I want to start off by saying something that I believe I have already said in a previous entry, but I think this subject demands for me to repeat myself: “Totalitarianism”–that idea based on complete misunderstanding and even outright lies about the nature of socialism–is the label liberals love to use in order to slander almost any state our government does not like. It’s an easy buzzword used by lazy debaters to give them the feeling that they’ve proven some vague point. It is the belief that states like Cuba and the DPRK have total control of every aspect of their citizens’ lives, and that this supposed system is implemented by subjucting the masses to intense persecution and keeping the people weak so as to better control them. Now, not only has this “system” never actually existed(the closest thing to it is the dictatorship of capital, but the creators of the idea would never say so), but the logic behind the idea of “totalitarianism” is contradictory to the actions and practices of the states labelled as “totalitarian”–states such as Cuba.
Why would a state that supposedly wants to keep its people weak and dependent ever bother caring about providing things like free education and universal healthcare? Wouldn’t they want the people to struggle for such things? Wouldn’t they want to provide as little as possible in order to make the people beg for such essential methods of survival, so they wouldn’t have the time or energy to put up a fight? How can a “totalitarian” state function with a healthy and educated populace, where every member of that society doesn’t have to spend time worrying about untreated illnesses, finding a job, or school tuition? In other words, wouldn’t such a state take its cues from the US and other right-wing imperialist states?
The answer to that last question is: Yes. But that isn’t what the so-called “totalitarian socialist dictatorships” do.
Anyway, just in case you haven’t heard, Cuba has been on a roll these past few years with certain medical breakthroughs that can only be described as fucking incredible. Things that many of us thought wouldn’t happen any time in the near future are already happening, thanks to revolutionary Cuba. Things that will and are saving lives.
Cuba has a truly universal healthcare system, which means that profit-motive has been taken out of the equation completely. In privatized healthcare systems(such as that of the US), preventative medicine is not something that is looked fondly upon, as it does not fit very well into the profit-dogma. Those doctors and researchers who try to enter the world of preventative medicine are grossly underfunded, providing little to no incentive for anyone in the medical field to even want to think about preventative medicine. We all need to put food on our tables, after all.
On the other hand, Cuba is showing the world what a fully socialized healthcare system is capable of, and it’s amazing. When a healthcare system is not geared toward profit, when doctors are not weighed down by the profit-dogma, when a healthcare system is actually used for health rather than money, doctors and researchers are then free to actually work toward making the world healthier, rather than making their bosses richer.
Just to name a few of these accomplishments: Cuba has created a vaccine for lung cancer, is the first country ever to figure out how to prevent HIV and syphilis from transmitting from mother to child, and has most recently developed another vaccine used to prevent and fight prostate cancer. It is also speculated that Cuba’s anti-cancer vaccines will eventually be used to fight many other different kinds of cancer(including breast and colon cancer).
I don’t think it can be denied that, whatever your opinions of Cuba may be, these are some amazing and much-needed medical accomplishments. Accomplishments thousands to millions of people around the world desperately need. And the best part is, Cuba is more than willing to share these breakthroughs with anyone who would take them, even their long-time enemies. Because Cuba is not interested in letting the citizens of another country die just because that other country’s government wants to oppress or even destroy the current Cuban state. It is a socialist principle to care for all the oppressed peoples of the world, regardless of the country in which they live(especially for those living under the oppressive weight of capitalism).
I may have my criticisms of Cuba for being revisionist and, when it comes down to it, bourgeois, but they are truly setting one of the greatest examples of socialist ingenuity and solidarity the world has ever seen, in regards to medicine and healthcare. Cuba is well-known for being one of the most generous countries when it comes to sending doctors abroad to help people suffering from illness all over the world, as well as for accepting medical students from every corner of the globe to go there to study medicine at their state-of-the-art institutions.
I think all of this makes two things very clear: 1) Despite the rhetoric spewed by capitalist privatization-junkies, univeral healthcare provides much more creative ingenuity than privatized systems, which are clearly far behind Cuba when it comes to healthcare and medicine; and 2) Cuba is far more generous, giving, and helpful to the world than any capitalist-imperialist state out there, even the liberal’s precious Scandinavian systems.
We are witnessing some truly outstanding breakthroughs, none of which are coming from the so-called “free world”, but from that little island we have all been taught is run by the Devil himself. Our so-called “Christian nation” is sending bombs and soldiers all over the globe, while Cuba is sending medical supplies and doctors. During that recent outbreak of ebola, the US–that so-called “Christian nation”–sent troops to the affected regions, for some reason, while Cuba was one of the countries to send the highest number of doctors to the affected regions.
So, while the US is busy sending death-machines and trained killers all over the world to spread “freedom and democracy”, Cuba is sending some of the best-trained doctors the world has ever known to those in need of healthcare. And yet Cuba–a state that has never invaded another nation–is the one labelled as a “totalitarian dictatorship”. I guess we are supposed to believe that Cuba is trying to undermine “freedom and democracy” by helping people instead of shooting them. I don’t know about you, but I don’t believe that for a second.
After all, when the US tried to invade Cuba during the Bay of Pigs, Castro himself took up a rifle and went into battle alongside his troops. I don’t recall Bush doing that after the 9/11 attacks. What we have here is one state(Cuba) actually giving a damn about its own people(so much so that its leader risked his own life in battle) and the people of the world, and another state(the USA) not even trying to be subtle about its disdain for both its own people and the populations of other nations. The latter is called the “great liberator”, while the former is shrugged off as “totalitarian”.
Well, given these huge accomplishments in the medical and other fields, I don’t think many people will continue shrugging off Cuba as some dictatorial anomaly for much longer. Seeing as how the embargo has been lifted and these revolutionary treatments will be reaching US citizens in the near future, I think a change of tone will be coming along with it. We will be thanking revolutionary Cuba when we are surviving due to their healthcare system and ahead-of-its-time medical breakthroughs. At least, I know I will be thankful when I’m not dying of prostate cancer, like several of my family members have, at the age of 40.
“Condemn me, it does not matter: history will absolve me.” -Fidel Castro