Looking Over the Wall from Havana

Luis Miguel del Bahía

HAVANA TIMES — It may just be how the victors portray things, or West Germany may have actually been a bastion of freedom and a bright-colored world. Footage from the time shows East Germans enthralled by everything that took place on the other side of the wall.

If we discard the first hypothesis, we would have to ask ourselves whether things in the east were so gray and whether the west was actually a paradigm of freedom. Today, I feel the opposite of what I once felt and think of Havana as something similar to East Berlin.

Countries that present themselves as champions of democracy and civil liberties invalidate their own discourses with their own political praxis.

The two sides of the wall. Ilustration by Manuel Herrera
The two sides of the wall. Ilustration by Manuel Herrera

When I look over the wall at the West today, I see a panorama that is completely gray, a place where, in the best of cases, capitalist exploitation and the consumption of material goods prevails and anything that threatens the machinery is suppressed. As a lover of philosophy, I couldn’t be more opposed to this situation.

In the worst of cases, it is a world characterized by evictions, the monitoring of citizens, the repression of political rallies, the violation of inalienable rights and other abuses. Hell, it’s the spitting image of what was East of the Wall.

How could the West turn into the very thing it once combatted?

5 thoughts on “Looking Over the Wall from Havana

  • “In 1999, she failed in her legal attempt to sue the German government
    for €60,300 of property confiscated following reunification. In 2001,
    her appeal to ECtHR failed.[8] She receives a survivor’s pension and the old-age pension of the German old age pension insurance federation.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margot_Honecker .

    “Good that the wall is no longer there” Roberto,Yáñez, Honecker’s grandson.


  • Luis, take another look “over the wall”. It seems that you failed the notice the biggest difference between what exists in totalitarian regimes and what is the reality in free and democratic societies. That difference being choice. While it is true that materialism and government surveillance and financial inequality are all increasing rapidly here on my side of the wall, the truth is that I have a choice to insert myself in these struggles or not. If I want to live an alternative way of life, that is a choice I can make for myself. As it relates to Cuba, most Cubans have no choice. They must daily insert themselves in the struggle to “resolve” to find food and clothing. If not, they go hungry.

  • Those who established the wall were practically red lacquered Nazis.Without offical racism. But the rest was very similar to Hitler. Look at, the SED-bitch Margot Honecker who gets still a lavish pension payd by the capitalistic Germany of today. I think she has no rights at all to get nourished by Germany’s taxpayers. It would be much better, if she should get the same amount of care as German unemployed persons getting after two years of unemployment.
    It’s a fraction what German taxpayers spend on the spouse of the former dictator of East Germany. Do you think those political gangsters has had erver the idea to
    sponsor their enemies?

  • Your post can be broken down to that one very powerful question you asked: “who built the Berlin wall and which way were the machine guns pointed” .

    …a very thorny question for the communist apologists on this site.

  • Luis, your view is distorted. Where do you get your information? You engage in a sloppy piece of moral equivalence when you declare the countries of the West as guilty as East Germany or Cuba when it comes to respecting freedom and human rights.

    The West is far from perfect, yet it does allow freedom of speech, freedom of thought, freedom of assembly, freedom of association and freedom of religion. Our rights and freedoms are enshrined in constitutions and when governments or officials violate those laws, they are almost always held accountable, through the courts and through the ballot box. People are free to criticize their governments and have the rights to seek redress for wrongs.

    Yes, the West is highly materialistic in many respects, but nobody forces the people to buy this or that. Many people in the West freely opt out of the excessive commercialism and live far more spiritual lives than your limited perspective takes in.

    Answer this simple question: who built the Berlin Wall and which way were the machine guns pointed?

    The USSR & the East German State built the Wall and the machine guns were used on ordinary, unarmed East German citizens attempting to escape the Communist dictatorship.

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