Cuba: The transition that is about not to come

By Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo in Post Revolution Mondays:

The transition that is about not to come

The power of Castro’s dictatorship couldn’t rely only in the annihilation of all kind of opposition, despite the fact that, since January 1959, its governability depended on fear (out of pure terror) to reduce a plural society to military obedience, ideological hatred, and apartheid, whether geographical (in the case of the exiled for life) or uncivil (for those resisting as pariah on an Island turned into a labor camp behind The Iron Curtain). Detaching our homeland from its hemispheric context put us into orbit as a satellite of the totalitarian axis of the Cold War: the best alternative for the new class —now a gerontocracy elite in their eighties— to keep control in perpetuity, or at least for over a dozen of White House administrations.

The power of Castro’s dictatorship necessarily had to rely also on violence and, for so many —let’s say— people of good-will in the world, the beauty implicit in the narrative of The Revolution, with its ritual of burying a decadent past in order to resurrect it in a fertile future, as all revolutionary rhetorics promotes itself. To the image and likeness of those historical guerrillas, nowadays only octogenarians inside Cuba remember what presidential elections are all about. Such a legacy leaves a discouraging anthropological damage if we are ever to move forward from the Castrozoic Era.

Our citizenship was homogenized as soldiership, under the vertical rule of a personality cult, as a justification to survive against a foreign foe meant to last forever: nothing less than the first economy and war potency of the First World, an anthological archenemy called Imperialism. But nobody believes in this Fidelity fable anymore. And, after half a century of officially sequestering the sovereign will of our nation, it’s about time for Cubans to recover their own voice, since the Castros’ long-lasting regime is the one who should retire in silence.

Our historical circumstances are critical today for those determined to restore democracy in what was once called the Switzerland of The Americas. The long-sought transition is finally on its way, 25 years too late after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The demands of a peaceful civil society are being dealt with by the Cuban government not as inherent to human dignity, but as privileges and concessions for those who keep quiet, fostering even more the hypocrisy of our culture of simulation, without really respecting the fundamental rights of which Cubans remained deprived, while selectively targeting our truest leaders, those who wouldn’t compromise with the despotism of fraudulent changes, subjecting them to the abusive force of an intact intelligence apparatus based on private surveillance and social stigmatization, concealed coercion and cooption, and ultimately extra-judiciary execution, disguised as a sudden disease or a car-crash, as it criminally occurred to the winners of the European Parliament’s Andrei Sakharov Award for Freedom of Thought: Laura Pollán in October 2011 (founder of the Ladies In White) and to Oswaldo Payá in July 2012 (founder of the Christian Liberation Movement).

In the twilight of the first-generation Castros, everything is changing in Cuba so that nothing changes in the end, in a desperately slow transition from Power to Power, instead of from the Rule of Law to Rule of Law, as was constitutionally requested by more than 25,000 Cuban citizens, who publicly subscribed to the Varela Project, and who are still waiting for the answer due from the National Assembly of People’s Power; although it’s sadly known that the authorities’ response was silence in the mass media, a phony plebiscite in 2002, the massive trials of the Black Spring of 2003 and the deportations of 2010 (involving an insulting Catholic hierarchy), plus the barbaric bonus of the assassination not only of the reputation but of the precious lives of those who wouldn’t abide by our 21st century absolutism.

On one hand, a biological succession is underway in Cuba to a neo-Castroism without Castros, or given the case, with second-generation Castros, which are kindly invited to visit US: LGBT deputy Mariela Castro and baseball dandy Antonio Castro. Emphasized in their hardliner discourse of revolutionary intolerance, a State Capitalism is being implemented in Cuba, one that combines the worse lack of freedom from Communism with the worse corruption and captive markets of the underdeveloped democracies.

On the other hand, tired of waiting for an opening in the Island, complicit in today’s crimes with the promise that profits will prevent tomorrow’s crimes, the international community is already turning their backs on the remains of Cuban civil society, while compassionately patting them on their shoulders, and sometimes even supporting them with a petty percent of their investments with the State tycoons of Havana. The EU is making an approach, so US should hasten and hesitate no more. If Cuba is already doomed not to become a democracy, at least let it be a dictocracy, is the ridiculous rationale of such not so “hard choices”.

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