“They were careless people, Tom and Daisy – they smashed things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made …” The Great Gatsby
This morning, I watched a bit of Joe Scarborough blustering and fulminating at Bernie surrogate Bill de Blasio about the positive things Sanders has to say about the Castro revolution in Cuba, and what came to mind was the passage above by F. Scott Fitzgerald from his most famous novel.
I am old enough to remember the corrupt US-backed regime of Fulgencio Batista, with its intimate ties to the American mafia and its subordination of Cuba’s economy to US sugar interests. When Fidel Castro and Che Guavara led a successful overthrow of the Batista regime, America’s response was first to plan a CIA-funded invasion of Cuba under Eisenhower and then to launch the disastrous abortive Bay of Pigs attack signed off on by Saint Jack in the first months of his presidency, two years before his 1963 martyrdom inspired a generation of cold war liberals.
Having subordinated Cuba’s economy to that of America during the Batista reign, America now imposed a crushing embargo on the land “ninety miles off the American mainland,” forcing Castro to seek help from America’s cold war foe, the Soviet Union. Despite the embargo, the Castro regime made great strides in building a diversified and independent Cuban economy, developing its medical sector so successfully that Cuban doctors actually traveled to other countries to bring medical assistance.
Over time, the Castro regime became repressive and thoroughly undemocratic. Indeed, one of the most famous political prison camps in the world is located on its territory. Prisoners are held there for endless years without hope of trial or release. It is called Guantanamo.