Guest post by Vermont Senator and Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders.
Sure, during the Cuban revolution, the Castro regime systematically violated the rights of its citizens. They murdered dissenters, stole private property, and wrought so much hell on Cuba that to this day the island still suffers. But it wasn’t all bad! Here are my personal 5 favorite good things about the Cuban Revolution!
1) Literacy. When Castro came into power he implemented a literacy program. Learning to read is a good thing if you ask me, and being literate certainly came in handy when the people of Cuba received written notice from the government that their property was being seized and their relatives were arrested and executed by the secret police.
2) A low obesity rate. We have a real problem with obesity in this country and we could learn a thing or two from post-revolutionary Cuba, whose people have a very low body weight as a result of widespread poverty and mandatory food rationing.
3) Cool cars. I don’t know about you, but when I walk around Burlington I see a lot of Toyotas and a lot of Teslas, but not a lot of 1952 Studebakers. But when I visit Havana I see lots of great classic cars that frankly do a great job of distracting visitors from the subgrade infrastructure Cuba has maintained over the last 60 years.
4) Hats and beards. Say what you want about Castro, but in my opinion, he was a pretty, pretty, pretty…handsome guy and I don’t think he gets enough credit for originating a look that lots of authoritarian apologists try to emulate. So, I guess while I’m saying I would condemn his authoritarian tendencies, I wouldn’t necessarily kick him out of bed even though Cuba’s communist government still believes LGBT behavior is subversive.
5) No media saturation. All-day long I see young people twittering and googling this and that, a problem they don’t have in Cuba where people are more likely to engage in a conversation offline because they don’t have access to a free internet. Now, just imagine how happy you would be if you didn’t have the countless voices of the internet in your pocket and instead just had a steady stream of state-run propaganda telling you things are great even though your lying eyes don’t agree, traitor.