The Grey Lady in her dotage, asserts “The embargo and socialism helped protect Cuba’s environment.”
Consistent with senility, the article by Erica Goode, Cuba’s Environmental Concerns Grow With Prospect of U.S. Presence goes bad quickly,
The country is in desperate need of the economic benefits that a lifting of the embargo would almost certainly bring. But the ban, combined with Cuba’s brand of controlled socialism, has also been protective, limiting development and tourism that in other countries, including many of Cuba’s Caribbean neighbors, have eroded beaches, destroyed forests, polluted rivers, damaged coral reefs and wreaked other forms of environmental havoc.
Never mind that beach erosion is a natural process; the Cuban communist dictatorship has destroyed multiple natural habitats, as listed in this paper:
During the last 25 years, the Cuban government, as the almost absolute owner of the island’s economy, has dumped all kinds of waste and hazardous materials into Cuba’s rivers, lakes and bays due to the lack of real concern for the ecology and environmental regulations. At the same time it has changed completely the course of rivers and the normal flow of coastal ocean currents. Furthermore, it has been experimenting with biotechnology, thus creating a potential for biological and chemical warfare. It has also been involved in the construction of a nuclear power plant with serious risks for all adjacent areas. Let us examine the facts on some of these issues.
1. The Almendares River, the main river flowing through the city of Havana, is the most contaminated river in the western hemisphere. It is dead, with no animal life.
2. The Bay of Havana, the Bay of Matanzas (about 100 miles east of Havana) and the Bay of Nipe, in the northeastern coast are among the 10 most contaminated bays in the world.
3. The city of Matanzas is one of the most contaminated cities in this hemisphere, proportional to its population of 150,000, due to industrial waste.
4. During the 1970’s Castro capriciously built over 2,100 dams throughout the country without a serious study of hydraulics or their ecological impact. These dams are adversely affecting the ecology, the fertility of the soil, and are causing the salt contamination of the groundwater.
5. Again, following Castro’s whims, many of the so-called “pedraplenes” have been built along several coastal areas. These are causeways built of sand and stones, with no asphalt. They have altered the normal flow of coastal water currents, causing salt contamination of the groundwater on the land close to these constructions.
6. Cuba and Florida have the largest coral reefs in this hemisphere. Over 40% of the Cuban coral reefs have been destroyed due to contamination. The flow of contaminated Cuban ocean water is affecting the Florida reefs.
7. The water and sewer system in the main urban areas of Cuba have not received any major maintenance in over 25 years. The average age of these systems is over 60 years. Consequently, there is contamination of the drinking water in most main urban areas due to the mixing of drinking water and sewer waste through the transmission pipes. There is a constant deposit of sewage in the streets of most main urban areas of Cuba.
8. Since the mid 1980’s Castro has been developing centers dedicated to the research, development and manufacture of biotechnological materials. Since 1992, Castro has spent over $1.2 billion on these efforts. There are 12 sites dispersed throughout the capital city of Havana. They are found mainly in Arroyo Naranjo, Playa Bejucal and Habana del Este. Due to the sensitive work done in these sites, and their lack of adequate quality control, these centers are a permanent risk to the population of Cuba due to possible leakage of lethal material. There have been several reports of evacuations from these areas due to hazardous leakage. These centers have the potential to manufacture bacteriological and chemical warfare materials and there is increasing evidence that this is happening.
9. The unfinished nuclear power plant at Juragua presents another potential for ecological disaster, including huge loss of human lives. There have been reports of over 24 violations of standards set by the IAEC during the construction of this plant. If it is completed, the possibilities of an accident are four times higher than standard plants. Greenpeace has called plants like Juragua a “ticking time bomb.”
10. If the plant becomes operational, the handling and disposal of the nuclear waste will present another threat to the ecology, as well as to human life in Cuba, the southeastern United States, the Caribbean and Central America.
Missing from Ms Goode’s bad reporting is also any evidence of the catastrophic and systematic decay in living conditions for ordinary Cubans outside the bubble,
We may call it a “What The Hey moment”; Bill Sanderson was more direct,
Other “WTH moments”:
Today’s “WTH Moment” brought to you by Jorge Ramos
Today’s WTH moment: Venezuelan vet arrested for smuggling heroin in puppies UPDATED
Also of interest,
Real Clear Politics has an article by Fabio Rafael Fiallo, Cuba’s Own Napoleon III
Today’s tropical socialism has, too, its Napoleon III. His name is Nicolas Maduro, the current president of Venezuela who to a significant extent is a creation of the Castro regime. Not only was Maduro trained in the Cuban schools of agitprop, he was also anointed president of Venezuela – with the lobbying of the Castro brothers – by a moribund Hugo Chavez with waning intellectual faculties who was receiving medical treatment in Cuba.
Interesting article, but I disagree with his conclusions,
Napoleon Bonaparte died in 1821 – well before his political legacy was squandered by his nephew, Napoleon III. The Castro brothers have not been so lucky: They have lived long enough to witness the irreparable damage caused by their pupil, Nicolas Maduro, to whatever remained of popular sympathy for Latin American socialism. This, more than any other setback or defeat, is the worst punishment that destiny will have inflicted on the brothers who have tyrannically ruled Cuba for over half a century.
Fiallo forgets that there’s one thing the Castros and their ilk care about more than their “revolution”: The care the most about staying in power.
For starters, most of Latin America is ignoring Maduro, for as long as he keeps sending them money.
And then there’s the win:
While Pres. Obama pats himself on the back for announcing the July 20th opening of a U.S. Embasy in Havana, Raul answers back by demanding billion$ in reparations, an end to the U.S. embargo, the return of the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, and the end of all American radio and TV broadcasts aimed at Cuba.
$5 says they’ll get it, too.
Linked to by Babalu. Thank you!
In his post Carlos Eire posted this photo of an open sewer in Batabano, Cuba,
So much for “Cuba’s brand of controlled socialism” being “protective.”