Here’s What Life Is Like Living In Communist Cuba

YouTube/ Turning Point USA

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Mary Margaret Olohan Social Issues Reporter
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  • Video footage from the student activist group TPUSA shows the harsh realities of communism in Cuba.
  • Cuban citizens wait hours to obtain groceries and gas, endure oppressive government surveillance, live in crumbling buildings and much more.
  • “Everything you’ve ever seen about Cuba is a lie,” TPUSA’s Benny Johnson warns.

Life in communist Cuba contains hours-long waits for groceries and gas, oppressive government surveillance, crumbling buildings and more, video footage from Turning Point USA shows.

Members of the student activist group Turning Point USA (TPUSA) traveled to Cuba to find out what a full generation of socialism has done for the once-thriving country.

“Everything you’ve ever seen about Cuba is a lie,” TPUSA’s Benny Johnson warned viewers in a video published Monday.

The activists explain that images of Cuba online do not portray the harsh reality of the situation in the communist country: that the “effects of socialism are everywhere,” as Johnson noted, and Cuba’s citizens are suffering. (RELATED: ‘Be Prepared To Protect Yourself’: Texas Shooting Hero Jack Wilson Speaks Out)

Cuban citizens, the activists found, are forced to endure hours-long waits for groceries and gas; one option for each food product in grocery stores; no fresh fruit, fresh vegetables or fresh meat; “oppressive government surveillance;” streets covered in trash and reeking of filth; broken infrastructure and more.

“You’ll hear some people say that warnings against socialism are tired or misplaced,” TPUSA founder Charlie Kirk told the Daily Caller News Foundation. Kirk warned that these people may be “willfully ignorant of the many polls that say socialism is ascendant while socialist [Vermont Sen.] Bernie [Sanders] is poised to win the Democratic primary.”

“These ideas have devastating consequences wherever they’re tried and the same would be true in our country just as it was in Cuba,” Kirk said. “It’s never been more important for Americans to see the truth with their owns eyes.”


When the activists first arrived in Cuba, officials took TPUSA producer Colton Duncan’s passport for seven hours.

“When we left the airport after seven hours, I think we thought the worst is behind us,” Duncan said. “We could not have been more wrong.”

The activists describe how they struggled to find water, gas or food. Video footage from the trip shows Johnson driving past dozens of cars lined up on a highway, explaining that all the people waiting in their cars in the heat are waiting to get gas.

“These aren’t parked cars,” Johnson said. “These are people that are sitting and waiting.”

“It is probably 100 degrees outside. You have multiple people that are pushing their cars … look!” he continued. “These people are pushing their vehicles because their vehicles are out of gas.”

The TPUSA members went shopping at a local grocery store because “the food was trash,” producer Nathan Lata explained.

“We pulled up to the grocery store and the gates were closed and there was a line down the street,” Lata said. “All of a sudden the guards come to the gates and open the gates, and that’s when, I’ve never seen this before — but everyone swarms.”

“People started running, people that weren’t in line, that were just like in the area, just start sprinting in there, because this is their only chance to get their essentials and necessities, to feed their families,” Lata continued.

Johnson shows how the shelves of the grocery store are lined with only one option for each type of food. “I hope you like Conchita Mango Marmalade, because we have a whole aisle of it,” he said.

“Here in Cuba you can get individually wrapped hamburger,” he added, standing over cartons filled with individually wrapped pieces of meat. “And that’s as fresh as it’s gonna get.”

After the TPUSA members finished their shopping, they stood in line for over an hour waiting to check out their groceries.

“I’m telling you, you’re probably not gonna like Cuba that much,” Johnson warned. “There was literally no fresh fruit, no fresh meat, no fresh vegetables. Nothing.”

“There was one brand of the things they did have, and the things they didn’t have — well, screw you,” Johnson said.

Johnson and the other TPUSA activists drove through decrepit parts of a formerly glamorous city, showing how the streets look and smell like “overflowing dumpster of rotting trash,” as Johnson described.

Lata described how he went into a building that was formerly a beautiful beach front property. The building was crumbling and Lata said he could see two floors down.

“When I went back outside I noticed that there was fresh laundry,” Lata said. “People are inside these buildings, they are still living in this building, and I will never forget that.”

“That to me … you cannot tell me that socialism works,” he said.

Johnson said: “Look around you. The effects of socialism are everywhere — crumbling infrastructure and disgusting living conditions.”

“That is what socialism has brought to Cuba. Maybe the socialists in America should take a short trip, a short 90 mile trip, and come here and say they want this in America,” Johnson added.

The morning before they planned to leave Cuba, the TPUSA activists were woken by armed authorities “banging down the door, demanding access, and demanding we leave all our stuff with them,” he added.

“I got on the phone with the embassy,” Johnson said. “And the guy says, ‘Get here now.'”

But when they arrived at the embassy, embassy staff told them that they could not help them if they were out on the streets.

“The guy leaned in and essentially said, ‘I’m asking you to leave the country,'” Johnson said, adding that his group quickly booked a flight out of Havana and left the country a day early.

“It’s heartbreaking, that’s just a reality for the Cuban people,” Duncan said. “They don’t know natural rights.”

“Even more so heartbreaking is that there are Americans here that would have that governance brought here,” he added.

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