The firebrand Democratic socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York has made a name for herself promoting the glories of socialism while conspicuously ignoring its downfalls.
While those with even a cursory understanding of world history over the last century often find it astounding that there is so much ignorance surrounding the way socialism has always — always — played out when applied to nations like Russia, Venezuela and Cuba, AOC’s base is not known for their economic savvy but rather that same, old, ancient human sin of covetousness that has led millions to believe the state can afford them what fortune has not: provision and comfort.
It is, of course, authoritarianism and poverty that Marxist governments are best adept at establishing, as, again, history blatantly shows us.
Just 91 miles away from the southernmost tip of Florida, the island nation of Cuba has been a living example of the failures of communism for decades, and yet when AOC and her ilk aren’t outright ignoring the suffering of the Cuban people, they’re blaming the United States for its desperate poverty.
Ocasio-Cortez rather ironically points to food insecurity in the United States to support her economically destructive policies, yet she would most certainly rather not have you know that what true equality looks like in Cuba is widespread and certainly equal desperate poverty.
A pair of YouTubers consisting of a Cuban-American woman and a Cuban man who recently came to the United States is certainly shaking up AOC’s worldview with moving videos contrasting life in their ancestral homeland, “Cubita linda,” and the bounty and plenty available for ex-pats here in the land of the free.
Yoel and Mari uploaded a video earlier this year showing Cuban Yoel’s first trip to a grocery store in the United States, and it is both paradigm-busting … and heartbreaking.
The pair opened their video in Cuba itself, where Mari managed to covertly film the inside of a Cuban grocery store.
She showed us the bare shelves, the insane prices of the odd assortment of non-perishables and the long lines outside that can be forced to wait even longer when the power goes out in the grocery store.
When she and Yoel arrived in Miami, however, she was eager to show him the abundance of American supermarkets, but it turned out to be an incredibly poignant experience for the two of them.
Upon entering a local Aldi, Yoel at first joked and goofed off, excitedly grabbing an advertisement flyer at the front of the store before they entered its inner sanctum.
He excitedly picked up limes — “There’s limes!” he declared in Spanish — as well as huge onions, which he remarked were the size of a “pelota.”
As he began to take in the sheer volume of food packed on shelves and in the coolers, however, he slowly grew more somber and it became clear emotions were running high.
“Como hay carne — y queso!” he commented — “How much meat and cheese!”
He seemed quite moved and saddened by the reality his countrymen face back home and how this experience contrasted to his own throughout his life in the communist nation.
Yoel slowly picked up massive packages of food, frozen pizzas and cuts of meat, apparently both awed and severely grieved.
At one point, he asked Mari about the butter cooler, which was lined with various tubs, sticks and cubes of butter.
The Cuban man was clearly stunned when she explained they’re simply different types of butter.
“Tipo … de manteqilla …” he said, scoffing in stunned silence, considering that there were multiple types of butter to choose from.
He explained that the whole experience was making him sad, as there was so much to buy here while at home, there’s simply not.
“No hay,” he said, “There is not.”
He explained it was too much to take in, and the pair decided he probably needed a break from all the colors, lights and overwhelming reality that, just 91 miles north of impoverished Cuba, sustenance is so freely and widely available as his own people are starving.
A few days later, Yoel was back to his normal exuberant self by the time Mari took him to Safeway so he could see an even bigger supermarket.
“Wow!” he said upon entering the well-stocked store.
Large cuts of fish immediately caught his eye, as he wondered aloud what to buy.
He commented on the loveliness of a neat row of fresh-cut, colorful fruit lining the shelves of a refrigerated endcap.
“What colors they have,” he said in Spanish.
At the milk cooler, he marveled over the wide varieties of milk, noting that his whole life, he’s only known two kinds of milk: from a cow, and from powder.
Mari explained in voice-over that the experience has made her appreciate what we can so easily take for granted here at home, and you’d have to have a heart of stone not to feel the same.
When AOC bashes our country, where even the lowest-income families can still find a supermarket stocked with bread, cheese, meat, milk and various types of all of the above, does she consider what the alternative is?
It is the same rhetoric she uses about the evils of the wealthy and the glories of so-called “equity” that led to the Cuban revolution, and to decades of poverty and economic instability on the island against which the Cuban people are now loudly protesting — yet the authoritarian regime would have you believe, as AOC would, that this is the United States’ fault.
It is American-style capitalism, plain and simple, that has created more wealth and more abundance than the world has ever known, and it is socialism that has resulted in a Cuban population that is so deprived of basic necessities, the abundance we take for granted was almost too much for Yoel to even process.
AOC must rely on ignorance to perpetuate her rhetoric — because if the American people knew what Cuba was really like, they would never abide her support for its ideology for a single moment.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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