Playing with Machiavelli and His Lessons / Fernando Dámaso

Watching the last chapter aired (and re-aired at the request of viewers) of the serial In Silence, in this new season called The Reasons Of…, I noticed that our authorities are so convinced of the total control they have over minds of citizens, they are unable to accept that someone, without orders or monetary compensation from anyone, can think with their own heads and have opinions, much less express them publicly.

According to the official scheme, anyone who does not think as designed, is a mercenary, an employee of the Empire (once again the happy Empire!), a lackey and many other atrocities. So accustomed are they to one thought (totalitarian principle), which they demand and require of their followers (absolute unconditionality), they can not understand the diversity of it as something inherent to the individual freedom of every human being.

With the litany of evidence to prove their truths, many taken out of context and others fabricated, they pursue the sole objective of discrediting and denigrating those whom they can’t conquer with arguments, using the absolute dominion they exercise over the national media, to which those they discredit and denigrate don’t have access. These others can only defend themselves on the Internet, utilizing dissimilar methods, more for foreign opinion than domestic, because it’s prohibited to Cubans.

Goebbels, the great Nazi propagandist, said that a lie repeated often enough becomes truth. During the existence of that regime he served it well. However, he and it disappeared at the same time, surfacing the truth that had been hidden for years. The same thing happened in all former socialist countries led by the former Soviet Union. The truth, sooner or later, comes out. It is happening today in many Arab countries where, one after another, their people are unmasking the fetishes created and maintained during years of lies.

Here, although in some speeches there was talk of considering different opinions, so far it seems more rhetorical than practical. The most absurd orthodoxy still applies, despite its failure having been demonstrated, and it’s a long way between words and actions. It’s a shame! In a healthy environment of pluralism of thought, much more would move forward without painful traumas that continue to divide and confront Cubans and, at the same time, delay necessary solutions.

To continue looking at every different opinion as the hand of the enemy, is an act of political blindness. Stigmatizing decent citizens is unjust, as well as contemptible, only explicable by the exercise of absolute power for too long.

Everything changes and everything that is born one day perishes: it is a law of nature and nothing escapes it. To understand and facilitate development is intelligent and responsible. To oppose it, in the end it can only lead to more tragedy and pain.

Nobody knows what will happen in the coming days and weeks, nor if there will be more chapters of the old serial. Abraham Lincoln said: You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.

It would be desirable for the whole nation if sanity prevailed and if the demonstrations of force ceased. The citizenry, tired of so many political and economic tensions, as well as those inherent in our precarious daily survival, still maintain their civic indifference. Nothing guarantees this will go on forever. Respectful dialogue and not exacerbating passions is what can save us from greater evils.

March 24 2011