your access to resources and security. In turn, you must accept his absolutist rule. But there is a part of Hobbes that readers fail to latch on to.
Hobbes said that once the Leviathan does not bring security, justice and resources, the subjects have a natural right to rebel. The Hobbesian social contract was never honoured by Castro. He never delivered stability to the Cuban people and they have gone without the things that the people of the modern world should have access to.
Everything was wrong about capitalist democracy for Fidel Castro. But he didn’t see the flaw in his rule that the world detested. In democratic society, a prince could be toppled by a pauper in free and fair elections. The examples are extraordinary. A dock worker became the head of government in Poland. An Indian man who was an orphan with nowhere to sleep became prime minister of the largest democracy in the world. In London, an ordinary non-wealthy Muslim beat a billionaire in the mayoral election.
Castro ruled Cuba for 49 years, five months and only stopped governing because colon cancer intervened. In the end, he became a faded revolutionary. He spoke for five hours at public rallies. Each Cuban that read a Time magazine was a subversive. Cubans are protesting and the official government’s explanation for the cause has been a stuck record since 1959 – the Americans are instigating it.
The English 18th century philosopher, Edmund Burke, was dead set against revolution. He said revolution creates more chaos than freedom. The history of revolution is an ugly one – in France, Russia, Egypt, Cuba, Libya, Algeria, Yemen, Nicaragua, Suriname, Grenada, Iran, Upper Volta (Burkino Faso), Ethiopia and Poland the revolution disintegrated so disastrously that the revolutionaries killed more people than the previous rulers.
Here in Guyana, the only Marxist state in the English-speaking Caribbean saw its leader Forbes Burnham transformed Guyana into the only fascist state in the English-speaking Caribbean. There was nothing revolutionary or Marxist about Burnham. Everything about him resembled the mentality of Castro – intoxication with power.
Should we not mention, in our own country, Moses Nagamootoo, Rupert Roopnaraine, Clive Thomas and Eusi Kwayana. Roopnaraine became an advisor to several Caribbean revolutionary governments, specifically Suriname and Grenada. In 2015, his party came to power and he exchanged his revolutionary credentials for elitist power. He told his party leaders in the WPA, at the last statutory meeting he was ever to attend that as a Cabinet minister, he cannot discuss government’s business with them.
Clive Thomas, whose revolutionary approach to economics, Prime Minister, Michael Manley of Jamaica once sought, came to power in 2015 and the rent he paid for his office from one of the Caribbean’s wealthiest families is too vulgar to list here suffice it to say it ran into millions.
Kwayana, in 2020 discarded his revolutionary clothes and supported rigged elections in order for Guyana to have a permanent Black government. Long standing revolutionary, Moses Nagamootoo came to power in 2015. All he did was share out watermelon earning the nickname “watermelon man.”
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
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