Cuba: A Good Time to Talk about Democracy

Yusimi Rodriguez

HAVANA TIMES, April 24 — The Cuban newspaper Granma reported recently that Miami Marlins baseball manager Ozzie Guillen said that he respected Fidel Castro – a statement that cost him a five-game suspension without pay.

The next morning on the Cuban television program “Buenos Dias,” they had on a “specialist” (I didn’t see what specialty it was) who used this example and other examples to reveal how “freedom of expression” is a part of the phony democracy in the United States.

I was glad. It’s good to know how things work in that country – it keeps our dissatisfaction with the Cuban government from leading us to prefer the US model.

It’s good that the positive things in that nation don’t blind us, though our media takes on the responsibility for filling our eyes only with the bad.

In that democratic country, a few weeks ago a young man was killed and the perpetrator was let free, protected by US law. I would like to avoid the detail that this young man was black, because it would still have been murder if he’d been a white person.

I also know there are white people among those who are seeking justice, but I don’t think the youth’s race was a casual detail. I don’t think he would have died if he hadn’t been black, nor would his murderer have walked free if he weren’t a white man.

It’s good that our media has also informed us that in Spain they’ve just criminalized calls for demonstrations over the Internet. It’s is now a crime even to promote passive resistance as a form of protest.

Just a few months ago, the current president of Spain announced measures to exploit workers even more. In his own words, if demonstrations didn’t take place the day after the measures we’re announced, he and his government would have fallen short.

Now, they’re not only inventing ways to further exploit workers, but are also denying everyone the right to protest. It reminds me of that song sung by the Cuban duo Buena Fe ten years ago: “I’m going to grab you by the throat and squeeze. The more forcefully you demand, the less you’ll be able to complain.”

And Here in Cuba

I’m pleased that our media informs us about what’s happening in the supposed world democracies. That leads me to suppose that if one of our baseball managers, or any of our artists or intellectuals, publicly expressed their admiration for dissidents like Yoani Sanchez, Reinaldo Escobar or Miriam Celaya, for example, they wouldn’t have to fear about any retaliation; they wouldn’t have to worry about this jeopardizing a chance to travel or a job opportunity.

I can now imagine that if any of our sports or cultural personalities happened to speak out in favor of a multiparty system or decided to meet with government opponents, they won’t receive a visit from our State Security agents. Nor would they be subject to any lynch-mob-like “act of repudiation” by hardcore pro-government groups in the community.

After reading in the official newspaper of the party — with a critical eye — about the anti-democratic measures taken by the Spanish government against those who are protesting budget cuts, I can assume that no citizen in our country would be imprisoned if they called for or participated in similar peaceful demonstrations. Their right to peacefully express any disagreement would be respected.

I also suppose it means that if our official media is able to put these supposed democracies under a magnifying glass, it’s because we Cubans enjoy the exercise of all our rights to free speech, even to oppose the government in power, and that no citizen has had their rights violated.

Therefore I shouldn’t expect anyone to respond to this article with examples to the contrary, because if the violation of the rights of a citizen ever occurred, our official media — the same one that exposes the false democracies of the world — would be the first to report such infringements.

I should note that I haven’t done anything except sit down here at the table set by our official media in raising the issue of democracy and freedom of expression. I only think that if we talk about democracy, this is a good time to address our own.

32 thoughts on “Cuba: A Good Time to Talk about Democracy

  • “poor countries are poor because it is their fault”

    You use the term “castrofascist” often, but this is the biggest fascist assertment I’ve ever stumbled upon here on HT.

    “no one induced the Arab countries to get into religious fanatism (sic) that made them put aside many technical and scientific advances…”

    For centuries the Arab world was much more developed than the Western world. Study history first. And let us take a look at a non-Arab country, but who got itself into religious fanaticism – Iran, who’s the “boogie man” nowadays. Remember Mossadegh’s overthrow in 1953 by the CIA-supported coup which led the shah Reza Pahlavi into power. He destroyed all opposition, leaving no other political class alive – except the clerical one. So when the Revolution exploded, all that was left were the radical Islam factions. No wonder it turned out into a theocracy.

