Cuba and the New Class

Several recent press reports and articles detail the "exploits" of the Russian new class. Much lamentation ensues from the so called "experts," we thought this, we expected that. But in the end they admit one thing: they did not understand what they were dealing with or with whom.

Not surprising. They lack the street smarts in negotiating with bad people that have no scruples. Academic or bureaucratic infighting is for tenure or promotion. Their interlocutors play for money and power and all methods including physical "elimination" are proper. They have been trained that way We quote the pertinent portions of a 8/20 WSJ editorial, wherein Le Monde's editorial entitled "Le F.M.I et la Russie" is discussed. The description of what took place is shocking in the extreme when one understands that it is the Central Bank in Russia that lied and became an accessory to looting and misappropriation of funds. As an international banker with experience in dealing with Central Banks I tell you that this is the "mother of all NO NOS." Central Banks MUST be unimpeachable, it is of the essence in such an institution.

But think, if it happens at the Central Bank level consider of how deeply the Russian Mafia has penetrated the government. Same in Cuba. No progress with these people at the helm. They have the same training and mentors. And I don't mean Castro and his brother but all the corrupt entourage. Read Jorge Massettis' book. Massetti is the son in law of Tony de la Guardia who was Castro's man for the "convertible money" department and was in charge of obtaining the resources to fund subversion. You will see a tale of how they were trained to steal, kill, etc., to provide themselves with funds and how they did it all over the hemisphere. You will also see how they are organized financially. Now those people are smart enough to survive in new packaging. It is also their training. They did in Russia and escaped with impunity. Today they run the country and you see the results.

Well, my friends perhaps distance and the enormity of the problem make the Russian debacle partially unavoidable, but here in western Hemisphere, why do we have to validate this Mafia behavior?

Remember Le Monde is not a conservative newspaper. I could not agree more with their conclusions, they consider the perpetrators coarse swindlers supported by the State. There is a Marxist inspired culture that says: any method is correct as long as it produces results. Remember "the end justifies the means." Today they formulate it differently but it is the same principle, lie steal, etc., but hold on to power and consequently get rich at any cost. As Le Monde says: " Despite the hailed transition, generally speaking, the same men are at the controls in Moscow. . . . The oligarchs prospering in the shadow of the Kremlin will be able to continue their thieving."

Apply the preceding statement to saying yes to Castro's demand for an unconditional end to the embargo. It will produce continuation of the same people and the same regime under a different guise. The embargo policy is criticized as a "static" policy. Well, it is that for lack of a decision to press for Castro's removal as has been done with other dictators, but it seeks change whereas the unconditional opening perpetuates the regime. It would seem then that the real stasis is on the side of validating the policies and thievery of the powers that be, and that are bound to become more entrenched and torture the Cuban people for additional decades, if supported economically and politically.

What happened in Haiti? Another corrupt crowd continues to exploit the people under another name. Why? We backed a man diagnosed as suffering at least from partial dementia. Opening towards Cuba without political changes will work wonders for the thieves and very little for the people. The evidence is all around to see.

No, policy must be made with both feet on the ground not on hopes that the onslaught of investment will change things. Castro knows it and will only admit it on his present terms (I provide the workers and tell you what to pay me and I will pay them what I like) and unfortunately there are investors that will play along and tell us that this is "transitory" to disguise their cynical greed. And yes they will "persuade" the politicians to toe the same line. Nothing new here. Given too choose one has to opt for the more rational and least damaging one: wait for the developing implosion. This is not "cruel or insensitive" (to use the liberal media's cliches) It will save the people years of suffering because the perpetrators of the disaster will not be able to hide behind a facade of being reformers as in Russia in order to steal and exploit once more.

There is no liberty without the rule of law. No rule of law with impunity. No justice without virtue. Let us pray that Cuba finds all in its hard pilgrimage to liberty.


Alberto Luzarraga

The Wall Street Journal' editorial reads:

"The irony here is that the IMF isn't mad at Russia. It has forgiven Russia. The IMF is mad at the thinking world for not giving the IMF the same indulgence.

Currently, its wrath is directed at that quintessential center-left French newspaper, Le Monde. IMF Director General Michel Camdessus was given space in that newspaper yesterday to vent his "indignation at the untruths, the allegations or insinuations" in Le Monde about the diversion of billions of dollars from Russia's central bank to an offshore investment haven. Le Monde editorialized two weeks ago in "Le FMI et la Russie" that if Russia had been deceptive, the IMF had been reckless and negligent. It's assertions are worth quoting at some length:

"We discover that--in the style of vulgar swindlers, through companies installed in distant tax havens--one of the planet's big powers . . . misappropriates the international community's money, to facilitate the enrichment of a few oligarchs. Worse yet, we learn . . . that this misappropriation of funds is taking place, if not with the agreement of, at least with full knowledge of the facts on the part of the bigs of this world: the top officials of the IMF, beginning with its general director Michel Camdessus, but also, together with him, our finance ministers . . . all of whom are administrators of the IMF.

"The culture of misappropriation of public funds is, of course, a tradition in Russia to which 70 years of state socialism have helped to impart a firm rooting. It cannot possibly be expected to disappear from one day to the next. Indeed, if anything, it is flourishing. Despite the hailed transition, generally speaking, the same men are at the controls in Moscow. . . . The oligarchs prospering in the shadow of the Kremlin will be able to continue their thieving."

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