I worked very closely for a long time with Oswaldo Pradere, a Cuban poet and playwright who was jailed by the Castro regime for his pro-gay views before he fled to the United States.

Oswaldo, who passed away several years ago, understood the difference between the authoritarian, Soviet-style communism of Cuba and social democratic ideals necessary to temper capitalism.

Authorization communism has failed as an experiment. The Soviet Union fell. China moved to a largely capitalist economic engine while retaining authoritarianism.

Meanwhile, socialist Democratic states in Europe are thriving, providing an outstanding quality of life for their citizens without resorting in the slightest to authoritarianism.

Isn’t it time to retire the socialism/communism bogeyman? It’s a tired relic of the Cold War.

My Cuban friend Oswaldo detested the Castro regime. He was able to do that without vilifying progressive ideas designed to benefit all members of a society.

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