    (about Castro) “the confrontation with USA is his fault, the embargo is his fault (…)”

    The confrontation with the US was inevitable if he had higher hopes other to become just another US-puppet in the Caribbean. The embargo was his fault? That’s just laughable, I’m sorry.

  • Exactly…… talking about countries it is exactly so…… poor countries are poor because it is their fault, not because they deserve it (it is your words) but because they did not worked hard enough and they did not acted with enough intelligence……. no one induced the Arab countries to get into religious fanatism that made them put aside many technical and scientific advances…… no one induced castro to destroy our country economy, he is very smart, he has a higher enough IQ as to know the political and economical policies he implemented would led Cuba to destruction, the confrontation with USA is his fault, the embargo is his fault, he chose those options because his goal was to perpetuate himself in the power and not to make Cuba a rich country……… he had the opportunity to become the greatest leader of our country, to become the father of the land but he chose to be another little tyrant more in Latin-American history and push our people to follow him in the spiral of destruction, division, and dependence we suffered the last 53 years…… he could chose another path but did not………….. you did not got me in nothing, I am not here to win any argument or got you in nothing…… I am too old for such childish thing………I am here to bring up the truth and honor it who ever have it…….

  • Got ya – you changed the subject. “This godless communism…”

    And it’s a lame excuse of your explanation of the wealth of nations – “hard work” and “intelligence” inducts the conclusion that the poor are poor because they deserve it.

  • Dear Luis, there are also millions of articles and debate about the convenience of communism but in reality communism has been a huge error that caused hundreds of millions of death around the world, caused the destruction of many countries, the misery of millions of people…… also there are millions of articles and debate about different things that are not worth a minute of attention or credibility……. this theory of colonialism and its impact and all discussion around it is just an attempt of some sleepless people to justify the bad performances of some countries in relation with others…….. only hard work, intelligence and democracy cause a country, a people to produce enough richness as to get developed and provide welfare to itself……. certainly castrofascist regime is not the best example to follow and leads to economical destruction and dependence of other countries…….

  • It’s not an “empty theory”. Just google “impacts of colonialism” and you’ll see many articles and debates about it. Anyway, if you insist that colonization didn’t help the developed world become powerful, what did then?

  • However Luis, this theory of developed countries being so because their colonialist past and vice versa does not hold the slightest analysis…… all other theories about transplanted and exploited countries are not other than nonsense found by some sleepless ideologist to try to justify why some countries does better that other……. specially Latin American ideologist and historians that wants to justify the bad performance of their countries with these empties theories……… Europe after losing all its colonies was complete destroyed 2 times by WWI and WWII but those countries aroused again from destruction to welfare and became the first world again TWICE!!!!!!…… while Latin-American got involved in tyrannies, “socialism”, and “class fight” and became the poor and underdeveloped area that is today with rare exceptions…… come on dude, colonialism is an historical accident that nothing has to do with countries ability to become rich….. it is historical proven in thousand ways.

  • No, learn how to read first. I didn’t say that Chile, Costa Rica and Panama weren’t exploitation colonies. One thing I still don’t agree with you is either or not these countries can be considered ‘developed’. Yes, Portugal and Spain had long declined from their former glory… they used to be the largest empires of the world until England and France joined the team and took their places.

    Hong Kong and Singapore are special cases. Singapore is still a city-state within the Commonwealth, by the way.

  • You dares to write that Chile, Panama, Costa Rica were not exploitation colonies?????…… South Korea, Finland, Singapore, Hong Kong, the Antilleans islands were not exploitation colonies?????/……. come on Luis, we are trying here to have a serious debate……….. Tell me, please, if USA was not an exploitation colony why then the independence war they fought?????……war that was not other that a war produced by economical reasons just like the rest of the independence wars in America……… by other side……how do you match the poor ex empires like Spain, Portugal, Russia, the Arabs, Turkey or Mongolia with your theory about colonialist countries enriched by their colonialist past????

