Comparing Cuba To Its Capitalistic Neighbors – What is it Really Like to Live In Cuba?

Over the weekend, Cuba erupted in protest over poverty spurred by the island’s communist regime. With chants of “no tenemos miedo” — “we are not afraid” — Cubans challenged the oldest communist regime in the Western hemisphere.

Over the past six decades, many Latin American nations have experienced breakneck economic growth. During the same period, the Cuban economy has limped along under communist repression.

Indeed, the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom currently gives Cuba an abysmal “economic freedom” score of 28.1 out of 100:

The state owns most means of production. There is practically no separation between the judiciary, the National Assembly, and the Communist Party, which can appoint or remove judges at any time. Corruption is a serious problem that remains unaddressed. Widespread illegality permeates both Cuba’s limited private enterprises and the vast state-controlled economy.

State-owned enterprises significantly distort the economy. Access to credit for private-sector activity is severely impeded by the shallow financial market. Despite a decade of incremental changes, the state remains firmly in control.

Of the thirty-two countries in North and South America, Cuba only exceeds the score of Venezuela — a socialist dictatorship. Worldwide, Cuba and Venezuela only beat North Korea — a third communist dictatorship.

Contrast Heritage’s description of Cuba with that of Chile — the second-highest ranked nation for economic freedom in the Americas, which boasts a score of 75.2 out of 100:

Secured interests in real property are recognized and generally enforced, and expropriation is rare. There is a recognized and generally reliable system for recording mortgages and other forms of liens. The judiciary is independent, and the courts are generally competent in their enforcement of property and contractual rights and free from political interference.

Market-oriented policies, facilitated by a sound and transparent investment framework, have attracted significant foreign investment. The relatively competitive financial sector is open and resilient, offering a wide range of services. The exchange rate has been allowed to adjust flexibly without intervention.

When comparing the freest countries in the Americas, such as the United States, Canada, Chile, Panama, and Uruguay; to the least free countries in the Americas, such as Haiti, Brazil, Suriname, Cuba, and Venezuela; a clear trend emerges. The nations most able to foster free markets, the rule of law, and sound institutions — regardless of size, history, or access to natural resources — also foster the most economic freedom for their citizens.

This trend has been inescapably true throughout modern history. Since the end of World War II, nations such as South Korea, Uruguay, Singapore, Ireland, and the United Arab Emirates have advanced economically — despite histories replete with dictatorships, foreign occupation, and civil wars — by cutting taxes, promoting entrepreneurship, and removing regulations. Meanwhile, their neighbors — North Korea, Venezuela, Yemen — have failed to embrace free enterprise and have therefore remained in poverty.

American progressives — most notably, Bernie Sanders — may object by noting that Cuba has universal healthcare and literate populations. However, Cuba’s neighbors — such as Chile, Barbados, and Costa Rica — match or outrank Cuba in these domains. And none of them needed communist revolutions to do so.

As citizens of the world watch Cubans struggle for economic and civil liberty, they ought to reflect on the past sixty years of Cuban communism — and realize its deserving place on the ash heap of history.

The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

The Daily Wire is one of America’s fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.

Editor’s note: 2020

This is a very interesting video from 2019. The interviewer sat down with a Cuban lawyer, independent journalist, and human rights defender Laritza Diversent. She’s also the executive director of Cubalex. It’s a nonprofit group that gives legal assistance to Cubans and advocates for human rights and democracy in Cuba. Obviously, it’s not allowed to operate inside the country. Take note of her comments about Obama and Trump’s Cuba policy and how she felt they impacted the country.
She was determined when in 2019 she saw no path for an uprising of the people against the communist regime. Yet, today,2021, there is a significant uprising happening as we speak. Looking back now, one can follow Trump’s policy towards Cuba which was complex and definitive, and credit the impact that policy had on the Cuban citizens who found the will to rise up for freedom.

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Posted by Bekah Lyons

"The simple step of a courageous individual is to not take part in the lie. One word of truth outweighs the world." Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

I was born and raised in the enigma known as "The Big Easy." There, rooted along the banks of the great Mississippi River between the creeping bayou and Lake Pontchartrain, I was conscripted on all things pertaining to human nature.  I am the quintessential southern woman, that is to say, I defy most could never accurately define what that label truly represents.  Brined below sea level where one respects; the haunts lingering about, the force of storm surge, the ethos of Mardi Gras, and the sanctity of generational family-I know what it is to belong to an organically diverse culture.

Early on in life, my career path serpentined and led to brief stints of living varied experiences as I indulged my passions for painting, musical theater, and the culinary arts. My young experiences evolved my purpose and honed my intuitive skills and I became a Medical Professional specializing in mental health with a focus on child/adolescent needs. After living decades in NOLA, and after hurricane  Katrina unearthed the realities of modern-day inner cities, I made the pivotal decision to relocate to where my family and I spent our summers in a quest to find security and civility in my life.

High up on one of the "grandfather mountains" I now perch in a Smoky mountain community in East Tennessee. Although, I would not trade my formative years in Louisiana, unfortunately,  that era of  America  is  no longer obtainable in the times we live - changing course was the best decision "Evah!"

I am a warrior  for freedom and truth , steeped in my ancestral history ,I am constantly reminded that stillness and introspection expands the mind and heart to possess a more nuanced understanding of all things in our internal and external world. We are all destined to bash ourselves against the rotted cultural rocks of humanity's unraveling until we recognize that a shared moral tone is essential for a free society. A healthy culture is one comprised of many unique people who offer shading and depth to the experience of living, yet all choose to accept basic truths that bind us all together-a societal moral tone. Intolerance  , censorship, intersectionality, cancel culture, apathy ,and ignorance will only groom oppression and tyranny.  Critical thought, differentiation, and dissent is your individual right granted not by government -and must always be protected, championed, and defended.


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  1. Instead of praising these freedom-seeking uprisings in Cuba, what do we hear from most of the American Left? Crickets. Their near silence highlights what they really want in the U.S., totalitarianism and citizen subjugation.

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