Changes in Cuban Censorship Following Argentina’s Electoral Results

Yenisel Rodriguez Pérez

Raul Castro and Cristina Fernandez when the then Argentine president visited Cuba in September 2015.
Raul Castro and Cristina Fernandez when the then Argentine president visited Cuba in September 2015.

HAVANA TIMES – Cuba’s official media offered scant coverage of Argentina’s recent electoral process. In Machiavellian fashion, they postponed announcing the victory of the right (predicted since well before) until the very end, unwilling to share the news.

The Cuban government knew that the end of Argentina’s Kirchner governments would send a signal to Cuban civil society, and that it would be directly associated, in popular opinion, with the worsening of the crisis affecting Venezuela and some regional allies.

The pre-electoral situation allowed the Cuban government to treat the crisis faced by the populist bloc with the classic argument pitting subversive technocrats against the “proven” honesty of progressive leaderships.

As an example, the huge Petrobras corruption case and the possible impeachment of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff were couched in a rhetoric of conspiracy until Argentina’s electoral results were announced. Now, the issue is treated with greater moderation.

The arrival of the right to the land of tango was a harsh wake up call, made harsher by the defeat of Venezuela’s Chavistas, who lost their majority at the National Assembly shortly afterwards.

These developments have undermined some the taboos surrounding information in Cuba. Little by little, the Cuban government begins to adopt a more realistic lexicon when referring to the situation faced by the region. Today, they test phrases such as “uncertain future,” “the victorious right,” “Chavismo in the opposition” and others.

This way, Cubans (particularly the new generations) grow increasingly conscious of the malleability that characterizes the government’s demagogy and its limitless arbitrariness.

Perhaps the greatest certainty we have gotten hold of is that there are no miracles in politics. All supremacy corrupts, all representation is false.

The settling of scores that the collapse of the European socialist bloc announced for the Castro regime, and which the latter has been postponing with the aid of Venezuela and its allies, is on the horizon. Now, the aid the country receives may disappear well before the current reform processes yield the desired effects, allowing the leadership to deliver the country to international capital while retaining and important place within its power structure.

The possibility of enduring a profound economic crisis, in exchange for seeing a catastrophe akin to those that befell real socialism in Europe at the close of the 20th century, admittedly inspires hope. It could be an opportunity to bring about justice and demand explicit accounting before the people.

As for the battle against capital, that’s another, far longer story.