No Power Can Last Sustained only by Violence

No power endures or is strong or lasting when it is sustained by a bloody repression, and when the people no longer respect or fear it

By Nadine Lacayo  (Confidencial)

The police attacked the peaceful march against the government of Daniel Ortega on Saturday 29-9. Photo: Jorge Torres / EFE

HAVANA TIMES – Voltaire said: “The passion to dominate is the most terrible of all illnesses of the human spirit.” Looking in the dictionary, indeed “passion” is a form of madness: vehement feelings, capable of dominating will and disturbing reason, such as love (for power in this case), hatred, jealousy or intense rage.

Inquiring about madness, I come to the conclusion that it is a disorder or mental illness that is expressed in imprudent, foolish or unreasonable actions that are carried out in a non-reflective or reckless manner. Someone can also be considered as “crazy”, if in their stubbornness they seek different results by always doing the same thing, until they are overcome by the consequences of what they do or order others to do.

This leads me to another phrase of Seneca, a Roman philosopher, which in this crisis we are living maintains a great validity: Power exercised with violence has seldom been of long duration.

In the brutal repression to prevent the march this last Saturday (29/9) in the El Riguero neighborhood, the madness and the excesses of the regime’s violence against all expression of protest were exhibited. And from what I observed, it is to be expected that they will counteract any new form (of protest) invented by the people to continue challenging them. However, they could never be able to subjugate the thoughts and consciousness of the people.

As a result of their madness, fear and self-deception, they are trying to suppress our most elementary civil liberties, crumpling—as when throwing a paper in the toilet—the Constitution. They will continue to set up a de facto police state:

They have murdered, forbade the people from carrying the country’s flag, shot at marches, jailed, persecuted, place government employees with red and black flags every day at traffic circles, and force them to march under a scorching sun, have installed cameras in light poles on every corner, go into churches to spy on priests and parishioners, break into houses to kidnap boys and adults that are “suspects,” search students and professors at universities, and have dismissed primary and secondary school teachers.

They have also threatened employers, prohibited de facto any work stoppages or strikes, search vehicles and cell phones, fired doctors who cared for the wounded, and have also—and this is the last straw—requested the Party militant card from a woman (which she did not have) writhing with pain in order to treat her in a hospital (which in the end they refused). They have forced thousands to hide or flee the country, remove crosses and monuments of those they have killed, burst balloons, among other things.

But, additionally, they already have a secret police in every neighborhood with informants that spy on people, apart from the tapping of phones, they beat journalists, and they threaten and besiege thousands of people. The list is long. And the last step they have taken has been to de facto prohibit the marches and protests by deploying hundreds of police with bombs and rifles, perhaps because they no longer find it cheap (politically) to kill teenagers or maybe because they want the people to react violently. Regarding this, they will remain waiting because the people will not fall into that trap.

Even with everything they have done, they will continue to repress, and will continue to exert—with their new mechanisms—strict control over the people that despise them. There is not the slightest doubt that they can even ban the entry of foreign journalists, eliminate the few independent news programs and newspapers, and decree norms to eliminate the use of the blue and white colors of the flag. This and hundreds of more things they could do. However, they can never count on the “thought police” mentioned by Orwell (in his book 1984), because at this point, it is impossible to subdue the consciousness of the people.

This is the reason why the protests will continue with other civic expressions because we do not expect to be locked in concentration camps because even if that occurs we will continue demonstrating from within. The people will continue unleashing their creativity every day, and in their madness the government will continue to respond with violence, until they finally surrender. We must remember that no power endures, nor is it strong or lasting, when it is sustained only on repression and violence, and when the people completely lose their respect and fear of them.