File spoon-archives/marxism-international.archive/marxism-international_1997/marxism-international.9710, message 409


Date: Mon, 20 Oct 1997 10:39:34 -0400
Subject: Re: M-I: Fwd: Castro's Way to Opulence


Jason Schulman channeling right-wing propaganda:

>
>The July 28, 1997, issue of Forbes magazine lists Fidel
>Castro as one of the richest people in the world, with a
>net worth of $1.4 billion. Forbes' estimate of the funds
>that Castro controls may be low, however; it merely
>assigns to him 10 percent of an estimate of Cuba's gross
>domestic product. In fact, in addition to controlling the
>Cuban economy, Castro possesses and personally
>controls international bank accounts and large amounts
>of gold and commodities, and has done so virtually from
>the start of the Revolution.
>

The notion that Fidel Castro belongs on the same list as Bill Gates or
Warren Buffett is a crock of shit. Castro has no personal wealth. He can
not bequeath anything to his heirs. Furthermore, even the bourgeois press
had to admit that his personal life-style is quite modest. Except for his
Rolex watch, there is nothing ostentatious to speak of. The problem is that
Forbes uses the word "control" in a specious manner. Does this mean that he
is the person who can sign the check to pay for foreign goods? So what.


>"Fidel's Checking Account"
> This account, which was in pesos, served as
>precedent for later creating a dollar account to finance
>international transactions, primarily of a political nature.
>This dollar account was used to finance subversion in
>other countries and propaganda activities such as the
>meeting of the Tricontinental Assembly.

Oh dear. What a scandal. Wait until Forbes gets its hands on the explosive
revelation that the Comintern funded Communist Parties. That subversion
stuff can really get out of hand if you don't keep an eye on it.


> From
>these reserves Castro assigned resources to productive
>enterprises without any sort of plan and provided gifts
>to many of his collaborators and allies, both at home and
>abroad.
>

Forbes will never get the reputation for solid investigative reporting with
this kind of crap. A good reporter would find a friend of Cuba somewhere
who would testify that he got a yacht or a house as a gift from Castro, who
is painted as a Noriega clone. All friends of Cuba in high places have ever
gotten are boxes of cigars. I myself received a couple of gifts from a
Cuban diplomat attached to the United Nations Mission that I want to
confess about right now. I received a recording of the music of Leo
Brouwer. I also received a videotape on the life of Che Guevara.
Unfortunately, it was in Betamax and I was never able to play it.

>
>At the start of the war in Angola, in the middle of the
>1970s, Castro's financial reserve was funded in part by
>monies from the Soviet Union and the rest of the Soviet
>block for financing Cuban military operations in that
>country. The same was true with respect to the war in
>Etiopia.
>

More criminal subversion. How dare Castro meddle in African affairs.
Doesn't he know that the continent belongs to the French, the British, the
Belgians and the Americans.


>Part of CIMEX is the Treviso
>company, initially run by Colonel Tony de la Guardia,
>who was shot  with General Ochoa in 1989. The firm
>sells tobacco products, shellfish, and construction
>materials. It also produces knock-offs or adulterations
>of high quality international goods, such as Chivas Regal
>whiskey or Levi's pants.
>

HA-HA-HA-HA!!! Those devilish communists. The next thing you know they will
be selling cheap knock-offs of Ford Explorers and Sony TV's.


>>From this enterprise, the now defunct Department MC
>(for convertible money) in the Interior Ministry was
>created. This was a secret operation designed to get
>around the U.S. embargo on Cuba. This department
>generated several million dollars a year, which was
>presented to Castro on his birthday, every August 13.
>The largest amount we know of involved a "gift" of $10
>million, delivered in a suitcase full of bills by Jose
>Abrahantes during one of Castro's birthday parties in the
>1980s. Part of this money came from drug trafficking.
>

Wait a second. I was there when that suitcase was presented. It was filled
with rare Mad Magazines from the late 1950s. Castro is obsessed with Mad
Magazines from the early days and has a special weakness for the work of
Harvey Kurtzman. As far as drug trafficking is concerned, the last time
this was an issue in Cuba was when General Ochoa was put on trial. So there
is some basis for wondering whether Cuban officials have been tempted by
narco-dollars. In any event, the way Forbes makes fleeting and
unsubstantiated reference to this should remind us why nobody reads the
magazine for this type of coverage. Forbes is a place where real estate
agents can get hot stock tips. If you want hard coverage on drug
trafficking, the best place to look is the New York Times, not the rag of
Steve Forbes, the drooling, idiotic right-wing fanatic.


>- Cubanacan is a group of enterprises founded by
>Abraham Masiques, a Cuban entrepreneur who is a
>friend of Castro's. Cubanacan is the enterprise that open
>the door to foreign investment in tourism. Like CIMEX
>it has several chains of stores that sell in dollars.
>Cubanacan controls approximately $600 million in
>foreign capital, primarily from Melia, LTI International,
>TRIP, Delta International, Golden Tulip International,
>Cosmo World, and Super Club. It is estimated that
>Cubanacan currently contributes around $30 million a
>year to "the Comandante's reserves."
>

You'll notice that Forbes does not reveal the nationality of Masiques, the
Cuban "entrepeneur". If he is a Cuban citizen, he is not an "entrepreneur"
since the capital is not his own. If he is a Cuban living in France or
Canada who is sympathetic to the regime and raised capital from private
financial sources, then god bless him.


>- Medicuba, which sells pharmaceutical products
>manufactured in the country, especially vaccines,
>generates an unknown amount of revenue that is
>estimated to be several million dollars. Fidel Castro is
>the principal investor in the biotechnology sector. He is
>kept informed of rescarch on AIDS and other programs
>in this field.
>

More ridiculous crap. An investor buys shares. The Cuban biotechnology
sector is owned by the Cuban state and is not traded on any stock market.
Jason, capitalism and communism are not the same. There is a conflict
between communists who want to seize the assets of the capitalist class and
turn them over to the state, and the capitalists who want to prevent this
process from taking place. For more information on this, I recommend Fred
Hayek's "The Road to Serfdom" or Barry Goldwater's "Conscience of a
Conservative".

Louis Proyect


etc. etc. etc. etc.



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