Elio Delgado Legon
HAVANA TIMES — After the Second World War, the United States emerged as the only great power with the capacity and pretensions for world domination.
The Soviet Union lost 27 million people, including soldiers and civilians, and suffered heavy destruction. Germany, until then the nation attempting to secure world hegemony, was roundly defeated.
Nuclear blackmail, used after unjustifiably dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ensured the United States military superiority. Likewise, its economy was secured by its entering into the war late, after the conflict had already caused widespread destruction across all of Europe.
With this background, the conditions were in place for the US to impose itself on many parts of the world – especially in Latin America, whose docile governments bowed to the will of the nascent empire.
Duvalier in Haiti, Trujillo in the Dominican Republic, Somoza in Nicaragua and Batista in Cuba: these were a few of the old dictators supported by the US government.
The triumph of the armed revolution in Cuba and the progress of the struggle in Nicaragua clearly showed that this was the appropriate route and possibly the only way to bring our oppressed peoples the social revolutions they needed.
By that time, all attempts to win through the ballot box had ended in more or less bloody coups that enthroned cruel dictatorships, all with the unconditional support of the United States.
Imprisonment, torture, political killings and disappearances were everyday in each of those countries dominated by a dictatorship. Political opponents met with any of these fates.
Against this background, one couldn’t think of any another alternative except armed struggle. The last attempt to achieve independence and democracy through the ballot box was in Chile – which ended in a bloody coup, the assassination of President Salvador Allende and the establishment of a vicious fascist dictatorship that cost thousands of Chilean lives.
However, this whole tragic situation ended up having a negative balance for both proponents and beneficiaries of such regimes: the awareness of people, who could now clearly distinguish between their friends and enemies.
The dictatorships were unsustainable given the rejection by the masses, who forced them to give way to democracy. The peoples of the Americas said “never again,” and today the establishment of another dictatorship on the continent is something unthinkable.
Moreover, that increased awareness also brought an alternative political vision that allowed the exploited masses to decipher who are the oppressors and the defenders of the people.
The complete failure of neoliberalism added yet another ingredient to their increasing consciousness. People came to see left governments as the only possible solution to their plight.
The victory of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela (and resulting positive changes for his people) was an example followed by other leaders such as Evo Morales in Bolivia, Rafael Correa in Ecuador, Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua and other leftist and nationalist governments that have clearly shown where that path lies.
The repression of social and indigenous movements in other countries have done nothing but deepen the consciousness of people in their knowledge of where to go and what is needed to pursue the path to peaceful revolution, which previously was not possible but that sooner rather than later will prevail throughout the world.