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How Gun Control Played a Role in Consolidating Tyranny in Cuba

By: José Niño

Protests have recently kicked off in Cuba over the island nation’s squalid conditions.

This comes against the backdrop of a political transition where first secretary of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party Raul Castro passed the torch to President Miguel Díaz-Canel to be the head of the Cuban Communist Party back in April.

The transition from the Castro family’s domination of politics to the worsening economic conditions — largely the product of the Cuban regime’s heavy-handed economic policies — has created an unprecedented opening for the Cuban opposition.

Since 1959, the island has been under control of a repressive communist regime. Cuba is perhaps the closest it's ever been to political change in decades.

One point that is generally overlooked about Cuba’s recent history is its experience with gun control. Curiously, gun control was established by Fidel Castro’s predecessor, Fulgencio Batista (1952-1959), who set up local firearm registration lists. Once the Cuban rebels toppled the Batista government, and the Communists became the dominant governing faction, Castro and company made sure to flex their totalitarian muscles.

During a speech at the Maestre Barracks of San Ambrosio, Castro vociferously inquired:

Guns, for what? To fight against whom? Against the Revolutionary government that has the support of the people?

After Castro’s speech, gun confiscation gradually went into effect. The Castro government started by picking off rival revolutionary groups, who were originally revolting against the Batista government, but were not directly aligned with the Cuban Communist Party. But like all power grabs, the Castro government broadened the scope of what individuals constituted “rival revolutionaries” as a justification to disarm a broad swath of the population.

At the present, Cuba has very stringent firearms regulations. Government bodies like the National Revolutionary Police, the Ministry of the Interior, and the Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces are tasked with restricting civilian access to firearms.

The imposition of Communism is Cuba is a tale of death and economic collapse. According to certain estimates, the Castro regime killed 141,000 Cubans, while millions of Cubans fled to the United States to start a new life.

Americans should be thankful for having a Second Amendment. It’s one of the last threads of American political culture that makes the imposition of tyranny a tough proposition for even the most despotic of politicians in Washington, D.C.

When it comes to the right to bear arms, America remains exceptional and will stay that way as long as patriotic Second Amendment supporters continue to defend this sacred right.

José Niño is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Sign up for his mailing list here. Contact him via Facebook, Twitter, or email him at joseinpolitics@gmail.com. Get his e-book, The 10 Myths of Gun Control, here.

 
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