Corruption is the action and effect of corrupting (by spoiling, bribing, perverting or ruining another). Corruption is the practice of abusing power, functions, or means of economic or other types of gain. And political corruption refers to the misuse of public power to obtain an illegitimate advantage.
Having clarified these concepts, who could question the high levels of political and economic corruption in a regime that has been power for 57 years, sustained through violence and the suspension of all political and civil liberties? Power that it has abused and wielded to suit its every whim, to "implement policies of social justice," having appointed all the governmental and economic administrators of all the country's respective institutions, at every level, and squandered the wealth generated by the toil of the Cuban people over the course of all these years.
Not only has it been a corrupt regime, but also a corruptive one, as it has corrupted almost the entire bureaucracy, and nearly all the country's employees, who at one point all became Cuban workers, to whom it paid wretched wages, forcing them to scrimp, scramble and struggle just to be able to subsist and feed their children, thereby doing serious harm to the country's civic consciousness, in what might also be called an act of “anthropological damage.”
As Lord Acton said: “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” In Cuba, we could add that permanent power corrupts absolutely and permanently. And this is what the Castro clan aspires to maintain, led by a general who inherited power from his brother, as if we were living under a sixteenth-century monarchy.
The corruption of the Castros' absolute political and economic power in Cuba constitutes the the most outrageous kind of nepotism, with control over the most important positions, guaranteeing the continuity of power, in the hands of the family and its entourage.
The crudest cynicism of the hyper-centralized Cuban system goes so far as to present itself in the name of “socialism,” denigrating the word and making it something despicable for a good part of the people. They have endeavored to deceive nationals and foreigners alike, when in truth what the regime constitutes is a form of state-monopolized capitalism, with a populist veneer, as it barely maintains a modicum of education and medical care, using funds that it fails to pay its workers, and through the high taxes it levies on entrepreneurs and private and associated workers.
The corrupt and corrupting Castroist state also exploits the Cuban community abroad, with high Customs fees, and red tape governing travel and communications, forcing it to send billions of dollars in remittances to help their impoverished relatives on the island survive.
It also appropriates between 70 and 90% of the wages of Cubans who work for foreign companies, in tourism, and the international payments received by doctors and professionals who work as quasi-slaves, as the State is, for practical purposes, their only possible employer.
Recently private and cooperative work, barely allowed, and hampered by limitations, prohibitions and taxes, has managed to generate half a million jobs, but it is being pursued through the closure of its most successful companies, based on any kind of pretext. In Cuba professionals are not allowed to do their jobs for their own gain and benefit, but rather must work for the State, or select one of the limited options that the Government allows.
The result has been the establishment of a military dictatorship, the destruction of the country's economy, and the impoverishment of the vast majority of it citizens, for the deliberate purpose of subjugating them and forcing them to work for the State and follow the rules of the power imposed, as has recently been demonstrated in measures aimed at averting “the enrichment of the population.”
As economist Omar Everleny observed, in Cuba poverty is not fought. Wealth is. In the early years of the “revolution,” the wealth that existed was taken away. In the ensuing years the only ones allowed to grow rich have been top leaders affiliated with the Castro clan.
Now, in the wake of Hurricane Irma, the regime's corruption has once again been exposed by the sale, to the thousands of victims who lost their homes and belongings, of water, food and other products received from international donations.
The international community must be made aware of all this, condemn it, and politically and morally punish the Castro dictatorship for it.