Saturday, February 12, 2011

Mubarak and Castro: The Self-Deception of Dictators

Yoani Sanchez - Award-Winning Cuban Blogger
Posted: February 12, 2011 01:26 PM

Mubarak and Castro: The Self-Deception of Dictators

My guest post today is from Angel Santiesteban, a Cuban writer whose
work has been published in more than 15 countries. His blog from Cuba is
titled, The Children Nobody Wanted.

The Reflection in the Mirror: Castro and Mubarak
by Angel Santiesteban

The newspaper Granma, official organ of the Communist Party of Cuba,
which also controls the rest of the official media as is common in
totalitarian regimes, announces that demonstrations against Egyptian
President Hosni Mubarak are a response to his thirty years in power.

The news seems to mock Cubans. The Castro government is already
threatening to reach double that figure at the helm of the country,
leading to ever growing poverty and scarcity.

Common sense, however, seems to fail authorities because a certain logic
dictates that they shouldn't publish this image of Mubarak--their
reflection in the mirror. Thirty years in power in the Egyptian nation
is bad, but fifty-three years for the Cuban dictatorship is good?

Mubarak declared, according to an interview on the American network ABC,
that his departure from power would lead the country into chaos. "I hate
to see Egyptians fighting among themselves." It's hard to know whether
all dictators are the same by nature or if they studied the same manual.

What's laughable--if such a thing were possible--is that they mock
themselves, they defy the most basic common sense. Mubarak and Fidel
Castro imagine themselves to be gods, chosen ones, capable of guiding
their people if not to prosperity, at least to "dignity." They have no
bread to offer but they try to swindle us with populist ideology. The
tragedy is that the price of their love of power is paid by their people.

Also, recently, we have the "bread intifada" in Tunisia, a rebellion
against a government that, as the official Cuban press describes it, has
been "entrenched in power for 23 years." In Yemen something similar is
happening. In the Ivory Coast the population demands respect for the
outcome of its elections. Sudan votes in a referendum of
self-determination. Peoples, risking their destiny, tired of being
deceived, launch themselves like cannon fodder to impose their will.

Just a few hours ago, national television claimed that representatives
from the Mubarak government were holding talks with the opposition. The
key question is when will the Castros' government accept democracy,
admit the opposition, and stop ignoring plans that could heal the
present national crisis.

Mohammed Bouazizi, the Tunisian whose death sparked the wave of riots
that are shaking the Arab world today, died like Orlando Zapata Tamayo.
Neither of them had any other alternative."

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