Originally posted by FlyersFan
They are Catholic. They had to be Catholics in secret because to openly worship
God ment torture and poverty - even for an educated doctors family.
[edit on 8/2/2006 by FlyersFan]
I am extremely skeptical of statements like this, for purely real-world, realpolitik, down-to-earth practical reasons. I am not skeptical that Castro
might LIKE to do something along these lines, but I am extremely skeptical of claims that he DOES, because I don't think he CAN.
No Communist government anywhere in the world, ever, has actually banned the prevailing religion, and in every Latin American country, including Cuba,
the Roman Catholic Church is the prevailing religion. Every government, even a despotic one, depends on popular support for survival. Castro might
get away with putting some restrictions on the Catholic Church, or with banning other, less popular churches, but to torture anyone who "openly
worships God" is beyond his government's power, or that of any government. He is not an idiot. Therefore he does not do this.
Poverty? Well, that's more believable; the whole country is poor and always has been. Perhaps there are economic privileges for an elite, and one
of the requirements for belonging to the elite is atheism. That would be typical of a state organized along Marxist-Leninist lines.
Regarding Muaddib's statements about life in Cuba, I am less skeptical of them. I do, however, think it's important, when looking at such things,
to put them in perspective. It's natural for Americans upon hearing about life in Cuba to compare it to life in America, not only in terms of
political freedom but also in terms of material abundance (and much of what Muaddib said related to that). America is a rich country. Cuba is a poor
one. Naturally, things are worse there than here. The proper comparison is not what life is like there versus here, but what life is like there
under Castro versus what it was like under Bautista. I imagine there was less regimentation and people didn't get issued ration books or be required
by the government to work on special farms that grew food for export. What I am less certain of, though, is that material conditions as a practical
matter were any better.
Is it worse to be issued ration books entitling a family to inadequate amounts of meat and milk each month, than it is to be unable to buy either of
those in any quantity at all? It is worse to be required by the state to work on a farm producing goods for export, than to have to work on such a
farm (or in a cigar factory, or whatever) for virtually slave wages, because it's the only work available? I don't know that I can answer those
questions. Either one is pretty bad, in each case.
Castro is no Teddy bear; no head of state has ever been a Teddy bear (not even Theodore Roosevelt, for whom the toy was named). Truly benevolent
dictators, too benevolent to ruthlessly put down potential opposition, end up dead, like Caesar. But he has the support of most (though not all) of
the Cuban people; if he did not, he would no longer be in power. The people must, therefore, perceive some benefit to his rule, and to life under
My best guess as to why, is that when you go from starvation to a regimented, poor life in which at least you're not starving and your kids can get
medical care when needed, it looks like improvement.