Arrington: America Must Stand Against Socialism and Authoritarianism in Cuba and at Home
WASHINGTON, DC—In an op-ed published in the Washington Examiner, Congressman Jodey Arrington (TX-19) voiced support for the Cuban people as they protest against the oppressive regime and urged Americans to remain vigilant as the radical Left continues to embrace socialist policies in the United States.
Read Rep. Arrington’s full op-ed below or click here
Rep. Jodey Arrington: America Must Oppose Socialism And
In recent weeks, the world has watched as the Cuban people took to the streets with a message not heard publicly in Cuba for more than six decades – chants of “Libertad.” Across the island nation, thousands of brave Cubans joined protests, defiant in the face of a brutal dictatorship, as they demanded the end of the communist regime that has tormented them for generations.
A longtime radical, Fidel Castro, rose to power in Cuba by promising “progressive” socialist reforms and a re-institution of fundamental freedoms that the previous regime had stifled. However, upon seizing power, Castro quickly commenced tactics straight from the totalitarian playbook: a reign of terror against those deemed disloyal, suppressing freedom of speech, and nationalizing industry by seizing private property – resulting in devastating consequences for the Cuban people.
For decades, Cuba’s regime has failed to provide for its people the most basic necessities and has denied them the most fundamental freedoms. In the face of mass shortages and surging frustrations, the Cuban people are now calling for an end to the dictatorship.
In the United States, we would be wise to observe the events in Cuba and take note of the reaction from Left-wing elected officials and activists in our own country. Cuba’s troubled history is a case study of the failures of socialist policies and the dangers of authoritarian communism.
A prime difference between what we call “socialism” and its more authoritarian brother, communism, is the means by which the change in government occurs. Communism depends on a violent uprising and the institution of authoritarian control, like Fidel Castro’s Cuban Revolution.
As opposed to authoritarian communism, “socialism” is supposedly instituted through democratic means, but as we have seen throughout history, socialism rarely takes root without violence and abuses of power. In the words of philosopher Frédéric Bastiat, socialism and communism are “basically the same plant” in “different stages of its growth.”
In the United States, responses to the Cuban protests have been particularly telling. While most in Washington and around the world were quick to praise and emphatically stand with the Cuban protesters, many of the most extreme voices on the Left were either silent – or worse.
The “Black Lives Matter” organization was quick to blame America for the plight of the Cuban people saying, “The United States has forced pain and suffering on the people of Cuba […]”
BLM’s misdirected criticism of America aside, it is apparent whom the Cuban people are protesting – and why.
Cuba is a cautionary tale of a once-great nation ravaged by the lies and sinister nature of socialism. History is replete with failed socialist states, including the former Soviet Union, Venezuela, and North Korea – and the United States will be no exception should it venture down this ruinous path.
When debating policy in Washington and across the country, many on the Left wrap themselves in the flag of compassion and “social justice” to justify their command-and-control policies.
History is clear: when nations place the sole power to determine their economic future in the hands of the government, it is their citizens who bear the brunt of the suffering that follows. The plight of the Cuban people displays this tragic cycle, yet a growing number in the Democrat Party are brazenly embracing socialist policies at every turn.
We cannot allow this disastrous ideology to take root in our great and free nation. That is why I proudly joined Rep. María Elvira Salazar to introduce a resolution recognizing the horrors of socialism and condemn the radical Left’s embrace of socialist policies in the United States.
The Cuban people are not afraid to stand against a government system that has left them in despair and has eliminated their most fundamental freedoms. After many decades, it is clear their desire to be free is greater than their fear of their oppressors.
We must all discern the dangers of both socialist policies and the authoritarian means by which these policies are realized.
Abraham Lincoln once observed, “We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth.” For generations, those facing government oppression across the globe have rightly looked to the United States as a beacon for freedom and opportunity.
Lincoln’s words still ring true today, because should the freest nation in the world falter or fail – there will be no other place for liberty-loving people to go.
Congressman Jodey Arrington is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives serving the Nineteenth Congressional District of Texas. He serves as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.