The readers’ forum

‘Thieves’ on both sides of the Straits


Carlos Montaner’s defense of unfettered capitalism is what we have been hearing for decades ( Pope Francis, Michelle Bachelet and the market, Other Views, Dec. 24). There have been different descriptions, such as “trickle down,” but the message is always the same: Give the rich and powerful more breaks, and increase the burden on the middle class and disadvantaged in order to pay for them. That way, someday, somehow, some way we all will benefit.

At long last, someone with international clout and the gravitas of his office, the pope, for God’s sake, has exposed this theory for what it is — the robber barons of the world continuing to climb the ladders of success on the backs of their workers. This monstrous policy has stolen the lives and futures of millions of people around the world and was called immoral by that liberal socialist who lived and preached 2,000 years ago and whose birthday we celebrated on Dec 25.

I’m not hopeful that Pope Francis’ admonishments will shape future economic policies. Already he is being derided as a Communist and a redistributer of wealth. However, he seems determined to make a difference and to jar the consciences of world leaders by expounding the truth spoken by Christ so many centuries ago: If we each take care of our brothers and sisters, we end up taking care of ourselves. This is the only truthful and practical “trickle down” economic philosophy.

Montaner ends his column by telling readers to ask Raúl Castro about the economic markets, as if to prove that socialist policies ruin economies. He conveniently neglects mentioning successful socialist Western European economies such as Finland and Sweden, whose citizens lead productive and secure lives.

It’s true that my birth country is a sad mess because of the Castro brothers. But most analysts usually ignore the complexities of this assessment, and Montaner glosses over the fact that the Castros are not true socialists, or even “communists. Instead, they are just rapacious thieves who have stolen from their country to amass personal fortunes, very similar to some market-driven corporate thieves and vulture capitalists of this country, like the Koch brothers. I don’t know which is worse for humanity -- both are probably equally bad.

Maritza Silverio, Miami

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