By Beatrice E. Rangel
In describing the last judgment a human soul can face, Sir Winston Churchill once indicated "I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter."
This remark seems most appropriate to describe Fidel Castro's voyage into immortality. His appearance before the universe must certainly be at the very least excruciating. Because he transcends the earthly dimension leaving behind more armed grenades than ISIS. He will thus most probably live on for a few decades after his passage.
From the ideological dimension, Castro like Karl Marx, leaves behind an edifice of political beliefs that effectively undermine democracy in porous nations (which are the overwhelming majority) because these nations lack rule of law.
Without this essential element of civilization, men are not really free to realize their full creative capacity. Thus, their wellbeing is compromised by a system that rewards obedience over innovation and subjection over creativity, because individuals are meaningless vis-à-vis a powerful bureaucracy that extracts rent but does not create wealth.
This system generates inequality and with it ignorance and poverty. A large section of society is thus taken at ransom by populism. And Fidel was the master of this rhetorical edifice. Before Latin America breaks free from this entrapment, Fidel's minions will create enough instability to prevent democracy from consolidating.
From the economic dimension, Fidel's ideological platform exploits the Latin American culture and sentiment regarding capitalism. Knowing that free markets are the economic dimension of democracy, any system based on their operation needs to be exorcised.
And Fidel concocted a perfect spell to prevent markets from operating. Drawing on elements of Spanish culture, he constructed a scenario whereby emerging markets were denied development by the insatiable extractive drive of industrialized nations.
Accordingly, any exchanges with those nations would ultimately weaken or destroy progress in emerging markets.
And to prove his thesis right, he first instigated the adoption of sanctions against Cuba by the United States by means of seizing assets and rights from American business ventures operating in Cuba and performing massive violations of human rights.
As Cuba was excluded from the Interamerican economy, two benefits arose for Fidel.
First, he was isolated enough to prevent any internal rebellions from succeeding, as they could not vanquish his repressive machinery without outside help.
Second, and most importantly, he had a credible alibi vis-à-vis his own people to explain the country's state of economic prostration. Economic hardship arose from the malignant extractive aims of the monstrous Goliath not from his public policies aimed at keeping him and his court in power not at developing the island nation.
These two features of Fidel's legacy will survive him for many decades, making development in the Americas more difficult.
To be sure, at a time when the President-Elect of the U.S. is set to reconstruct his country's competitiveness through the revamping and creation of infrastructure, and other nations in the hemisphere are rallying together behind the TTP, one of Fidel's grenades is about to explode.
This has been set in Venezuela where his ideological creation and its economic consequences have created havoc in an otherwise prosperous country such as Venezuela.
The country today is racked by economic chaos and political disarray which includes drug trafficking by public leaders. This situation might well erupt in a wave of violence that could severely impact half the region. This will make Fidel's day wherever he is now.
Beatrice Rangel is President & CEO of the AMLA Consulting Group, which provides growth and partnership opportunities in US and Hispanic markets. AMLA identifies the best potential partner for businesses which are eager to exploit the growing buying power of the US Hispanic market and for US Corporations seeking to find investment partners in Latin America. Previously, she was Chief of Staff for Venezuela President Carlos Andres Perez as well as Chief Strategist for the Cisneros Group of Companies.
For her work throughout Latin America, Rangel has been honored with the Order of Merit of May from Argentina, the Condor of the Andes Order from Bolivia, the Bernardo O'Higgins Order by Chile, the Order of Boyaca from Colombia, and the National Order of Jose Matías Delgado from El Salvador.
You can follow her on twitter @BEPA2009 or contact her directly at BRangel@amlaconsulting.com. Also by Beatrice Rangel in her Latin America from 35,000 Feet seriesBeatrice Rangel: Rio -- Demystifying the Olympic Games
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