Bill Batt: Reports from Cuba
An opportunity arose this past June for me to join an educational visit to Cuba under the sponsorship of The Nation magazine. For eight days some 24 subscribers and staff of this weekly had entrée to political insiders, academics and journalists on terms that few if any others have been given.
(The following is an excerpt) Why was Cuba so attractive to us? Because it has now elected to follow its own path, politically, policy-wise, and culturally. For over three decades it tied itself to USSR to avoid diplomatic isolation as well as for financial support. This meant that it was forced to accept some policies that it may not otherwise have chosen. Whether Fidel Castro was a Marxist or simply professed to be for strategic reasons is an open question. Certain differences from other Eastern bloc countries arise from the exigencies of Cuba’s geography and socio-economic circumstances. But other options are necessitated by the persistent and aggressive efforts of its northern neighbor US to undermine and even overthrow the ruling structure that the 1959 Castro regime created. For decades it has had a siege mentality that is only now lifting. I address the homage paid to the country’s national hero Jose Marti in a separate essay, and who often wrote about Henry George and may even have known him. Cuba could even plausibly become Georgist.