The curtain was just closing on president Obama’s benefit performance on behalf of the billionaire Castro family in Havana last month when another curtain opened on an adjacent stage.
Accompanied by a chorus of idiotic media hype The Rolling Stones arrived in Havana three days after Obama departed the island amidst a similar chorus of idiocies. Despite the insufferable media blather both sets of performers were helping further enrich the Castro family for one reason: their “legacies.”
You see, amigos: Cuba’s entire economic infrastructure is owned almost lock stock and barrel—not only by the Stalinist regime’s military and secret police sectors (the only people in Cuba with guns, in case you’d forgotten)—but more specifically by the Castro family itself. In Congressional testimony a few years ago, Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Simmons, a recently retired Defense Intelligence Agency Cuba specialist, explained the issue in detail. He showed how through a corporation named GAESA, Raul Castro’s military owns virtually every corporation involved in Cuba’s tourism industry, among the Stalinist regime’s top money-makers lately.
And as GAESA’s chief executive officer we find none other than Raul Castro’s very son-in-law Maj. Luis Alberto Rodriguez Lopez-Callejas.
From the mainstream media you probably read about a “historic”– even an “epochal”– Rolling Stones concert in Havana on March 25th. The hyperventilating “reporters” probably followed up by mentioning “historic changes” and “reforms” in Cuba, as proven by the very concert.
In fact, the only “historic changes” in Cuba—as recognized by the tiny number of people who actually study this issue—involve the source of the cash-flow into the Castro-Family-Crime-Syndicate (euphemized as “Cuba” by the media and U.S. State Dept.).
When that cash flowed from the Soviet Union rock music was a potentially-disruptive foreign influence that required no tolerance from the Stalinist authorities. In fact, these authorities felt obliged to round up and jail Cuban rock fans en-masse. Last week_, _for the first time in history, this fascinating datum was widely reported by the mainstream media. In fact, Castro’s police traditionally treated Rolling Stones fans about like the Hells Angels treated them at another famous “free” Rolling Stones concert—Altamont California Dec. 1969.
But actually, this information was not widely known until the publication and international distribution of a certain book that highlighted it to dramatize the tragic disconnect between the hipsters who wear Che Guevara-T-shirts and the hipsters cursed by fate to live under the regime co-founded by Che Guevara.
Why have things not changed in Cuba?
Well, take a millennial Bernie Sanders supporter who lives in his divorced mother’s basement room. Say this mother finally tired of his sloth and stupidity, cut off his allowance and booted him from her basement. So he moved in with his father, who provided the new room, board and allowance.
Chances are that the Bernie Sanders supporter would suddenly find ways to extol the virtues of his father and forget all the horrible things he said about him while eagerly agreeing with his mother when he encountered her while raiding the refrigerator or asking for her car keys. Alas, the son’s sloth and stupidity would probably remain unchanged.
Think of the Castro regime as that Bernie Sanders supporter. Back in the early 1990s his mother (Russia) finally tired of the arrangement and booted him into the “street,” so to speak.
So now Cuba lives with his father (tourism) while retaining essentially all of his disgusting habits. Living with this new provider requires that Cuba slightly change its “tune” –and slightly modify its behavior–but really nothing major, nothing of substance. “What’s a little lip-service?” the Sanders supporter snickers, “in exchange for room, board and my uninterrupted Wi-Fi?”
In brief, the Castro regime briefly “hooked-up” with the Rolling Stones for the simple expedient of filling its coffers with millions more in tourist money. In the meantime, Castro’s subjects –while allowed to boogie a bit—essentially remain the impoverished and oppressed subjects of a totalitarian regime.
Indeed, repression against Cubans has actually _cranked-up_ steadily in direct proportion to the Stalinist regime’s enrichment via tourism, especially owing to president Obama’s policies that have recently swamped Cuba with over half a million visitors last year from the U.S. and contributed an estimated $5.6 billion in remittances and travel expenditures to the Castro regime’s coffers. As a direct result, desperate Cubans are risking their lives to flee Cuba at a rate unseen in decades.
Almost exactly a year ago, your humble servant went on John Stossell’s show to debate two libertarians (with half my brain tied behind my back) who giddily support Obama’s Cuba “opening.” I went hoarse regaling them with thoroughly-documented facts and figures regarding two decades of tourism and foreign investment into Cuba—especially the effects of this economic windfall on the fortunes of the Cuban people vs. the fortunes of the Castro-Family-Crime-Syndicate. While thus engaged my two debate opponents (figuratively) shut their eyes, assumed the lotus position and predicted wonderful things for the Cuban people. In (tragic) contrast I predicted this very outcome.
During Easter weekend, for instance, while the mainstream media dutifully promoted the Rolling Stones concert (i.e. Castro-regime/Rolling Stones business partnership) Cuban dissidents suffered a wave of arrests and beatings. Needless to add, this repression was dutifully ignored by the mainstream media. But if you’re somehow interested in a news story that somehow omits mention of both Donald Trump and the Rolling Stones, here it is.
But don’t take all this stuff from me. After all, I don’t live in Cuba. Take it from 25-year-old Cuban dissident Rosa Maria Paya, whose father was murdered by the Stalinist regime’s KGB-trained secret police three years ago: “They [the Rolling Stones] should be aware that their performance is being used by a totalitarian regime as a symbol of an opening that _isn’t really taking place._”
The AP, by the way, estimated that half the fans in the front rows of the Rolling Stones concert were foreigners (i.e. tourists).
So when it comes to news from Cuba, amigos–please keep your eye on the ball. In a nutshell that ball is: income and power for the Castro-Family-Crime-Syndicate–which means cash–from whatever source. Submit everything you read and hear from the media about Cuba to that test (will it further enrich and empower the Castro-Family-Crime -Syndicate, while keeping the bulk of the Cuban people poor, stupid, powerless and distracted?). Do this and everything in Cuba will make perfect sense.