HAVANA TIMES, 27 dic — On December 10, tens of thousands of Russian citizens flooded a Moscow square demanding transparency and fairness in the processing of the results of the last parliamentary elections. In this balloting, the governing United Russia party won (according to official data) with slightly less than half the votes.
That party garnered its lowest percentage of votes in its history, though the Internet was filled with reports of how it squeaked through thanks only to alleged electoral fraud and the political manipulation of voters.
This was when people began turning out in protest. December 10 was a mass gathering of the young and the old, voters of all ethnicities and from almost all tendencies of the political opposition – from the extreme left to the extreme right.
My brother, for example, turned out though he had never before been in a demonstration, and there were thousands more like him. The demonstration was exemplarily peaceful, and according to the media and eyewitnesses present — among whom was of course my brother — the police too conducted themselves very well.
I learned about all of this through e-mails from my brother and because I read the Russian press on the Internet.
Nevertheless the Cuban media painted a very different picture.
They reproduced information that apparently appeared on Russian TV about alleged manipulation by FOX News. Apparently that US television network had broadcast images as if they had come from Russia though in reality they had nothing to do with that country.
Cuban TV then reported that everything related to the demonstration was manipulated by the capitalist press, especially by the large multinationals based in the US, which were also accused of “financing” the defiant gathering.
In one report denouncing such “manipulation,” there appeared the background the image of Communists marching under red banners with hammers and sickles. The Communists were protesting against the United Russia party and electoral manipulation, but it seems that for these Cuban journalists the communist were supported by the “yankees,” the CIA and the capitalist media monopolies.
To make matters worse, a respected international analyst on Cuban TV said that surely “the Western mass media will be silent if the right wins in the Russian elections.”
This guy must have been kidding! Not only is the United Russia Party right wing, but it defines itself as such, as a conservative party. In other words, the right did win.
As for the left — the communists, the social democrats (the Fair Russia Party) and the extra-parliamentary independents (such as the anarchists and the national-Bolsheviks who play active roles in the Other Russia Party) — these and other political forces, along with ordinary citizens, all took to the streets to demand the proper vote counting in a process they believed was rigged.
I think our analysts should study a little more about how politics abroad work from the “bottom up”
It’s true that Russian politicians of the officialdom often hold anti-American positions. I think that in many cases they are right on. Nevertheless, Russia is a capitalist power with an authoritarian government, and for now it will continue to be so.
It’s not enough to oppose the US government to be considered left.
Nor is the support of FOX News or the CIA needed to deal with the electoral fraud and political manipulation evident in that country.