This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," April 4, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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O'REILLY: "Personal Story" segment tonight, the No Spin Zone goes to Cuba. That's where I was for part of last week. And I want to tell Bernie Sanders and the millions who are voting for him what I saw. Quickly following President Obama and the Rolling Stones, I arrived in Cuba shortly after the anti-government demonstrations in Havana. But few in Cuba even knew this happened. The Cubans I spoke with denied anything took place. There was a complete news blackout on the island which is the largest in the Caribbean. All dissent is kept hidden by the government which controls nearly all mass communications.
So, nobody even knew that happened over there simply put, Cuba is a police state. Our guide told us the country is not communist but socialist. The triumph of the revolution as he put it assures the people of equal treatment, no income inequality there. That's because after 57 years of Fidel and Raul Castro, there isn't any income to speak of. Almost 75 percent of all Cuban workers are paid by the enormous central government. Salaries average, ready? About $24 a month. That's right. Twenty four dollars a month. Since no one could live on that, an underground economy rules it doesn't help much. Most Cubans are desperately poor.
Many don't have air-conditioning in a very torrid place. Buildings are crumbling. Staples like toilet paper in very short supply. The Cubans themselves realize things are bad. But point to free education and healthcare which they get. But what's the point of being educated where the government controls what you get paid which is next to nothing. Here is how bad it really is. Most everywhere in the world, working people want American dollars in tips. That's almost universal. Not in Cuba. That's because when Cubans go to the banks to exchange the dollars you may give them, they have to show I.D. and their names are put in the computer and reported to the authorities. Muy malo. Very bad.
That's the kind of control the Castro brothers have imposed. My crew and I stayed about two hours outside of Havana because I want to do see some of the countryside. The hotel El Paradisus (ph) caters to tourists. Mostly Canadian and European. Generally the Cuban people are very nice but the hotel was a disaster. Picture this, room rates as high as luxury hotels in Miami. But the comparison ends there. Maybe you get your room cleaned, maybe not. Hot water and a shower? No. Unless you figure out the trick.
You have to run the hot water in the sink simultaneously and then you get clean without getting hypothermia. Towels? Very hard to get. Face cloths? Nope. A bell man to take to you your room? Forget it. The food was okay. And that's a top of the line Cuban hotel, not a youth hostel. Here is the end game. The Castro brothers control everything. They are backed by the military. Which siphons off much of the money tourists like me spent enriching the officer corps. They live great. The regular folks are beaten down, fearful, many indoctrinated. Yes, some support the police state. No doubt about it. But others sieve under the crushing poverty.
Socialism never works. And Bernie Sanders needs to go to Cuba and take witness. This is no incentive to succeed in Cuba. Because material success is a sin. Not that God is encouraged, he is not. The big hero whose face is seen everywhere in Cuba is Che Guevara, a stone cold killer. No pictures of Fidel and Raul in public because the communist regime forbids idolatry of the living. Thus Che, who died at age 39 is the icon of the revolution. Every American should see Cuba, if only to understand what a ferocious central government can do. And younger Americans who think Bernie Sanders is very cool should be required to go there.
Truth is, only capitalism can rescue Cuba. People are generally hardworking, many would surely embraced the freedom to better themselves. That won't happen while the Castro brothers are alive. Even if the embargo is fully lifted in commerce develops, the state will always decide who gets what. In a socialist, communist system. Flying to Key West, just 90 miles from Havana is like a magic carpet ride. I checked into the pier house and breathed a sigh. There were towers
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