The question is often asked: if things are so abysmal in Cuba, why don’t the people there just take to the streets and overthrow the Castros like people have done elsewhere? Exile Liu Santiesteban, who blogs over at todoelmundohabla.com, today offers four reasons why they don’t:
1. Taking note of his own experiences in the years and months leading up to his own overthrow of the status quo, Fidel made very sure that no one in Cuba other than members of the army and police have guns.
2. Transport: Santiesteban believes the regime deliberately makes it difficult to people to move around the island freely, whether it be across town or across the country. Railroads have been left to rot. Highways have been barely touched in 50 years. Private vehicles are prohibitively expensive. People who can’t move around can’t cause trouble.
3. By confiscating private businesses and second homes, as well as the bank accounts, of pretty much every wealthy family (even what passed for a middle class at the time) in Cuba, Castro set out to deliberately impoverish his people and make them dependent on the state for survival. If dissent and revolt lead to hunger, people will more often than not take a pass.
4. Communication: all forms of mass media — radio, TV, newspapers and even films — are strictly controlled by the Communist party and make no room for dissent. Even inter-personal electronic communication via telephone is strictly controlled by giving apparatchiks say over who gets telephone lines and who doesn’t. People can’t organize if they can’t talk to each other or have their voices heard. It’s the main reason the Castros have been so scared of the Internet.
Santiesteban notes that those mostly to rebel against the regime tend to do so with their feet — 20% of the population skipped country the first chance they got.
1- Image was taken by reuters