A Cuban Minister announces that Castroism will reign in perpetuity.
Rodrigo Malmierca Díaz, Cuban Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment. Photo: Ministério da Saúde via Flickr.
When the Cuban government acts with complete impunity and without transparency, it could be useful to know what destiny our leaders have in store for us millions of Cubans. Well, now at least we have one political certainty…
On November 22 Rodrigo Malmierca, Cuba’s Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment, declared that, on the island, there would never be elections involving parties other than the Cuban Communists. That is to say, the Castroist regime has quite serious plans to hold onto power beyond the deaths of the Castro brothers, who are already in their eighties.
As Malmierca made this announcement in Rio de Janeiro, at a seminar intended to encourage Brazilian investment in Cuba, he clarified the fact that even though the Cuban system is the polar opposite of Western democracy, such ideological differences would not stand in the way of commercial links between the island and the free world.
The name of the game is to put a form of state capitalism in place: There will be economic reforms, but they will hold the basic rights of the Cuban people for ransom—people who have gone decades without fairly electing their representatives, and who cannot form allegiances or opinions without persecution.
It’s odd that the minister feels no remorse in announcing this death sentence for Cuba’s peaceful pro-democracy movement. It’s a disheartening message for the social democrats, the Christian democrats, the republicans, the liberals, the ecologists, the anarchists, the socialists, and many other denominations of Cuban dissidence.
If the legal route to a multiparty system is closed, what should Castro’s opponents do now? Conform and stay silent? Leave Cuba? Perhaps some kind of armed resistance? In all options, Castroism—which began with violence and longs to conclude with violence—comes out the winner.
Let’s hope that Malmierca is stripped of his high office as soon as he steps foot in Havana again. Let’s also hope that his despotism was just the poisoned apple of his own imagination. There are some policies so horrendous that it’s almost better not to know about them in advance.
10 December 2013