    Submitted on 2012/05/07 at 8:35 am

    Luis says:

    May 6, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    And the Scandinavian countries, just like you said, were simply lucky enough to develop themselves in peace, using a true socialist-democratic model in the last 100 years.

    And about Chile, Costa Rica, Panama, Singapore and Hong Kong… they may be a bit economically developed but nowhere near the big economies of the industrialized world.

    OK, we agree about Scandinavian countries and they are a good example of economical development through combination of democracy, capitalism and a leftist political-ideological control of capitalism…… there are also several examples of successfull countries that choosed to control capitalism using a political-ideological control way to the right in combination with democracy…… the key of success seems to be democracy.
    Chile, Costa Rica, Panama, Singapore, and Hong Kong have a much better socio-economical development than ex colonial empires like Spain, Portugal, Turkey or Mongolia in spite their colonial past……. it is undeniable.

  • And the Scandinavian countries, just like you said, were simply lucky enough to develop themselves in peace, using a true socialist-democratic model in the last 100 years.

    And about Chile, Costa Rica, Panama, Singapore and Hong Kong… they may be a bit economically developed but nowhere near the big economies of the industrialized world.

  • Freud,

    It’s not false… the examples of the US and Commonwealth nations you cited were a different kind of colony – population colonies, not exploitation ones. Study a bit more before you post rubbish.

  • USA was a colony, New Zealand was a colony; Australia, Canada, Finland, South Korea, and Italy were colonies…… and all they are today economic powers…….. Chile was a colony, Costa Rica, Panama, Singapore, Hong Kong, and all Minor Antillean countries were also colonies and today they are countries were economy and social programs put them above the rest of the world……… by other side we have Spain and Portugal that before was huge colonial empires and today are poor nations compared with some of their former colonies. We have also the examples of Turkey, Russia, the Arabs, and Mongolia once mighty empires and today poor countries……… the theory of rich countries being rich because their colonialist past and poor countries because their past as colony is indeed simple and false.

  • Dear Landis,
    You can combine capitalism with socialism or neo liberalism or whatever you want and get a total fiasco in both variants if you do not account with democracy in your project. Nader found nothing new. Scandinavian countries use socialism as political-ideological system to control their capitalism and they do that using democracy as ground of their “experiment”…. that’s why their experiment has been so successful.
    Around the world there are and were multiple examples of regimes using socialism to control capitalism without democracy (Cuba, all ex-communist countries in Europe, Hitler’s Germany, etc) that ended or are a fiasco…….. in same way you can find regimes that uses other political-ideological systems like liberalism or neo-liberalism that ended also in fiasco because they did not account with democracy…… it is democracy the key factor that gives enough transparency, flexibility and justice as to produce the success of any political-ideological system controlling capitalism and making it to be a richness production machine…… is only democracy the factor that agglutinate massively all society, all thinking stream and all brains around the country and its regime to create a better place to live……. as long democracy does not exist this massive support will never exist just because the controlling part of the society will segregate the other ones, will harass those that not agree with them or those that not follow them, the society will be divided, weak, poor…… just like Cuba.

  • This 99-1 idea is the ownership relation in most big banks in USA. This ownership relationship cause the indignation of the people when Obama saved those banks giving them special treatment and a huge loan. The people get mad because Obama was protecting just 1% of the richest people in USA. But this is not the real ownership relation in the rest of the world’s companies. The only part of reality in this 99-1 has to do with the ownership of USA’s banks. Those banks this Occupy movement took as examples for their propaganda are Citi Bank, Bank of America, Chase, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group…… but USA’s banks are not all world’s companies but just 5-6 of them, the rest, 99.99% of world’s companies (public companies or not) are owned by much more people than workers them has…… you take for example the REPSOL’s share recently expropriated by Argentinean government off oil company YPF, this REPSOL was owned by Caixa, some Mutual Founds, 480.000 private investors and the Mexican Government, each participant with around 17% of the shares……… Caixa is no other than the moneys saved by Spanish passionate along their work life, Mutual Founds are not other than the moneys saved for pensions, health and unemployment insurance by millions of workers around the world, the 480.000 investors are also people and the Mexican Government used the profit of its shares in this company to finance the Mexican people free and universal health system…….. in the actual world most companies have much more owners that workers. The main owner of most big companies in the world are the so called Mutual Founds that joints the saving moneys of world’s workers to buy and profit shares of companies , governmental loans, etc.

