The Hard Road to Democracy in Cuba / Iván García

I don’t think capitalism is the model of a perfect life. But it is more logical and possible at this stage of human development. Communist ideologies removed at the stroke of a pen competition and discrepancies.

We already know what that has meant. Material poverty, lazy people with no motivation to work. It discourages individuality. What counts is collectivism.

Closed systems such as Cuba and North Korea go against human nature. In their attempt to design a New Man, perfect, docile, who works for a pittance and venerates his leaders, they have demolished the institutions of modern life.

It’s the hideousness of people like Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Kim Il Sung… In theory, the concepts of communism are attractive. Societies without police or armies. One lives according to one’s needs. And there is no money.

To reach this hypothetical paradise you must first go through hell. That is making the nation mediocre, restricting essential liberties and “educating” the masses to respect their leader.

These nations that have embarked on this chimerical project, have always had to face a dictator, a caudillo, a visionary…

Totalitarian regimes are the cradle of nationalists, egomaniacs, and personalities who are not always in their right mind. When power goes beyond reasonable limits, it can become monstrous.

Examples abound. To maintain your monsters you use prisons, gulags and firing squads. In this type of society there are no checks and balances. Everything is controlled by a group of men. Or one alone. The choice is the supreme law.

But man is a weirdo. Like some bacteria, he develops resistance to certain antibodies. Citizens emerge who have no desire to continue applauding the country’s daddy.

And the battle begins. Silent. The natural reaction of a human being with respect to his right to be different. To be able to talk, shout, write, opine, and disagree at his leisure.

Cuba is one of the societies where there has been a long war of ideas and concepts among an elite that is sure that Marxist Socialism is the best, and a group of intellectuals, opponents and independent journalists who try to show that the Cuban model is broken.

Let’s leave aside the figures that confirm the country is sinking. While Fidel Castro walks as the prophet of nuclear conflagrations and world apocalypse, those on the island who dissent know that democratic change in Cuba is a daily struggle. Extremely peaceful.

September 17, 2010