Wenceslao Cruz explains how Castro‘s anti-Americanism has allowed him to stay in power by winning the economic and military support of the Soviet Union, by distracting the international community away from his regime’s abuse of human rights, and by establishing himself as a David to the Goliath of the United States. After more than half a century in power, other countries are beginning to follow Castro‘s example in order to establish themselves as antidemocratic, autocratic dictators. In Cruz‘s opinion it is up to the democratic world to stand up to the newly risen copycat dictatorships in countries like Venezuela, and to uphold the values of democracy above the economic interests.
Wenceslao Cruz Blanco studied cybernetics and mathematics at the University of Havana. He works as a systems and communications consultant and is a regular contributor to newspapers and journals about the state of affairs of his homeland. He lives in Madrid since his exile from Cuba in 1991.
THE GREEK PHILOSOPHER DEMOCRATES ONCE SAID, everything is lost when evil men serve as an example and good men as a joke. Thousands of years later, it seems that his words are ringing true in Latin America. But no one is laughing.
The example being set by Cuba is how to establish a successful autocratic, antidemocratic government that holds onto power indefinitely. New tyrants are arising throughout Latin America and are modeling themselves after Castro’s regime, while the world remains silent.
ABUSE OF HUMAN RIGHTS
After more than half a century in power Fidel Castro has managed to turn his olive green uniform and unshaven jowls into the symbols of rebellion of an entire continent. His anti-American stance has enabled him to distract the international community away from the violations of human rights that have taken place on a constant basis in Cuba since the beginning of the Cuban revolution.
Anti-Americanism has also allowed Castro to stay in power, both as the favorite and beneficiary of the USSR that granted Cuba economic and military support, and in the eyes of the international community as a sort of David confronting the massive, unbeatable Goliath of the United States. The final goal of Castro’s anti-Americanism, however, is and always has been, to stay in power.
In my point of view, the Cuban regime has carried out an Apartheid against its own citizens far more inhumane and savage than the one employed by the racist government of South Africa years back. And while the international community responded to South Africa with sanctions and protests forcing the human rights violations to stop, Cuba has been met with nothing but silence.
Even the United States has paid almost no attention to the abuses of Castro’s regime, inefficiently and inadequately confronting the tyrannical regime, and ignoring its anti-American stance.
Problems, when not solved, are bound to recur, and in Latin American new tyrants are coming to power and using conflict with the United States as their justification.
Thanks to the continued silence of the international community, it has been relatively risk-free for Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez to establish himself as a dictator. And instead of heeding the warnings of the United States that Venezuela could be a possibly dangerous and destabilizing force in its region, the world has acted as allies to this enemy of freedom and democracy by selling it weapons, planes, and warships.
It appears that the values and principles of democracy have taken a backseat to the economic interests of our time.
Chávez meanwhile, is quickly following the same strategy that Castro used half a century ago, by calling for unity against the United States and looking for allies who despise the values of democracy. For those of us who suffered Cuban dictatorship, what is currently taking place in Venezuela is looking painfully familiar.
ABANDON AND NEGLECT
The countries that defend democracy as a successful form of stability and prosperity must recognize the danger of antidemocratic proliferation throughout Latin America via the regimes of Cuba and Venezuela.
It may not be our role to use force to impose democracy on the dictatorships of the world, but it is also not ours to arm them so that they may keep themselves in power, and threaten and destabilize their neighbors.
The abandon and neglect that Cuba has suffered for over half a century by the majority of the democratic world, is taking place again with Venezuela. This is an error, which we cannot afford to repeat, one that will not only bring suffering to the Venezuelan people, but to the whole of mankind.
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