By Osmel Ramirez Alvarez
HAVANA TIMES — We Cubans will go through the electoral process now in October with the election of neighborhood representatives, which will end in February next year with the selection of the new national Government. A lot of government propaganda has been created about the subject, highlighting the alleged democratic nature and the “virtues” of Cuban socialism and its political model.
Fidel Castro, the late Commander in Chief, was the main architect in designing this political system which established the Revolution into power. His ideas were given priority when it was created and it truly is a piece of art, for better or for worse.
Just like Guillot became famous for his innovative method of beheading prisoners, Fidel deserves recognition for his exclusive model of stripping the people of their sovereignty, which is even graceful to some extent.
On March 19th this year, Granma published a set of questions and answers about Cuban political and electoral systems. And in a main box, under the heading “Why is Cuba a one-party state,” there was a summary of some of Fidel’s opinions about his controversial concept of democracy without plurality; taken from one of his speeches to the National Assembly of People’s Power.
He said: “(…) the multiparty system is an instrument of imperialism to keep societies fragmented and divided into 1,000 pieces. ,… A country that is divided into 10 pieces is an ideal country to dominate and subject. This is because there is no national will as the nation’s will is broken up into many pieces. The people’s efforts are divided into many pieces. Intelligent minds are all divided; they are divided by the constant and never ending struggle between the fragments of society.”
To start with, “Imperialism” is perfectly understood to be those developed capitalist powers who economically dominate, have political privileges on the international political scene and impose military pressure on the rest of the world’s more disadvantaged countries.
However, capitalist powers, who Fidel accuses of needing the multi-party system to subjugate other countries, not only recommend political pluralism, but also practice it. Such an argument is completely unfounded.
It’s normal that they recommend something that they have already proven to work well. Also, when you know something is a “success”, you are afraid of an ideology being disseminated which threatens this. The truth is that people generally appreciate, defend and are more proud of living in a democracy than of living under a Communist dictatorship.
After five decades of Revolution (with media manipulation, indoctrination, national confinement, experiences of what Communism is, etc.) Cubans take one step outside of Cuba and defame the Cuban system, they disown the Revolution.
However, it’s rare to see a US citizen, a European, Brazilian or someone from any other capitalist country with a democracy, in a better or worse off state, who defames their system and democratic model of politics. They might criticize, but they don’t put it down. They value it like a significant social good. These facts are worth more than a thousand words from any politician who lacks any practical foundation.
Societies aren’t all completely homogeneous in everything, and they are even less so when it comes to politics. Naturally, they are divided into lots of different parts, without ceasing to be a whole which defines and identifies itself.
And if the right of citizens to organize themselves into allied groups and defend their common rights within them isn’t recognized, democracy doesn’t exist. With a one-party state there will always be a dictatorship, because anyone who thinks or wants something different will be subjugated. Not by the “Imperialism” that the Comandante refers to, but rather by the political party in power, which he defends and praises. That’s the truth of the matter.
The quote continued: “…I believe that unity is essential in a society that must face the problems of underdevelopment and develop under the difficult conditions of today’ s world.”
We can deduct from this quote the fact that Fidel believed in a multi-party democracy but not for third world countries, due to its adverse context. But, we need to put this concept of “unity” under the magnifying glass. A one-party political system has never meant unity in any of the countries where it has existed. It means dictatorship, imposition, stripping the people of their sovereignty and crimes against those who oppose it. It’s a formula which has caused more problems than it has resolved.
And the quote ended with these words: “…I am firmly convinced that one party is and must be-for a long historical period, no one can predict how long this form of political organization in what our society needs…”
First of all: maybe he is admitting, without wanting to, the fact that multiple parties is the final objective and the one-party state is temporary, without knowing when the most convenient time to change would be. For a lot of Cubans, maybe the majority, that time is now.
But, who has the power to decide this change? It should be the people, who are sovereign, but it isn’t because of the political design that the late leader passed down to us. Only the party itself is capable of doing this, because it robbed the people of their sovereignty and it has complete control of everything.
This evil system is awfully absurd, just as absurd as these theories which try to back tyranny. Democracy is what Cuba and any other country in the world needs to move forward. It doesn’t promise to fix everything, as if it were a magic wand; but it’s the premise, the starting point and the final objective.
Whoever tells you otherwise is an opportunist, even though they are dressed up as a good Samaritan. There isn’t any other formula.