Cuban Socialism Has Been a Failure and the Left Must Face Up to It, Priest Says

Protests of the island’s communist government took place across Cuba July 11-12.

Cuban exiles rally at Versailles Restaurant in Miami's Little Havana in support of protesters in Cuba.
Cuban exiles rally at Versailles Restaurant in Miami's Little Havana in support of protesters in Cuba. (photo: Fernando Medina / Shutterstock)

Father Alberto Reyes Pías, a priest of the Archdiocese of Camagüey, addressed Monday those who have leftist political preferences, asking them to recognize the failure of the socialist model that was imposed on Cuba 62 years ago.

“I understand that you would have liked Cuba to be the model of a successful and functional socialism, but I would be lying if I told you that this is the case. I know it’s hard to see dreams being shattered, and I know how difficult it can be to overcome the stubborn desire to want what is not to be," Father Reyes wrote in an Oct. 4 Facebook post.

"The Cuban model has been a failure, and I humbly ask the Left to end up accepting that, because while you refuse to accept it and boast of continuing to say to a dead person: ‘come on, you can do it,’ my people suffer,” continued the priest.

Protests of the island’s communist government took place across Cuba July 11-12. Protesters cited concerns about inflation, shortages of food and medicine, and the Covid-19 pandemic. Some protesters were beaten, and thousands were arrested.

The island “has been for both the European and the Latin American Left, the dream and the ideal of what has never existed: a successful socialism, a happy and prosperous Marxist-Leninist country, where the people feel at ease and protected, where there are no injustices or miseries, where the poor feel supported and secure, proud of their leaders and confident in the happy and bright future of their children,” the priest said.

“That is what from a well worked out propaganda they asked you to see, and that is what you insist on seeing,” he stressed.

However, the priest said that what his people actually experience is “a life similar to that of nations at war, where everything becomes an exhausting odyssey: food, medicine, transportation, schooling, working conditions."

“We suffer from the fear of expressing ourselves freely, and the vulnerability of facing a judicial system that convicts and doesn’t allow a defense. We suffer from the uncertainty of a social model where we have practically no control over our present or our future.”

Father Reyes said that he would have liked to “say the opposite,” but that “it would be mockery on my part to invite you to live a mirage, beautiful and hopeful, like all mirages, but false and empty.”

“And just as I refuse to mock you, I ask the same of you for my people. Please stop making a mockery of my people, stop mechanically defending a wonderful reality that does not exist. Respect each other and accept that Cuba is not what you would have wanted it to be, and that 62 years is more than enough time to show that it never will be,” he said.

Addressing his readers, he told them that if “you believe that Marxism-Leninism is the solution to the problems of this world, you have every right to seek solutions there, and I will respect you, but do not applaud the failure of socialism in my land with speeches of feigned pride.”

“And if you don't want to say clearly that we have failed, at least keep quiet, learn to be silent, which can also be a worthy option," he added.

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