Abstention, a Fearsome Weapon Against Castroism / Jeovany Jimenez Vega

14ymedio biggerJeovany Jimenez Vega, 29 March 2023 — The regime’s most embellished figures on turnout in the last parliamentary elections put voting abstention at between 25 and 30 per cent of the voting population. Beyond the certain statistical adulteration and the lies accepted a priori, the rising and active trend of non-participation during the last elections has been striking, something that surely provokes a strong nervous tension in the Castro leadership.

If the officially accepted fact — I personally infer that the actual abstention rate was around 50% — that one in four voters was insubordinate has ended up drawing attention to our evident social anger, just imagine what a hot potato we would leave the Communist Party technocrats if in some future farce we get a picture of a majority of empty polling stations. That landscape would leave the satraps with their despicable mantras about “massive turnout as proof of the unshakable confidence of the people in their leaders” — which would imply a tacit acceptance of the governed to remain subservient to the ruler even as the ruler strives every day of this world to keep them in the most insulting poverty.

Because that’s all you do, candid ’Liborio’, [a traditional caricature of a middle aged Cuban peasant] every time you attend that clown show, when you report to your polling place to mark with a pencil a bland ballot and as if by naivety or inertia you deposit it in the ballot box guarded by cute pioneers, all in the knowledge that the final count will be inexorably adulterated and that you consented to be part of that pantomime without external observers mounted by the same ruffians who ruin your country.

Now, after several days have passed and the liars have already been going on about the “new victory of the people”, perhaps you will understand once and for all that with these people there is no point in cancelling cards. You will remember that it has always been the same: someone with a nondescript face and an eraser at hand pointed out your name in the register, you signed it and went on to mark — always with a pencil, of course, a card that you cancelled, you remember having written DOWN WITH THE DICTATORSHIP across the whole width of the page — and lo and behold, at the end of the day, as if by magic it still ended up marked with a resounding “yes” by this luminous socialism that has us eating dirt.

No, Cubans! with this scum there is no room for half-measures: abstaining completely and not making any appearance in the murky tent of their circus is the only thing that can do them any harm under such circumstances; this would be the only way to hinder, in no small measure, their cynical set-up. You must know that as soon as you enter a polling station and sign the register you will have voted “yes” in the dictatorship’s statistics and therefore don’t attend this farce, full stop. They will inflate the figures anyway, yes, most certainly. Would they dare to forge the signature of an absentee voter, perhaps, they are unscrupulous enough for that and more, especially when they feel so unpunishable. But at least let’s not make it easy for them: faced with hundreds or thousands of empty polling stations, they would have to polish it and it would undoubtedly be exponentially more complicated for them to set up their own mess.

Even in the twenty or so countries where voting is compulsory by law, there will always be those who prefer to pay the fine in exchange for their abstention from punishment, but never forget, ’Liborio’, that in Cuba voting is still a right and not an obligation and therefore it is up to no one else but yourself to exercise it; after all, you have little to lose.

That is precisely where the main battle of the dictatorship is fought, where it wins or loses, within ourselves, and by this I am not saying that it is easy, nor as simple as it seems at first glance. Let’s leave naivety for the motivational catharsis of Facebook, for those who push from the outside without having a fucking idea of what it is like to live in the heat of the moment under a totalitarian state. No, no one says it’s easy, but that essential first step, I hope you understand, is the only really essential and necessary one: once you have made the light, believe me, there will be no turning back: you will see how your tormentor grows smaller and smaller, and not because he is less perfidious or less evil, no, but because it will be you who will have grown up and risen with dignity, no longer contemplating him on your knees.

But that miracle does not fall from the sky my friend, that inner rebirth is only achieved after a relentless search for truth and constant inner growth, after a titanic battle waged within yourself, and when the hatching has taken place, once the chakras are aligned with your authentic dignity you will feel emancipated, you will look at fear in its right emotional dimension but without its irrational paralysing capacity and that, at last, will distance you from the lies that have ruled your life.

When you have the courage to defy the informer who dares to pressure you to vote for something you don’t believe in; when you have the personal courage not to give in to the fear that four sons of bitches have planted in your bones; when it becomes morally unacceptable for you to wave flags in a parade and then mumble your grudges alone, or attend a meeting where you know that a delegate will talk shit and then vote on your behalf in parliaments that decide nothing; when it stops being acceptable for you to applaud in the assembly with the same hands that then steal in your company and you get tired of begging for handouts, when that dormant dignity awakens in you and you cry out “enough, Cuba has endured enough humiliation! and you make your family, your friend, your neighbour understand it, on that day and not before, Liborio, we will leave the parades and the dictatorship’s schools empty and we will be screwing the oligarchs who have traded so much with our poverty. That historic rant will be a new July 11 (July 11, 2021, day of protest marches in Cuba) — and hopefully the definitive one — that the Cuban people will explode in the face of Castroism.

Translated by GH


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