by Martin Guevara
HAVANA TIMES — It would say it was funny if I didn’t find the situation so disgusting.
Raul Castro says that, in 2018, after nearly sixty years of authoritarian and repressive rule, he will step down (not specifying who he will pass the torch to), as though he were offering people a gift. What’s more – and pay attention – he says he would like to visit Miami!
At this point, even the Guinness Book should acknowledge that he, like his brother Fidel, not only holds a record in human rights violations but is also one of the shameless people humanity has ever known, in terms of utter, barefaced forwardness.
Very few things about dictators and despots can truly surprise us these days, but it seems as though the degree of surprise can vary from dictator to dictator.
I know many people respected in their social milieu, endowed with a “left-wing” disposition, who would have long taken up activism (or retreated to the bowels of some bar) to condemn the system’s tyrannical and fascist oppression, if they were told that Eisenhower – not Obama, Bush, Clinton, Reagan, Ford, Carter, Nixon or Kennedy -, that is to say, the president the United States had in 1959, were still alive and, surrounded by his great (adult) grandchildren, announcing, as a kind of personal favor to the people, as big news, that he was willing to relinquish his absolute power in three years.
I would expect the same reaction were I to say, in Argentina, that an aged Arturo Frondizi, who was president in 1959 (and was followed by sixteen constitutional presidents and seven military juntas) were still in power, or that De Gaulle were announcing, today, that, if he feels like it, and everyone behaves, he will soon step down.
What mechanism is at work here to make these same “pseudo-leftists” and much of public opinion greet Raul Castro’s announcement that he will likely step down after fifty-nine years of absolute power (without any opposition and plenty of human rights violations) with shameful complacency, and to offer reactions that go from sympathy to the feeling that it is probably not as noxious for those who have no choice but to suffer this rule?
It is probably the same mechanism that keeps them from showing any solidarity towards the prisoners of conscience in socialist countries and from showing copious sympathy for political prisoners in regimes at the opposite end of the spectrum.
Is this a curious or downright shameful fact?