  • It’s interesting to note that your example is an ex-African colony which only gained independence in 1968 and whose ruler was called by Condoleezza Rice in 2006 a “good friend” of the US. Oil talks, my friend.

  • Luis, it seems to me that evasion is more pervading in your answers than it is in mine. You barely address any of my arguments. And you keep falling back on empty words.

    I wish I had time for more of this but I sincerely believe that no major breakthroughs or contributions will result from it.

    I will close my comments with one of numerous examples about why some poor countries that were colonized centuries ago don’t seem to get ahead, or improve at a slower pace than they should.

    Equatorial Guinea is an African nation with great oil resources where 70% of the population make $1.25/day. The reason for that is that the dictator Teodoro Obiang, one of the richest men in the world according to Forbes, has been embezzling hundreds of millions since he performed a bloody coup d’etat in 1979.

    This nation was colonized first by Portugal and then by Spain , but it gained independence in 1968.

    Recently French and Spanish anti-corruption police concluded a two-year investigation of a married couple from Russia that live in Spain . For over 12 years these two have been laundering money for Obiang and his family.

    Equatorial Guinea is a market economy and a “democracy” where Obiang is invariably “re-elected.” They get assistance from USAID and other humanitarian organizations in the areas of education and health care.

    Can any honest person say that this poor country is suffering because it was colonized 200 years ago? That here democracy has failed? That capitalism has sunk the people of Equatorial Guinea in rock-bottom poverty?

    You are entitled to your own opinions but not to your own facts. Facts are facts.

  • Thanks for your sage words, Michael. I bought Nader’s thick novel when he came through and spoke a couple of years ago, but couldn’t stand to read it. It’s the dullest, most moronic doorstop one could own! ha

    You wonder what the alternative is to waiting for Godot. Well, there may not be one, in truth, but I for one will not go down without a fight. I’ve written two books, the first what you might call a Utopian-style, futuristic novel about a guy who wakes up sixty-four years in the future to a socialist cooperative republic. It’s called A Gladness in the Eyes.

    The other has just been printed at the worker-owned printing coop in Berkeley. It’s called Hope for the Future: Foundations of the Cooperative Republic Movement. They’re for sale cheap at my website “”.

    You’re welcome to review my answer to the “alternative” question. Best wishes.

  • If you care, I’d like to say that I agree 100% with Yusimi’s article.

  • Now you didn’t even bother to answer my questions, evading each point of mine with “this issue is far too complex for me to explain” like if I was a little child. I know the world is complex, that each country has passed through different historical contexts.

    Your whole post was a flood of sophism.

    The one time you did care to elaborate an argument you simply put the victims on the bench of the accused.

  • Double standards seem to thrive among the majority of those who live in democratic countries and propound keeping Cuba under Communism.
    These people fight tooth and nail for their freedom of expression (including the right to publish newspapers and own radio and television stations), freedom to found political parties, freedom to organize and participate in political rallies, and freedom to stage all sorts of protests. Most, if not all, strongly oppose discrimination by reason of political ideas.
    It is astonishing that these individuals couldn’t care less if Cubans are deprived of the civil rights they so passionately want for themselves.

  • Luis, I indeed ignored the last part of your comment (where you quoted someone else’s comement on the environment) simply because there was only so much I could address in my previous reply. I could point you to a very eye-opening book ( if you don’t have the time, please visit the WHO website so that you can look at very interesting statistics that clearly show how the world is doing far better than it was before, not the oppossite) This grim outlook about the world and the environment is based for the most part on self-interested tergiversations of the truth. That there is place for improvements….no doubt!

