Yeah–that’s the country I want to emulate

Satire rarely reaches the heights(?) seen in this (apparently serious) praise of forcible citizen disarmament in Cuba.

Guns tend to scare away tourists and keep locals in their homes after dark. There are few capitals left in the hemisphere like Havana, where you don’t feel like the nighttime is your enemy.

I can certainly understand why it would be unpleasant to believe that “nighttime is [one’s] enemy”–nightfall occurring, as it does, on a pretty regular basis. The thing is, I don’t fear the night in the U.S. As far as nighttime not being the enemy in Havana, that’s great, but I don’t imagine that people living under a dictatorship need any more enemies than they already have.

Following sharp cutbacks in state budgets during the 1990s, many other countries of the Americas made deep reductions in their law enforcement budgets as part of the IMF and World Bank recommendations to reduce government spending. The de-funding of public services directly affected citizen safety, as well as health and education.

So that’s the key to public safety–give the government more money. How, exactly, does this differ from paying money to a gang for “protection”?

Unfortunately, many countries (including the U.S.) haven’t caught on to the joys of submitting to extortion:

In countries from Colombia to Brazil, Jamaica to Guatemala, as in the USA, people’s response to fear was to purchase weapons for self-defense. And in many places this meant not just having a gun, but a high powered one with loads of ammunition.

Don’t get me wrong–I’m not saying that to “purchase weapons for self-defense” is the only viable option, but I’m morally opposed to stealing weapons, and lack the mechanical skills to fabricate them myself (although for other, less mechanically incompetent people, that’s certainly an option).

Cuba has taken a different approach.

Now there’s an understatement!

Firearms are not sold on the island in any store and are only legally held by authorized security personnel, police and armed forces and a limited number of hunters. Illegal weapons possession is considered a very serious offense.

Perhaps even as serious as saying impolite things about the “Maximum Leader.”

Citizen safety as well as security for visitors is a top priority in the country. The law enforcement budget allows for sufficient foot and car patrols and a considerable number of traffic cops on motorcycles.

Yeah–I don’t think anyone will accuse the Castro brothers of failing to spend enough on “security.”

Of course the rightwing Miami crowd asserts that the reason the Cuban government doesn’t allow people to own hand guns is that it fears an uprising against the Revolution. Such an accusation is easy to make from afar, but clearly lacks a basis of fact on the island.

Oh, that crazy “rightwing Miami crowd”–where do they get these ideas?

I get the idea that “Circus Robinson” (the apparent name of the author) would agree with Garen Wintemute’s idea of “ordered liberty.”

I don’t know, maybe he’s on to something–there’s got to be some reason people are so desperate to escape the mean streets of U.S. cities that they’re willing to brave a dangerous crossing in insanely overcrowded, rickety boats, to reach the safety of Cuba’s worker’s paradise.

Wait–you mean that’s not how it works?


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