Pete Riehm
Cubans protesting against socialism! That’s awkward!
By Pete Riehm
July 19, 2021

On Sunday, 11 July 2021, thousands of Cubans took to the streets in dozens of Cuban cities to demand an end to the Castro regime and its brutal brand of socialism. The Cuban government seemed to be caught off guard, but the Biden administration seemed even more surprised and unprepared. In an absurd, even comical, deflection, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki with a straight face initially tried to tell Americans the Cuban people were upset and protesting the weak COVID response in Cuba. Really?! Oppression, persecution, and starvation would not drive the people into the streets, but a lacking government COVID response would inspire miserably impoverished people to face down a callous, murderous dictatorship?!

Put the protests in Cuba into context and perspective and the sheer stupidity of Psaki’s statement is laughable, aggravating, and inescapable. But really? What choice do Democrats have here? The White House and most Democrats still can’t bring themselves to say the Cuban people are protesting against communism. Uh, that would imply socialism is bad. That would show the masses reject socialism. That would admit the people will only accept socialism if imposed by a dictator or, say, a stolen election. That’s awkward!

This deference toward and even coddling of heinous totalitarian dictators is not new for Democrats. They fawned over every Soviet and Russian leader until they needed Putin to be a foil against President Trump. They revere every Chinese communist leader as if they have some mystic oriental wisdom. But Fidel Castro has held a special place in the hearts of Democrats.

Democrat Senator and presidential candidate George McGovern said: “Fidel Castro is very shy and sensitive, I frankly like him and regard him as a friend.” In his first bid for the Democrat presidential nomination in 1984, Jesse Jackson bellowed “Viva Fidel! Viva Che!” while arm in arm with Fidel Castro himself. Former Democrat president Jimmy Carter said it all: “Fidel Castro first and foremost is and always has been a committed egalitarian. He wanted a system that provided the basic needs to all; Cuba has superb systems of health care and universal education….We greeted each other as old friends.”

Who are these old friends Democrats so warmly love? Fidel Castro was the most murderous dictator in the western hemisphere and his homicidal exploits rival the worst in history. He murdered more Cubans in his first three years in power than Hitler murdered Germans in his first six years. He jailed and tortured political prisoners at higher rates than Stalin. Long before Islamic Jihadists, Castro and his right-hand henchman, Che Guevera, filmed their killing sprees to scare the people into submission. Together, these notorious socialist thugs slaughtered over 100,000 Cubans in that small island nation. But never mind what they did, Democrats really dig these guys and the socialist propaganda they spew.

Modern leftists will contest their genocidal record and prefer that history is never mentioned or taught, but the results are always the same. Just twenty years ago, Venezuela was the most prosperous nation in South America and on par with some European countries for standards of living, Hugo Chavez, with the support of Cuba, took Venezuela on that same doomed one-way journey to hell on earth that Cuba took 62 years ago. Venezuelans are now starving, dying in the streets, and violently persecuted by a rabid socialist regime.

Cubans have been living in a similar morass of acute poverty and oppression for decades, but their story is the same. Before Castro, Cuba was the most prosperous nation in the western hemisphere outside the USA, and boasted living standards “higher” than most of Europe! Other than the USA, Cuba was the top destination for immigrants, but since Castro seized power, some twenty times as many refugees have fled Cuba as fled the former East Germany.

Fidel Castro utterly destroyed Cuba. His ruthless regime stole all the wealth, executed whoever objected, and created more misery for the people of Cuba than imaginable for over half a century. The Democrat Media Complex ignores the wretched conditions in Cuba, but the recent freedom protests are forcing the ugly truth into the spotlight.

Therein lies the uncomfortable conundrum for Democrats. Castro sold his socialist utopian vision and continued the charade with the same prescriptions offered by the Democrats. He promised “equity” for all by taking all the wealth and redistributing it equally; now all Cubans except the ruling elite are equally poor. He promised healthcare for all; now Cuba can barely provide even a modicum of healthcare for the masses no matter what that idiotic slob, Michael Moore, says. He promised free education; now Cubans have extremely substandard education and no jobs for that education, anyway. Sound familiar?

Democrats are determined to impose socialism on Americans with the same platitudes and promises. They swear we need “equity,” which is a euphemism for Marxism; and socialism is the path—but when the results of previous failed experiments in socialism like Cuba and Venezuela burst into the news cycle with cold, hard reality, it’s hard to maintain the lie. When you are selling socialism, bloody Cubans fighting for freedom against socialist tyranny is more than a bit awkward. Pray for Cuba, but also pray America gets off the path to socialism.

“Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Or who tends a flock without getting some of the milk?” (1 Corinthians 9:7).

Pete Riehm is the host of Common Sense Radio heard 8 pm every Thursday on FMTalk106.5 or streaming at Email him at or on MEWE @PeteRiehm or read all his columns at

© Pete Riehm

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Pete Riehm

Born to German immigrants, Pete Riehm grew up in Texas as a first generation American. Working his way through college, he enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve. After graduating from the University of Houston, Pete was commissioned into the United States Navy through Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island. He also earned a Master's Degree in National Security from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas... (more)


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