    Now, again you want to put a simple spin on things. The world is far more complex than you would care to believe or acknowledge. I cannot answer in a sentence or two or even ten paragraphs what has made developed countries get to achieveing a decent level of comfort. Every country is different and many forces have played a role. Being able to answer your question would require an awful amount of research and being able to access expert’s opinions. Perhaps you could give yourself to that task, given that it is your question.

    And perhaps you would also care to design the perfect system, the system that would solve all of the world’s problems. I already made it clear that in my view, democratic capitalism is the best one that we have got so far.

    And with regards to that previous point, it is not about coming up with an utopic ideal and die by it (that is the easy way out) but instead coming up with a system able to capture and to respond to reality and to the needs of the citizens.

    In the meantime, given that your logic dictates that the one having the advantage should take it upon himself to save the entire world and prevent all children’s deaths, all famines, all wars, all injustice in every corner, etc, perhaps then you could start by putting your money where your mouth is. And begin to take responsibility for every calamity that affects all individuals around you. Only if you did that would you understand the impracticality of such gallant ideals.

    The developed world has over and over helped those in need. Examples are abundant and one need only to search for them. Both at the level of institutions and at the level of the individuals. Or will you just ignore the many years of aid in the form of food, medicine and technology that have gone into helping poor nations. (again refer to the WHo website and gain a glimpse on how that aid and the effors of the WHO itself have translated into vast improvement in living conditions and health).

    Perhaps we should also put some of the burden of responsibility for the injustices that still occur in poor countries on the shoulders of the tyrans or corrupted governments in those countries that rob and neglect their own people. Would not you think that that would be a fair thing to do? If we are going to assign blame, let’s do it in a just and responsible way.

    Oh, and regarding police beatings………are those totally uncalled for? Has the police attacked a peaceful crowd or has it instead responded to assults and violent actions perpetrated by criminals that insert themselves among protesters???????????

    That reminds me of the Damas de Blanco in Cuba. That is indeed a correct example of plain injustice

  • I’m not scratching the surface of the problem. You apparently ignored the last part of my commentary.


    “without the government or business owners being able to resort to the use of retaliatory countermeasures”

    I’m sorry but what about the police beatings and arrests…?

    “I continue by saying that progress in developed countries is really not a consequence of a history of colonialism and accumulated richness.”

    So what made these countries developed, then?

    “democratic capitalism is a malleable system, a rational system, but also a system with a social conscience.”

    I wonder the degree of rationality and social conscience a system that has the technical ability to produce more food than necessary for feeding the entire planet allows millions to die of hunger every year.

  • Luis, in my opinion, you are merely scratching the surface/merely understanding the roots of the problems and certainly distorting their significance. This idea that capitalism is a failure based on the current crisis is incredibly simplistic. Regarding some of your comments, allow me to ask first of all: wouldn’t you say that being able to participate in protests and negotiate changes-without the government or business owners being able to resort to the use of retaliatory countermeasures- is a manifestation of freedom of expression and empowerment among the working class? I continue by saying that progress in developed countries is really not a consequence of a history of colonialism and accumulated richness. We can see how countries that share a common past as colonialist powers have diverged in terms of paths followed and the degree of success that they currently enjoy.
    Experts have said again and again that the current economic crisis in developed countries is, to put it simply, the result of those countries having lived beyond their economic means for many years. Greece for example had fallen victim to a massive tax evasion problem and is now unable to patch things up internally as before, mainly because as an EU member, it now has to keep up with the pace of other more prosperous EU countries. Spain, another example, plagued with, among several things, massive bureaucratic machinery and a history of excessive public spending (disparate measures like brutal amounts of money going towards un-employment insurance, pension benefits, urban programs, cultural programs, not to forget the money that has gone towards financing the monarchy system over the years) is now paying a high price. When money was being spent (and some of that money was being drawn from EU funds), everyone was pleased and of course no one stopped to re-consider or question the effect that these unsustainable measures would have in the long-run.
    The capitalist system does not benefit from irresponsible actions. And much like the rule that applies to energy balance, if what is generated by the country is less than what is spent, the country will face deficits. Differently from communism or socialism, democratic capitalism is a malleable system, a rational system, but also a system with a social conscience. Austerity measures are and will have to continue being implemented across countries, so that an economic recovery can be achieved.
    And yes, it is not a perfect system, nor is it a system immune to human errors. But at the end of the day Luis, it is the best system that we have got. And practice corroborates this!

