When Will We Have a Democracy in Cuba?

By Pedro Pablo Morejon

HAVANA TIMES – The end of the dictatorship in Cuba was “around the corner” every since the beginning. The first emigres believed the US wouldn’t allow a Soviet satellite just ninety miles away from their coastline in the middle of the Cold War.

However, months passed by and between crisis, scuffles and other forays, Castroism consolidated itself until the Soviet Bloc collapsed and the USSR dissolved, which meant the Cuban economy lost over 80% of its market, thereby giving way in the ‘90s to what was known as the Special Period, the greatest economic crisis in Cuban history, which led to widespread and extreme poverty.

The US Congress passed the Helms-Burton Act to make matters worse, making the embargo’s legal framework even tighter. Why? To exarcebate the socio-economic disaster on the island, which was mainly the result of an incompetent state-led economic model, and to get the Cuban people to be so desperate they’d fight to overthrow this Government. As we know, the end justifies the means when it comes to politics.

Now, the pessimists on the other side of the shore are prophesizing the end of the Communist dictatorship and they’ve got it wrong again. I remember that beautiful song by Willy Chirino called “Nuestro dia ya viene llegando” (Our day is coming).

However, the economy gradually started to get some oxygen into its lungs with greater investments in the tourism industry, exporting doctors and a new supplier appeared on the scene: Venezuela’s Chavism.

Then, analyses began to focus on a post-Castro Cuba, the biological solution, in other words, the Comandante en Jefe’s death would lead to a transition towards democracy. They thought the same thing that happened in Franco’s Spain would happen here.

Once again, Time proved that they were wrong and today we are up against a military oligarchy inherited from Fidel Castro, who has a loyal governor in Diaz-Canel.

Today, most Cubans are forced to wage a savage war to survive another day, just like they had to in the past. They don’t have the resources they need to think and fight for more divine realities such as freedom and democracy.

No, Cubans are saving their energy just to get their daily bread or to find a way to escape this damned island that is stuck in time.

The regime is well-aware of this and that’s why they are blocking all freedom that allows the country to make social and economic progress, going beyond their victim and demogagic discourse.  In order to hold onto their oligarch privileges, they need to maintain controlled poverty.

Not too much of it will lead to social uprisings such as the one on August 5th 1994, or the most recent and mass uprising on July 11th last year.   

However, as long as they can keep the Cuban people just about alive, we can’t expect them to take to the streets to demand their rights. This has been the Government’s strategy since 1959, which has gone hand-in-hand with tactics of propaganda and repression.

On July 11th, as hundreds of people were dying every day because of COVID-19, and brutal blackouts and a food situation on the verge of famine, Cubans were driven to protest. They didn’t do this because they were suddenly overcome with a patriotic spirit, it was out of desperation.

Therefore, in addition to the repressive measures we’re familiar with, the regime employed a series of populist measures to soothe popular discontent, as well as loosening restrictions on some goods entering the country, giving attention to marginal neighborhoods and a few crumbs to a hungry people with no dignity left.

This was followed by its mass vaccination program and slight improvements that were only enough to keep Cubans in conditions of hardship they have learnt to live with.

But one tree won’t make a forest, or even four. Nobody abroad will bring us the freedom we’ve been incapable of fighting for either.

Like I’ve said time and time again, I think we’re going to have a dictatorship in Cuba for a good while yet.

Read more by Pedro Pablo Morejon here.

4 thoughts on “When Will We Have a Democracy in Cuba?

  • Sadly I must agree with all the above posts. Is there an answer? There is always an answer when
    men and women yearn for freedom. I do not profess to have all the answers, however just as the
    only thing standing between Russia and a possible nuclear conflict with the west is the Russian people, the thing standing between Cuba and Democracy is the Cuban people.

    I know, with the outcome of the July protests in the mind of those arrested and punished but also in the deepest recesses of the memory of those who stayed home it is hard to think about anything but hoping the government will find a way to solve your pain. That is a fools errand.

    I said it before; when your local police become ashamed to arrest those pleading for sustenance,
    then and only then have you won the battle to determine your future. It can happen. Hope, prayer, whatever it takes; do not give up on Cuba’s future. Grace and Pride be with you my Island Friends.


  • The people in Cuba who are in control have too much to lose and absolutely nothing to gain should Cuba begin a peaceful transition towards democracy. Those in control have all their material needs and most of their psychological needs as well. Tony Castro drives a Ferrari for goodness sakes! The Castro dictatorship knows an open and free democratic election in Cuba would be the end of their reign. Their worst nightmare is that wealthy, Miami-based anti-Castro patrons would fund a slate of candidates that, as a first order of business, would create a Truth Commission to indict 62 years of Castro grift. Sadly, the only way democracy will come to Cuba is by violence.

  • The radical left never gives up power look at Nicaragua, Venezuela Cuba,. Someone said the Dictatorship of Cuba exist to keep the leftist dreamers dreaming . Those who think Cubans are better off with this repressive regime that in a capitalist democracy but they lives in democracy. At this point in Cuba where absolutely nothing except repression works the Cubans are in the worst system in L A on July 11 the regime showed the true colors when Diaz Canel ordered on National TV the paramilitaries gangs to beat up the pacific protesters. Díaz Canel is just s puppet the powers still in the Castro dynasty especially Alejandro Castro Espín and Lopez Callejas ex son in law of Raul Castro. They would never give up the power the people of Cuba today only dream about escaping the island prison while the whole country literally is falling down. There is not hope and the anthropological damage is deep.

  • Just a Closer Look at the photo explains & is prof of the Repression in Cuba, The Island where the Tourist are of more Value then Cubans them selves that have been forced to stay with little chance of escape. As a past Canadian that had more invested then most tourist, when I am asked, when will I return to the Island, Their is an honesty that I have to share with Canadians & that is of a strong feeling that I may not be permitted to leave Cuba & return to Canada. That Repression of people is just to strong & so very real. How any Tourist could sun tan on the Cuban Beaches, Knowing what is being used against the Cubans. Hunger as a weapon, Close up & very personal, no different then in the photo with their stocks folded & mussel arresters, Close up & Personal, looking for a fight that is just not there.

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