For Those Who Support the Castro Way

By Pedro Pablo Morejon

From a May Day 2019 parade in Cienfuegos, Cuba. Photo: Modesto Gutierrez / ACN

HAVANA TIMES – There is no politician who would be more popular or get more votes than a totalitarian dictator.  If you still have doubts, you just have to look back over History and we’ll see individuals like Mao, Stalin, Hitler or Mussolini, to give you a few examples.

Yep, it’s true, they also have many detractors, but you can’t refute the reality that they have quite a significant social base.

On the other hand, if we look at democracies, we’ll see that there is a high rate of abstentionism in most of these countries. Lots of people don’t go to the polls to choose a leader, and those that rise up to the highest position of the State often do so with just a small percentage of supporters.

There are exceptions, of course, just like there are in everything; yet, this tends to be the general rule.

But something different happens with totalitarian systems. The people under their yoke suffer a gigantic propaganda bomb. The party in power becomes the Homeland itself and has absolute control over mass media.

They use this propaganda to take on symbols and culture, which in turn produces a kind of robot, a docile sheep belonging to the flock that complies with and supports any decision without a trace of critical thinking.

For those that fall outside this flock, there is repression in its many forms. They control everything.

Cuba is living under a totalitarian system that has lasted for over 60 years. Yet, there are many supporters of the system here. Even in the age of globalization, of the Internet that allows journalists to sidestep censorship, there are many people who support Castrismo, whether it’s out of convenience, fear or belief.

They fall under three categories, and sometimes they overlap:

The evil

Some of these belong to the elite. They enjoy privileges that are only reserved for them. They call themselves the “vanguard of the proletariat” when they are nothing but an oligarchy who control the battered national economy. They own businesses abroad, have luxury mansions, private yachts, swollen bank accounts… in short, everything a millionaire would have.

Others are riffraff that live off crumbs: a car, cellphone, Internet access, bags of basics, a trip abroad, etc. Something that any middle-class citizen could earn with their hard work in a democratic country, without having to drag their morals through the mud.

There is a tiny group of fanatics too, who are brimming with hate, and are able to commit the most brutal acts against their fellow countrymen. They’re the ones that are always about, the ones that do the dirty work under their bosses’ command. These include snitches, repressors and murderers, that have always existed. It doesn’t matter if they are suffering the same hardship as their fellow citizens, they have a morbid vocation for heroism, sacrifice and a false sense of worth.

Those with double standards

These are the majority. They might have once had faith in the so-called Revolution, but they’ve understood, for some time now, that the system is a failure. They’ve decided to survive within the system. They avoid talking about political issues, and if they do, they defend Castrismo. Their only objective is to survive.

Many of them manage to emigrate, and once in exile, they take on a light-version of patriotism, all of a sudden. They condemn the regime, and even question why citizens remain passive and don’t rebel.

The ignorant

I pity these ones. They were born in the 1950s and 1960s, and they have been victims of indoctrination, for decades. They continue to trust the system just like the cheated in his wife/or unfaithful partner, even though the proof indicates betrayal. For they are the ones who were betrayed.

They are the ones who sacrificed themselves for a future that never came. The ones who spent their best years chasing after an ideal that turned out to be one big scam.

They don’t want to admit it. They can’t. So, they struggle with their contradictions, in a cruel struggle where they need to appeal to emotions and overlook logic, in order to hold onto their life’s meaning.

Like I wrote at the beginning, sometimes they overlap. Nothing is black and white. They can be evil and ignorant, or ignorant with double standards, or people with double standards and evil. Sometimes, they are all three.

But there are quite a few of them.

Don’t be fooled.

Read more from Pedro Pablo Morejon’s diary here.

6 thoughts on “For Those Who Support the Castro Way

  • You may not realize it but you are describing the United States of America, which is far worse than Cuba.

  • I also concur with the other contributors. Pedro wrote a very well descriptive analysis of the Cuban population as he sees it. For the majority of tourists visiting the island for a short vacation, they only encounter the few privileged, the few fortunate, those young Cubans employed in hotels and resorts. Their livelihood depends on total support for “Castrismo”. Good for them.

    The majority of Cubans as Pedro states have “double standards”. On one hand they may have believed, from the extensive brain washing received in their primary and secondary education, that the socialist system – Castrismo – is far superior than the capitalist system and that this socialist system needs to be defended and promoted at all cost.

    Shortly thereafter, once their school years are finished reality sets in. If they are fortunate they may gain some form of employment in their field of study. Some do, most don’t. For those that do the pay is poor. The working conditions just as bad. Their prospects for future improvement dashed as they witness their colleagues who have been in the same position in a perpetual stagnant state, if not worse like the reoccurring “Special Periods” where belt tightening is required to sustain the utopian socialist ideal – the Castrismo.

    These patriotic Cuban citizens’ undergo tremendous cognitive dissonance as their day to day harsh living experiences do not square with the constant propaganda perpetrated by the Communist Party. They see and feel for themselves the true reality of existence in a communist system. They have been fed a load of crap from early educational experiences and now they are living, or simply existing, frustrated and angry. They are trapped.

    As Pedro states the solution for some is to emigrate if they are fortunate enough to do so, or as some brave souls have done is clandestinely find a floating boat and head for open water to the nearest land destination. To some the very real desperation for leaving family and friends behind vastly outweighs the very real possibility of death by drowning. The psychological death of remaining on an totalitarian island with absolutely no foreseeable future for improved living standards is totally unacceptable.

    Those who choose to not emigrate either struggle along as best they can or for some, today, are beginning to say and demonstrate that enough is enough. HT just published an article entitled: “Are Cubans Ready to Take to the Streets” (June 05, 2021) where the author Ariel Hidalgo states: “We need to create a culture of peace in the Cuban people, and convince them that non-violence is the only struggle that can be effective in overthrowing Communist regimes.”

    Within that majority of Cubans with double standards perhaps some agree that using non-violence is a pathway for real change. On the other hand, within that majority of Cubans with double standards there may be some who believe that spontaneous violence, if necessary, is the only way the current Cuban totalitarian regime will understand the necessity for change.

    Hopefully, for all Cubans substantial change does indeed take place so that the majority of Cubans no longer have to live with frustrating, depressing double standards.

  • This is such a well written article. As Robert said above it should be standard reading for any tourist visiting Cuba. It should also be compulsory reading for the many politicians in Europe and the rest of the world who defend and support the ‘socialism’ of Cuba.

  • My wife’s grandfather is a retired Cuban physician. He spent the last 20 years of his working life as a doctor working for the US government in the facility in Guantanamo. His monthly income was more than 99% of the other Cuban doctors in Cuba. As a result, he was able to live very well by Cuban standards in Guantanamo and raised his family as such. Despite this history and the fact that his Cuban retirement pension today would not cover even a few days of his monthly living expenses, would you believe that this 85 year-old man is a hard-core Castrista? My wife sends a monthly care package to Guantanamo which includes her grandfather’s blood pressure medication, without which he would die. This medication is not even available in Cuba and what he would have to take instead would barely meet his needs. And that’s when its available! Nonetheless, this otherwise wonderful old-timer fervently believes that the Healthcare System in Cuba is the best in the world. This blind fanaticism and unjustifiable support is simply beyond explanation.

  • This would make a great reading pamphlet for the tourist when boarding their Flights going to Cuba. Cuba is a Lesson over a life time with never ending changes. Where dose the swindle start and end.

  • Great article as Cuban I know this horrible reality. You forgot to mention the parrots that only say over and over. It is the embargo the embargo, the embargo, the blockade’s fault.

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