  • I’m sorry, but I’d like to call for a reality-check upon you: do the people own big corporations? If so, the 1% wouldn’t be richer than the 99% in the US, for example, neither over half out of the 150 biggest economies of the world would be corporations…

  • Everybody wins? Are you aware of the size of the crisis in the developed world? Are the workers really “empowered”? If so, there wouldn’t be any necessity of manifestations like OWS and 15M, right? And have you ever wondered WHY the developed world is rich? Wasn’t it at the expense of centuries of colonialism and neo-colonialism? Even so, let us assume you’re right. This “democratic” capitalism only works if the economy grows. If the cycle of production-consumption is always on the rise. I would like to highlight the words of Micheal N. Landis – “And if we really can’t find alternatives, then perhaps the human race is at an evolutionary dead end. We can’t really continue plundering our planet of its finite natural resources.”

  • Luis,
    Indeed company/ business owners are creating profits for themselves. Most importantly I would argue they are creating jobs and economic prosperity. And not at the expense of the poor, defenseless workers. But side by side, in collaboration with them. In todays developed world, democratic capitalism has evolved to empower workers, allowing them to unionize and have voices. And I would also argue that in some cases, the pendulum has swung in the oppossite direction giving unlimited power to the “working class”. Communism/socialism was supposed to be the pinnacle of justice. Well, look how badly that system has worked for us. It has been used over and over to appeal to the righteously angry massess who then find themselves betrayed and under the ruling of yet another kind of dictator. One who surrounds himself with richenss, and abuses and uses his own people (those he was supposed to protect). In my capitalism, the one I have experienced in two countries so far, everyone wins, not just the powerful! And everyone has a voice. Not just the powerful!

  • …..And do you know a production way that put aside the consecution of profit??????
    The ones some time tried to prove to produce without to get some profit were left behind and their project vanished. All production ways must produce profits in order to grow, save and improve, in order to create richness that can be distributed…….. if you only produces what you will consume you will never create richness then you will have nothing to share then you will be put aside by the own producers or by other producers more clever…….. you can call the produced profit as you please; exceeding, surplus-value, etc…… if you don’t produce it you will be unable to replace even tools or buy next year row materials or seeds for new production. By other side capitalism you know I suspect is the same Marx knew 200 years ago, that capitalism does not exist since long ago. Actual capitalism produces a phenomenon very peculiar very close the equalitarian dream of old socialist and communists: the people owns big corporations and some others not so big. A classic example is the recently nationalized REPSOL in Argentina. Reaction of Spain, EU and Mexico were so hard due to the action was seen as an attack on those countries’ peoples. REPSOL Argentina’s owners were CAIXA a Spanish group that administrate millions of Spaniard’s pensions, health insurance and pension saving, second owner was a group of 480.000 Spanish small investors that put there their savings and the third owner was Mexico state …… so, Ms Kitchner did not kicked out any evil capitalist because nowadays companies are not owned exclusively by evil capitalists but by millions of workers and pensioners that places their savings, retirement money, and insurance money in companies instead to put them unproductive in a bank account…….. Ms Kitchner kicked out, and I am sure she have no an idea about the thing, millions of Spanish workers that lost by this way their pensions saving, their monthly savings, they insurances saving, etc…….. and also kicked out Mexico State that used the profits obtained by this investment to pay the free and universal health system it provide its people with.

  • “Capitalism has evolved. It is no longer the rich exploiting the poor.”

