Cuba: The selling of a nation

Carlos Alberto Montaner in The Miami Herald:

Cuba: The selling of a nation first heard the concept from a European diplomat who had lived in Cuba. It has since spread. The model created by the Castro brothers is a pimp state.

It’s an uncomfortable designation but in line with the reality that circulates sotto voce among the Cubans on the island. The government has specialized in the extortion of its own citizens. Fifty-five years after the dictatorship was imposed, almost all the significant forms of income that sustain the country come from shady deals made abroad.

The Venezuelan subsidy. Estimated at $13 billion a year by Prof. Carmelo Mesa Lago, dean of Cuban economists on the subject. That includes more than 100,000 barrels of oil per day, half of which are re-exported and sold in Spain. Thirty thousand others apparently go to PetroCaribe, originating a double corruption of political support and illicit enrichment.

The public source of this information is expert Pedro Mantellini, one of the great connoisseurs of the topic of Venezuelan oil. He explained it in Miami, on María Elvira Salazar’s program on CNN Latino. Caracas buys international influence with oil but shares with its Cuban accomplices the management of those gifts.

The trade in doctors and health givers. This business brings in $7.5 billion a year. Specialist María Werlau has described this activity in the Miami Herald.

The Cuban government leases its professionals and charges for their services. It confiscates 95 percent of their salaries. Angola pays as much as $60,000 a year for each medic. Not even the aid to Haiti escapes this scheme. The services rendered in that devastated nation are paid to Havana — at a hefty price — by international organizations.

Brazil, which pays for medical services, is Cuba’s latest grand partner in this dark activity of international procurement. It is a practice known to Cuban slave traders since the 19th century.

While slavery lasted (until 1886), the masters used to lease their slaves when they didn’t need them. The most profitable aspect of the “Negroes-for-hire” business were the poor girls the masters delivered to the brothels. The masters charged for the services the girls provided. They were businessmen-pimps. Now, we’re dealing with a state-pimp.

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