Castrochavism and Its Accomplices

Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega, Cuba’s Raul Castro and Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, in a 2012 image. (Cubadebate)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Pedro Corzo, Miami, 4 May 2023 — Castroism has been catastrophic for Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia, as well as a certain threat to the progress and stability of the rest of the countries in the hemisphere because of its vast, deep and different ways of operating against democracy, so many that, despite the accumulated failures, they are still poles of attraction for those who see power as spoils of war.

Decades after their emergence, these nations and those that have approached them — Ecuador is a valid example — present serious governance problems, exacerbated by chronic misery and a total absence of freedoms and rights, a situation that forces citizens aware of their prerogatives to fight disgrace with the tragic consequences of death, prison and exile.

However, it is a source of pride for all of us that, although the tragedy in these four countries is a painful reality, resistance has not been broken in any of them, since repression, however crude it may be, does not succeed in extinguishing free spirits.

However, it would be very helpful for these resistance fighters to have more concrete support from the international community, and to get beyond high-sounding declarations and sanctions that are seldom fully implemented.

A network of regimes of force such as the one built by the Castro-Chavistas cannot be destroyed or neutralized with superficial solutions and in isolation, because, in addition to having power, there is no lack of friends ready to serve them, as is the case of Brazil’s Luis Inacio Lula da Silva and Argentina’s Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, among others.

It is true that the greatest responsibility lies with the people who put up with tyranny, but history has shown that transnational domination cannot be overthrown by unilateral actions. Common and decisive action on the part of those who challenge them is necessary. There is no country free of predators, there is no vaccine against little gods, as Anatole France would say, with the capacity to destroy what has been built, a warning that no time should be lost in what has to be done.

On the other hand, we should keep in mind that the commanders who impose the ignominy of a government of force are the people most responsible for that misfortune, but they are not the only ones. Their collaborators and followers share responsibility, because as José Martí wrote, “to calmly observe a crime is to commit it”, and those regimes are characterized by spreading their cruelty to achieve the desired social control, and in that way gaining numerous accomplices who join in the mischief.

These dictatorships have a vast clientele of servants who can mutate from victims to aggressors. The latter are transformed into abused slaves when they get a bad conscience about their complicity, or on a whim are punished by their masters.

There is no shortage of willing and talented autocrats, cruel and merciless people, but even so, they cannot build a regime in their own image and likeness by themselves. They have to find a team of executioners in the literal sense of the term, and people to carry out the dirty work.

The work of autocrats, be they Fidel and Raúl Castro, Hugo Chávez, Daniel Ortega, Miguel Díaz-Canel, Evo Morales or Rafael Correa, is assisted and complemented by ever-present opportunists, or by those who carry out their designs with blood and fire. They are the ones who give form with their actions to the official slogans and voluntarily give up their rights.

The work of these despots, including their march to power, is aided by the bad judgments, idleness and complicity of large numbers of their fellow countrymen. Of these, perhaps the majority, the most passionate supporters, come from the common people. Nevertheless, they have to count, at least in part, on the ruling class, intellectuals, businesspeople, social leaders, artists and professionals, to be able to build their empire, at least that is what happened in Cuba, and it was also seen in Venezuela and Nicaragua.

Although as Cubans it is painful for us to see it, we must recognize that the Island´s regime has provided a wealth of experience and knowledge to its Latin American peers. The dictators of these countries, and those that the future may bring, have been able to impose their will thanks to the direct advice of Castro’s totalitarianism, which has sent many of its executioners to show how terror should be systematically and institutionally imposed.

Translated by GH


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