    I’m sorry, but how? It is still based on wage labor and the expropriation of surplus-value. Even the welfare-state model of capitalism is crumbling…

  • Grady, recently Ralph Nader wrote a novel premised on the ruling class seeing the light and creating a more rational system combining both socialism and capitalism. In Cuba’s case, you seem to have the same hopes for the leadership cadres of the PCC. Two-and-a-half centuries ago, this was the hope of the philosophs of the Enlightenment, and later the utopian socialists, such as Fourier. I suspect, however, that like Fourier, who waited in his office in Paris for such benefactors, the wait will be rather a long one–like “Waiting for Godot!” On the other hand, what are the alternatives? And if we really can’t find alternatives, then perhaps the human race is at an evolutionary dead end. We can’t really continue plundering our planet of its finite natural resources.

  • There is no evidence, Yusimi, that state monopoly ownership socialism, the form in Cuba, which automatically abolishes private productive property rights and market forces, can ever be truly democratic. Without such property rights, as P-J Proudhon said long ago, the raw power of the state will have no counter-balance, and will always gravitate therefore toward tyranny.

    Why might this be so?

    I think it is because, without such rights for peasants, small business folks and cooperative workers, a massive bureaucracy and political and social absolutism must emerge to run such an unnatural mode of production.

    If this is correct, then the prerequisite for true working people’s democracy, in any socialist country, is a democratic modern cooperative, partial state co-ownership form of socialism. All that’s needed for this in Cuba is for PCC leaders to see the light.

  • Equating capitalism with evil is the kind of simplistic and old-fashiond idea that the Cuban goverment has striven to inscribe in our minds from an early age. Capitalism has evolved. It is no longer the rich exploiting the poor (and I can attest to this having seen and lived in the outside world for a decade). Communism/socialism on the other hand has not. It continues to be the means of a few to attain unlimited richness, control and power. In other words, a communist/socialist government can still be defined as an autocratic goverment. And history can attest to this undeniable reality. Fidel’s Cuba has oppresed the gay, the religious, the inquisitive, the democratic, and in doing so it has crushed the most fundamental human rights for generations. Real constructive debate has never-and I anticipate that it will never under the current system-been welcomed at any official meeting in Cuba. Simply because it would have opened the door to change and it would have weakened their grip on people. I would conclude by saying that I agree with Raul’s comment that ” those screaming the loudest are the biggest opportunists”. Fidel, Raul and the PCC-which they control-have been screaming the loudest for far too many years. I say it is time for other voices, sincere and with democratic messages, allowed to enter and initiate true debate and with it progress.

  • Fidel Castro said Socialism can only be destroyed from the inside. There is nothing western capitalist countries have to give. They go to war for the enterprises owners, they kill and destroy so they enterprises can make big money to rebuild. They don´t care about the poor, they just want to keep them quiet. And since the crisis the protecting goverments got more aggressive.
    But i deny Cuba isn´t repressive, as in any party there are extremists, people denouncing others for there own benefit, to climb up the ranks or stay above. Raul said very well, those who scream loudest are the biggest oppurtunists. Those are the ones destroying the socialist cooperative idea. It got better, but still there is a lot to do in this case. Nobody shall be afraid of telling constructive critics, nor demonstration. This is not really the case in Cuba, it’s not Fidel or Raul, it’s the lack of transparency and voices heard. Corruption is everywhere, and people prefer get paid for corruption and it’s easily more then the paid salary from the state. This error has to be solved. Transparent laws, time tables for bureaucratic work, and people who control them. I can´t even tell here what happened to me, because the people in charge would know and only harm me further, stupid bureaucrats at a certain educational instute in the east.Nobody gets fired but very corrupt. All covered up by a little bribe to Havanna’s inspectors.

  • It has been a practice exercised by the Cuban government for as many years as I am able to recall. When it comes to democratic societies- where the truth always finds its way to the public- they scan, collect, dissect, and cherry-pick pieces of the truth that bests serves their needs. Offering completely distorted views of the outside world. When it comes to Cuba and our messy and revealing stories, they make sure to hide them under rocks so that they never see the light of day. It is the absence of moral integrity that lies at the core of this system. A system that is crumbling under its own weight.

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