“The system has sucked the life out of the people”

By Tom Quiner

Cuba is a mess.

It is one of the least free economies in the world. Out of 29 countries in South and Central America and the Carribbean region, it ranks dead last on the Heritage Foundations’ 2012 Index of Economic Freedom.

The government accounts for 80 percent of all jobs.

Private property is strictly regulated by the State.

The rule of law is corrupted by undue political interference on the courts.

The economy is heavily regulated and controlled by the State.

Despite propaganda from Castro apologists like Michael Moore, Cuba’s health care system is appalling. It is excellent if you are a tourist or a Cuban elite.

If you’re just ordinary folk, beware. Conditions are unsanitary. If you need hospitalization, you must provide your own bed sheets, soap, towels, food, light bulbs, and toilet paper. A Cuban nurse was quoted in the Canada’s National Post:

“We have nothing. I haven’t seen aspirin in a Cuban store here for more than a year. If you have any pills in your purse, I’ll take them. Even if they have passed their expiry date.”

Pope Benedict XVI was in Cuba last week, accompanied by my diocesan Bishop, Richard Pates.

As reported in the Des Moines Register this morning, a woman approached Bishop Pates and said, “I have no hope.”

Bishop Pates observed that …

“The whole attitude of the national psyche is very low. You didn’t have exuberant cheering, and that is perhaps reflective of their situation. Life is very hard … the system has sucked the life out of the people.”

Cuba became a land of repression when Fidel Castro seized power.  The free press was eventually shut down. The Catholic Church tried to confront the dictatorial trend, but the regime was merciless. Arbitrary executions and trials created a chilling effect. The government organized mobs to interrupt and harass church services.

Castro ordered mass arrests of clergy and desecration of churches. Clergy were forced into exile.

Despite the lack of human rights in Cuba, despite the lack of religious liberty, despite an economy that subjects its citizenry to poverty, U.S. Democrats tend to like Castro and praise Cuba.

Former California Representative Diane Watson praised Fidel:

“And lemme tell ya, before you say “Oh, it’s a commu–”, you need to go down there and see what Fidel Castro put in place. And I want you to know, now, you can think whatever you want to about Fidel Castro, but he was one of the brightest leaders I have ever met.”

Another Democratice Representative, Bobby Rush from Illinois met with Castro in his modest Cuban home:

“It was almost like listening to an old friend.”

Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman, Barbara Lee (D-CA), reflected the views of many Democrats with her reactions to meeting with Castro:

“The bottom line is President Castro is still charming, and our country still sucks.”

Cuba is good. America sucks.

I ponder these reactions by Democrats in the context of their party’s approach to governance under President Obama.

They agree with Castro: we need more government regulations of business, so they have dramatically increased them.

They agree with Castro that we need more employment in Big Government, so they have increased it at the expense of the private sector.

They agree with Castro that we need less religious freedom, so they attempted to tell Churches whom they could hire and fire (Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission). Because we have an independent judiciary, unlike Cuba, Team Obama lost this case unanimously.

Undeterred, they have mandated that the Catholic Church pay for healthcare services that violate their religious beliefs.

Just as Fidel Castro targeted the Catholic Church in Cuba, Barack Obama does the same in the U.S.

The Catholic Church works with human trafficking victims. The Obama administration now bars them from helping these tragic people unless they offer the ‘full range’ of reproductive services including abortion.

The Catholic Church said this is a violation of the religious freedom of Catholics.

Team Obama said “tough.”

Catholic Relief Services works to help prevent and treat AIDS in Africa and other developing nations. Now the State Department’s U.S. Agency for International Development is pressuring them and other contractors to provide contraception or bow out, this according to Bishop William Lori, the first chairman of the Catholic bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty.

Democrats’ infatuation with Cuban socialism is veering toward emulation.

In light of the abysmal state of affairs in Cuba, one must ask why?

Why do the Obamacrats push so hard to Cubanize America?