Delinquents and Loyalists

It seems like a kids’ game.  Two sides.  Good guys and bad guys.  The Cuban government tries to make us look like a bunch of crooks, fools, delinquents, mercenaries, and traitors to the country.

But life is much more complex.  It has mixes.  Nothing is black and white.  A wrongful precedent is created when the president of a country intends to govern exclusively for his followers only.

Society becomes fractured.  It polarizes.  Unnecessary hate is created among citizens only because they think differently.  And that is what the Cuban regime has been doing for 51 years.

“Within the revolution everything, outside of it nothing”, said Fidel Castro before fearless intellectuals in 1961.  That has been the ruling idea that has guided those who run the country.

The Castros continue treading down a well-worn path.  Manipulating society is nothing new.  These methods were also used by Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, and the rest of the satellite countries of Eastern Europe.

It’s much more comfortable to govern when you oppress those who think differently.  When you control the flow of information and when you have a press that glorifies its leader and serves as a weapon.

You can’t talk about democracy when these precepts are being violated.  You shouldn’t use that word when citizens have to ask permission to leave their country or to visit it.

It is vile to pronounce it when the doors are closed to those Cubans who dissent with the official ideology.  One is far from being humanistic or democratic when they jail people just for writing or having a different political perspective.

A government is not credible when it accuses everyone who is against it of a string of insults.  For the Castro brothers there is not a dissident, independent journalist, blogger, or human rights activist who is not a delinquent or mercenary at the service of the United States or of the European Union.

There is no single figure within the opposition that is respected.  The path of encouraging hate is a dead end street.  It will solve nothing.  The grave political and economic problems from which we suffer will not be solved in that manner.

Cuba is not going to escape the grave economic crisis from which it has suffered from for two decades by using monologues.  In fact, it will probably sink deeper.  Without an articulated and sensible dialogue we will never have a real democracy.

With the slogans and the hard-line discourse of neighborhood “tough guy”, shouting such things like “the street belongs to the revolutionaries”, and trying to prove who has more balls, we just will continue back tracking towards the worst instincts of human beings.

If what we have in Cuba during this Spring of 2010 is a participatory democracy, then there is something terribly wrong.  The strategists have lost their focus.  To find a solution for the acute problems of the island, violence is not necessary.  Not of any kind.  Not verbal, not physical.

Lots of injustices have been resolved by peaceful struggle.  Just read Gandhi.  Investigate Mandela.  Ask a Vaclav Havel.

Ivan Garcia

Photo: Hop-Frog, Flickr

Translated by Raul G.