According to a dynamic Cuban lady who now lives in Kenner, we are well on our path to socialism.
Republican Women of St. Charles president Joyce Dyson introduced Giesler Chaviler, who has served as Republican Womenís Club president in Jefferson Parish for three years and told the Republican Women of St. Charles her story of how it was to live under communist rule.†
She said she was born in Cuba in 1954 and in 1959 Fidel Castro took over their government. He was a young lawyer who convincingly manipulated the masses very easily.
Much like what President Obama is doing, she said.
President Obama reminds her of what she lived through with Castro and she came here to be free and doesnít want the same thing to happen here. She said that socialism and communism are the same thing. Socialism is a transition from capitalism to establish communism. All properties are expropriated by the government. There is no more rich and no more poor....just one class - - the working class.†
Actually, she says, they have made two new classes - -† those in power and the rest of the world.
In reality, those in power destroy society as we know it with the redistribution of wealth. It all starts with gun control and health care. When they take away your ability to protect yourself with arms you have no say. They nationalize the banks make a change of currency. She says she was six years old when this happened in Cuba. She says they went to the bank to exchange their money but everyone was allowed to get only 4,000 pesos worth.
Whatever you couldnít exchange for the new currency you gave to the banks or destroyed it. With this plan only the low, low income people were a little better off since they didnít have the 4,000 pesos to begin with.
The second thing was to take the guns out of the hands of private citizens. She says they ended up having the same government unchanged because no one has guns and canít defend their rights. In the socialist system, which is now communist, they took over all businesses including small businesses and there was no private property.
The next control was real estate.
When the government owned all the land there was no buying and selling of property. If a family was outgrowing the house they were living in, the only way they could get something bigger was to trade with a couple who needed to downsize. There was no exchange of money but maybe the family with a smaller house had a phone and that would make up for some of it.
She said there were no more telephones after 1959.
Any arrangements to exchange houses had to be done by the individuals. She said the urban reform took over the real estate and the agrarian reform took over the farming industry.
She mentioned later when questioned about the embargo in 1961 that everything was in place when President Kennedy was going to help them. When the U.S. didnít follow through, the Cuban people who had been waiting for assistance went back into Cuba and got killed.
Giesler was seven when Castro closed all the churches. It was 1961-62 and that first step was to make all the foreign nuns and priests leave the country.
Then came the ration books for everyone.
For example you could only get one pair of shoes per year and you must stand in line for them and hope the store you have been told to shop at would have a pair of shoes in your size There was one kind of bath soap that everyone had to use and one brand of product for everybody. You could get one bar of soap per month.
In rural areas, if you wanted a garden, too bad. She told us about planting flowers near her house and they were promptly cut down so they wouldnít encumber someone checking up on her comings and goings. She said when Castro decided that sugar cane would be the big crop she was 11 years old. She was sent with other school children to the farms to clean and fertilize the sugar cane.
Conclusion: it was a failure and Castro ridiculed himself in front of the entire world.
She said health care like everything else belongs to the government and by 1964 there was no private practice. The government regulated how, when and where you received any services. You could only go where they told you to go.
She said when you kill the privacy of your health care, you kill incentives.†
She says she can see it here in† government operated charities and social security. In Cuba, doctors and lawyers are put in certain level salaries because of government control.
In Cuba a surgeon was driving a taxicab to make extra income for his family but his house was in such ill repair he hated for it to rain so that trash that had been thrown on his roof wouldnít fall into his house.†
When you go to certain places it is terrible.
It took her 17 years to get out of Cuba. She said that every time a democrat wins in the U.S. they would pray that a republican had won instead.† She said she has a big mouth so she was nearly sent to jail instead of being able to get out of Cuba.
The reason being that she chose not to put propaganda up on the windows and walls of her house. They egged her house because of it and the only way she had a chance to escape was because her mother and father had divorced and her father had moved to the United States in 1959. All this time he had been trying to get his daughter out. She praises Billy Tauzin for helping her get out.
She said we need to be aware of where we are heading with our government. She came here when she was 30 years old and had a 9-year-old son. She had never given up hope when she was in Cuba, even though she had no right to dream and she had two uniforms to wear a year with shoes that got ragged.
Most of the Cubans who live in Cuba right now have given up and go around with their eyes glazed-over, she said. They donít know how to live any other way or what to do. A lot of Cubans who come here want to forget all that.
She said she had to start all over from scratch when she came to America. First of all she had to learn English and take advantage of education. She says she sees a lot of people who are Americans and donít take advantage of education. She said she worked and studied hard and was able to get three associate degrees.
In 1990 Giesler Chaviler became a citizen but she notices that those things we are taking for granted here are being taken away. She said she has been to France, Germany, England, Thailand, Israel, Mexico, and for 30 years in Cuba and no place can compare with America.
The years she has spent here have been her most fulfilling and she has two businesses now...immigration and driving and she is writing a book.
ďDonít listen to anyone who tells you that it cannot happen here because it already is,Ē she says.
She says she will never quit because that is what keeps her alive. Giesler invites the people of America to mingle with the real Cubans. If you go to the hospitals in Cuba there are cockroaches and flies and no sheets for the beds.
The government exports some people who are in specialty positions and controls them. She told about the government stopping prostitution and putting the women to work like everyone else back in 1959.† Now she says they have decided to put prostitution back into prominence with government control.
They even publicize the sensual, exotic, women of Cuba but the government has entire control of the process. If you visit over there you will be treated like a tourist but none of the Cubans who live there can communicate or dine with you. Not even Gieslerís relatives can visit with her if she pays for them to do so; and if anyone sends money the government will take it because they also check the mail.
Now, she says, the farmlands are overgrown with those big thick masses of thorns. There is no large equipment to cut it all down and things are in bad shape in beautiful Cuba. But the worst part is what this has done to the people and their hopes and dreams. She says she never gave up hope and suggests to all people that they get involved and make those elected officials in power do what you expect of them.