Cuba’s Silent Majority

Regime supporters during a hate rally in front of Yunior García Aguilera’s home, November 14, 2021. (EFE)

Power, in reality, does not believe in left or right, quite the opposite

By Yunior García Aguilera (14ymedio)

HAVANA TIMES – I have a friend who says he’s not leftist, nor rightist, but the opposite. After his apparently absurd joke, it’s evident he is fed up with the polarization that is shaking Cuba and the planet.

The truth is that those on the right tend to move toward ever more conservative poslitions, exploiting ultranationalist sentiment. The left, for its part, shamelessly defends the current dictatorships, becoming complicit in their crimes. Democracy is neither guaranteed, nor an irreversible conquest.

The world is upside down. Putin’s war embodies the most voracious imperialism, while receiving the support of those who always wave “anti-imperialist” flags. These hemiplegic morals justify Russia’s talk of NATO’s expansion, but forget that six decades ago the USSR placed atomic missiles 90 miles from the United States, converting Cuba into a soviet aircraft carrier. The bearded one dreamt of the glory of the holocaust and recommended to Nikita that he launch the first bomb. Fortunately, Kruschev Olympically ignored the cigar smoker, preferring to negotiate with Kennedy.

China, the power led by an unflappable Winnie the Pooh, is now a champion of modern capitalism and also the nation with the most environmental pollution. All this, while technically being a “socialist” country. To heck with all the proletariat and value added rhetoric. To heck also with all the complaints of human rights violations in the giant Asian country. Consumers need to buy cheap, it doesn’t matter that China fills the world with trifles . Meanwhile, Thucydides’s trap threatens to confront, sooner or later, both world powers, and humanity will buy tickets to view, online, the spectacle that could extinguish us.

On the other hand, the more radical leaders on the right have become populists, in the style of Mao, Perón or Castro. They exploit the ire of non-conformists, speak of refounding and making their nations greater, of rescuing an epic past, glorious and superior. They devote themselves to creating armies of followers who lynch and exterminate anyone with a trace of dissent. And hordes of wrathful people believe that the higher they build a wall, the greater their freedom will be.

I come from a sick country. In the “revolutionary” Cuba, the New Man was forged by the fire of executions, acts of repudiation, purges, mass exodus and permanent crisis. But none of that left a legacy of a more just and inclusive place, it would have been impossible. Today we are the country with the most political prisoners in the region. A handful of bureaucrats and generals has taken the Island hostage and the ransom they demand is death. The majority has shown, on social media, in the streets, and even at the polls that they do not want to continue living under that regime, but citizens lack a single democratic tool to dethrone them.

Those in power, knowing that they are a minority, bet on confrontation, one against the other. They bet on dividing us, on us wearing ourselves out due to our own differences. They patiently wait for us to practice political cannibalism until there is no one left with a good eye.

In the dozens of interrogations I suffered, they rarely asked me questions. They knew everything about me, they had thousands of ways to find out — placing microphones in my toothbrushes, cameras in the toilet. They could threaten and blackmail those close to me until they felt squeezed. Then, why interrogate me?

In all those encounters they invested hours in talking bad about others, in damaging the image of activists like Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara or Tania Bruguera. They aimed to influence my subconscious so I would try to distance myself from them, so I would disagree with their positions and end up making them my enemies.

Those in power enjoy watching social media be the firing squad. And in the crossfire, there is a silent majority that does not know which side to join, disgusted from so much rot. That majority doesn’t find an alternative that seems reasonable and coherent, when faced with the downpour of insults and slogans. But that silent majority, if they decide to no longer be on the margins and rise up, could be a great force.

When this center awakens from its lethargy and takes on a position without fearing the radicals, fundamentalism, it will be folding in on itself to that point on a circle where both extremes meet. And it will be clear that, to those in power, ideology does not matter one bit, they use it for their convenience. Those in power, in reality, do not believe in left or right, but rather, all the opposite.

Translated by: Silvia Suárez for Translating Cuba

Read more from Cuba here on Havana Times

3 thoughts on “Cuba’s Silent Majority

  • Mr. Wiggin is confused. It is impossible to associate Raul Castro Ruz with democracy and even less with “successful democracy”! What “encouragement” did he perceive for Cubans under the dictate of Raul Castro Ruz, who carefully selected and appointed the current First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba and President of the Republic of Cuba?

  • It is good not to become polarized. There are no successful fully right or left countries. Elements of each can be integrated to create a successful democracy.
    To me, the Raul Castro era was encouraging. Ever pragmatic, he admitted that Cuba had to learn – even from capitalists and he acknowledged that reforms were necessary “without haste but without pause”. With prospects of continued evolution, many had hope – and that changes everything.

    But now, Cuba is stalled. Diaz-Canel, we were expecting more. Without hope we are all doomed.

  • The big divide in politics is not between left and right. It is between totalitarian systems, those of Communism, Fascism and Nazism – the latter being a curious mix of the other two – and democracy as defined by the right of all to vote and to do so for political parties or individuals, of their choice.

    With democracy, comes the right for individuality and freedom of expression. That in turn permits capitalist activity, the establishment of private businesses, which as they grow, may employ whatever number of employees required.

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