amber (she/her)

  • 2 Posts
Joined 4 years ago
Cake day: November 26th, 2020


  • Traveling across Cuba in 1959, immediately after the overthrow of the U.S.-supported right-wing Batista dictatorship, Mike Faulkner witnessed “a spectacle of almost unrelieved poverty.” The rural pop­ulation lived in makeshift shacks without minimal sanitation. Malnourished children went barefoot in the dirt and suffered “the familiar plague of parasites common to the Third World.” There were almost no doctors or schools. And through much of the year, families that depended solely on the seasonal sugar harvest lived close to starvation (Monthly Review, 3/96). How does that victimization­ in prerevolutionary Cuba measure against the much more widely publicized repression that came after the revolution, when Castro’s communists executed a few hundred of the previous regime’s police assassins and torturers, drove assorted upper-class moneybags into exile, and intimidated various other opponents of radical reforms into silence?

    Today, Cuba is a different place. For all its mistakes and abuses, the Cuban Revolution brought sanitation, schools, health clinics, jobs, housing, and human services to a level not found throughout most of the Third World and in many parts of the First World. Infant mortality in Cuba has dropped from 60 per 1000 in 1960 to 9.7 per 1000 by 1991, while life expectancy rose from 55 to 75 in that same period. Smallpox, malaria, tuberculosis, typhoid, polio, and numer­ous other diseases have been wiped out by improved living standards and public health programs. Cuba has enjoyed a level of literacy higher than in the United States and a life expectancy that compares well with advanced industrial nations (NACLA Report on the Americas, September/October 1995). Other peoples besides the Cubans have benefited. As Fidel Castro tells it:

    The [Cuban] revolution has sent teachers, doctors, and workers to dozens of Third World countries without charging a penny. It shed its own blood fighting colonialism, fighting apartheid, and fascism. . . . At one point we had 25,000 Third World students studying on schol­arships. We still have many scholarship students from Africa and other countries. In addition, our country has treated more children [13,000] who were victims of the Chernobyl tragedy than all other countries put together. They don’t talk about that, and that’s why they blockade us-the country with the most teachers per capita of all countries in the world, including developed countries. The country with the most doctors per capita of all countries [one for every 214 inhabitants]. The country with the most art instructors per capita of all countries in the world. The country with the most sports instructors in the world. That gives you an idea of the effort involved. A country where life expectancy is more than 75 years. Why are they blockading Cuba? Because no other country has done more for its people. It’s the hatred of the ideas that Cuba repre­sents. (Monthly Review, 6/95).

    Cuba’s sin in the eyes of global capitalists is not its “lack of democ­racy.” Most Third World capitalist regimes are far more repressive. Cuba’s real sin is that it has tried to develop an alternative to the global capitalist system, an egalitarian socio-economic order that placed corporate property under public ownership, abolished capi­talist investors as a class entity, and put people before profits and national independence before IMF servitude.

    Excerpt from Blackshirts and Reds, since Parenti and Castro himself put it better than I could.

  • I’ve been playing Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey and Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer lately. I’ve got a long commute to work, so the DS has become my best friend when I don’t feel like reading. I also started another playthrough of Diddy Kong Racing, initially just to test homebrew N64 emulation on my Switch. It actually runs well! It also plays mostly nicely with widescreen hacks, only downside is I have to run the game at base N64 resolution to avoid slowdown.

    My favorite genre is probably RPGs? But I tend to get really into one or two genres at a time and then switch to something else after a bit. Recently it’s been roguelikes and, briefly, pinball. Before that I was playing a lot of bullet hell games. I think more and more I’m just interested in games that I don’t have to commit to for more than one play session.

    What games coming out in 2024 are you most anticipating? Or games that are coming out sometime in the future?

    I don’t know if this counts but I’m very excited for the Majora’s Mask PC port to release! I’ve been checking their Discord server every day hoping to see news. Otherwise, Demonschool seems pretty interesting, and Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance I suppose? I thought the original release of that was only alright, but hopefully the new route will be something I’m into.

    Sorry if this is against the rules, but I figured this was an appropriate comment to plug ! I opened it last night, but I don’t actually know what to post there lol. I made it with traditional roguelikes in mind, but there’s not any strict rules yet, so if you’ve got opinions on what should be allowed or whatever feel free to chime in.

  • Their job is to enforce the whims of the ownership class under threat of violence. They protect the company at all costs in exchange for power over other working class people and a bigger paycheck. Fuck them, if they really are decent people then they should quit and get a job that actually benefits society.