José Azel remembers the past, and thinks that Barack Obama and the Castros are determined to repeat it;
Beginning in the early days of the Cuban Revolution and climaxing with Fidel Castro’s “Revolutionary Offensive,” the regime embarked on an effort to eliminate all private property. First came the expropriations of foreign enterprises, followed by the expropriation of large Cuban-owned businesses, and finally all economic activity was taken over in 1968.But today, we're supposed to believe that if the U.S. ends the embargo, that will bring about a flowering of self-employment in Cuba. In turn, those newly enabled entrepreneurs will pressure the government to reform and give up their Stalinist ways. Azel says, Idiotas.
According to Cuban-government statistics, [in 1968] 55,636 micro enterprises, mostly of one or two persons, were confiscated. Among them, 11,878 food retailers, 3,130 meat retailers, 3,198 bars, 8,101 food establishments, 6,653 dry cleaners, 3,345 carpentry workshops, 4,544 automobile mechanic shops, 1,598 artisan shops, and 1,188 shoeshine stands.
So why would this time be different, Barack?Even with this sizable private sector in operation, the regime was able to exert total control. Moreover, this private sector had fresh memories of an imperfect, but significantly free pre-Castro Cuba. It was a civil society still imbued with the political principles of the 1940s Cuban Constitution enshrining liberty. And yet, this civil society was unable to prevent the communization of the island, or bring about change in the regime.