This is an excellent piece. All I will add is that whilst I agree with the need for radical change/reform after this crisis is over, the picture of Che Guevara tells a different story. As a Cuban I unfortunately suffered Che’s mishandling of the economy when he was appointed minister at the beginning of the revolution. The knock-on effect was still being felt decades after. His poisonous theories on the creation of a New Man resulted in two generations of Cubans being brainwashed and traumatised. Unsurprisingly many of these Cubans live abroad now. I cannot talk about Bernie since I’m not American. Yet, there’s a rose-tinted-glasses tendency in leftie western circles (I describe myself as leftwing/liberal/progressive/you name it, but definitely NOT socialist) to see Cuba as a socialist paradise. The reality is very, very different. Education and health, the two areas we’re normally praised on are not what they seem. The former is based on a rote-learning system where children are fed a long-disused Marxist-driven curriculum. The latter works on a who-you-know basis. If you have relatives or friends who work in the health system (as I had), you get top-notch treatment. If you don’t, you’re screwed. The health system is free, yes, but very, very flawed. And whilst the US embargo has a lot to answer for that, the self-imposed, Cuban government-led embargo is also responsible.

London-based, Cuban writer. Author of “Cuban, Immigrant, and Londoner”, to be published by Austin Macauley. Has written for The Guardian and Prospect.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store