NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

HUNGER: WHERE IS THE SCORN?

March 30, 2007

Cuba shipped $780 million worth of vegetables, sugar and agricultural exports to the United States in the 1950s, but communist dictator Fidel Castro has turned his nation into a lunar wasteland over his 48-year dictatorship, its famous sugar industry now gone, says Investor's Business Daily (IBD).  Does Castro take responsibility?  No.  He blames global warming, not his disastrous decisions.

But Cuba's land lies in ruin not because of bad weather but because its massive propaganda-driven "great sugar harvests" of the 1960s ruined the land in the name of making Castro's arbitrary quota -- and because no citizen can own or trade land for its most efficient use.  Now, Cuba grows so little food it must import it from the very nation its leader denounces and undermines and blames.

In fact, it's Castro's dirty secret -- the United States is Cuba's food lifeline, says IBD:

  • The United States sells $340 million in food a year to Cuba just so its ration books can be worth the paper they're printed on.
  • The United States is Cuba's top trade partner, but Cuba ranks only 32nd on the U.S. list; America grows enough food to feed dozens of countries and, through ethanol, its own cars.

"Prior to 1959, when Castro took power, Cuba had the fourth-highest protein consumption in the Western Hemisphere," says Humberto Fontova, author of "Fidel: Hollywood's Favorite Tyrant."  "Today, it's near the bottom."

  • According to a Spanish study, Fontova said, in 1842 Cuba's plantation slaves got royally decreed daily rations of 8 ounces of meat, 4 ounces of rice, 16 ounces of starch and 4 ounces of beans.
  • By contrast, when Castro started rationing food in 1962, Cubans got 2 ounces of meat, 3 ounces of rice, 6.5 ounces of starch and 1 ounce of beans.

Source: Editorial, "Hunger: Where Is The Scorn?" Investor's Business Daily, March 29, 2007.

 

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