Castro Responds to the “Reformists” / Antunez

The recent speech by the ruling Castro in the National Assembly of People’s Power is a clear and devastating response to those who believed in the possibility of reforms and relaxations within the current system, and that the controversial releases – better understood as exilings - could be the signal of a process of détente and tolerance, a prelude to a step towards democracy.  Once again the government’s strategy for maintaining its position of power consists of well-calculated delaying actions and sowing false expectations.

Even though the large media outlets have brought more attention to the economic situation he laid out, I believe that discourse of the barricade, the same rhetoric against his opponents, and threats against Cuban civil society are more important and are the equivalents of a clear demonstration of his rigidity and continuing policy, such that the people have no other option but to fight for their freedom.

Castro was clear and precise, and once again made our argument for us – those of us who do not subscribe to bland politics and approaches, like the naive idea that with moderation one can exhaust his repressive speeches and gestures regarding failed and useless strategies.

When one has no enemies, one invents them – the siege mentality is his strength, and whoever tries to take that away is taken out of circulation.  “He that is not with me is against me” – this is and will continue to be his ideology.

Sometimes I find it hard to see that any analyst who knows the macabre mind of the Castro regime would entertain the slightest hope that reforms and change would come with Raul, as if the dictator was not involved in the creation and support of this totalitarian monster, as if his younger brother did not share his fierce anti-democratic and dictatorial zeal.

The other part of his speech concerning warm openings in the economic sphere I believe is secondary, and to spotlight them with too much seriousness would make it easier for the regime to spread them.

It is true that Cuba needs the introduction of a market economy and economic liberation from the tight control the government monopoly exercises over people and property; anything else is more of the same and sleight of hand.

There, in the words of the dictator, are the answers and the results of those who urge restraint to avoid hurting the beast, and there also is clear affirmation of we who refuse not to continue calling things by their name, we who do not accept that a president who is not one governs by tyranny. We who refuse a reconciliation without justice first.

Translated by Alexander Gonzales

August 5, 2010