For those of us who love Cuba and the Cuban people the current unrest in Venezuela is a cause for big concern. Whether you love or hate Hugo Chavez he is the best friend Cuba has. Not merely for the political friendship he has created with Fidel but rather for the abundance of oil Venezuela gifts upon Cuba.
When I asked my father-in-law, a Centro Habanero, a year and a half ago what the prospects were for some degree of economic stability in Cuba he said two words, “Hugo Chavez! Without the reelection of Chavez in Venezuela, Cuba is in big trouble,” he told me at that time.
“If the oil Cuba gets from Venezuela is ever cut off it would cripple our country,” he continued. Cuba gets virtually all of its petroleum from Venezuela.
Now that grim forecast seems more probable. The dimwitted Chavez seems to be digging a big hole for himself in taking away the people’s principle form of news and entertainment by revoking licenses of television stations. It’s one thing to preach brotherhood, equality and education. It’s another thing to take away university students’ uncensored information and abuelita’s telenovelas. Though it is true Chavez is the most important lifeline Cuba has, his nearsighted desire to be the next Fidel has him acting like the paranoiac, child president he is and potentially digging his own and maybe Cuba’s grave.
Cuba’s need for economic stability which should be coming from a responsible partner like the United States is instead dependent on a Fidel wannabe who is certain to at the least create unnecessary crisis in his own country which for Cuba at worst would result in the stoppage of oil flows to the island and grave consequences for the Cuban people.