I love this comparison of Cuba against the rest of the region, effectively pitting two systems against each other. It is eerily similar to the equality versus fairness argument on a micro scale, and stretched to the extremes.
The authors asks:
Comparing the two political and social systems also reminds us that for many people in the world, a truly fulfilling life is unattainable. In this vale of tears there must be compromises – but which are the right ones to make?
Cubans enjoy an existence free of the kind of violence and neglect their neighbours deal with on a daily basis. While the rest of the region suffers from too much inequality, Cubans suffer from too much of equality.
Poor Cubans cannot dream of pulling their families up toward prosperity by starting a business and working hard. Poor Hondurans can – but social and economic realities make success unlikely.
The questions then becomes:
Who is more free: a person who is officially guaranteed free speech and the right to advance in society but is sick, hungry, and frightened of the police, or one who is guaranteed security, education, and basic levels of health and nutrition but must curb his conscience, knows that his life may never improve, and cannot depart to try his luck elsewhere? Which is it worse to deny people: the freedom to nourish their bodies, or the freedom to nourish their minds?