Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Post-Castro Democracy?

Post-Castro Democracy? / Regina Coyula
Regina Coyula, Translator: Unstated

Will a change bring us democracy? Change is a process, although some
people don't even see a leaf move. But where that change will take us is
unknown, and when I see our General-President visiting Vietnam, China
and Russia, I feel an involuntary shudder.

The only thing left of socialist Asians is the name. There's a lot of
rough capitalism, you never hear about the dictatorship of the
proletariat there; the dictatorship is of the only party, quite
pragmatic, that tells its citizens: Enrich yourself if you can, let me
take care of politics. They reprimand their dissidents in a low profile
way and everyone's content.

The Russians "took off the mask" a while ago, but as they are now
anxious to regain hegemony and oppose the United States and, commonly,
the enemies of my enemies are my friends. Or my allies, but perhaps it's
best not to exaggerate.

And meanwhile, what's happening at home? It's like The Silent Comedy:
the Keystone Cops watch the front door while the thieves slip away with
the loot out the back. Here Marino Murillo with his economy of stunting
the bonsai of private enterprise so it doesn't grow, while the managers,
directors and all the diverse fauna collect all the wealth for the "day
after," and the most impatient for right now, but they keep it elsewhere.

"Our working people" as the official propaganda loves to say, are
conditioned by the manipulation of information. They've been inculcated
with a fear of change, in that their situation always worsens. Lately
when I travel by bus, in taxis, hitchhiking, I've talked with doctors,
nurses, technicians, patients and their attendants, legal and illegal
vendors; I've felt the exhaustion before an emergency situation that for
most of them is their whole life, but I have also felt a caution
bordering on fear to name who is responsible, or to verbalize the desire
for change. No one had what used to be known as "a combative attitude,"
nor did I ever stumble on some believer in Raul's reforms, those who
would, with the enthusiasm of the first days, say the same things now.

It seems I'm getting away from the theme of democracy, but democracy is
not created by spontaneous generation. People will not have the capacity
to make a spontaneous social demand their own, people who will believe
any mobilization to be sterile, people who will feel disposed to break
the law for economic advantages but not for political improvements.

I don't like it but that's what I see. Therefore, the stronghold of
values that may exist in the family, in civil society, in certain
schools or work places, is frankly a disadvantage with this morality of
survival more suitable for the postwar period, than for building a
better society.

I return to my original preoccupation. In China or Russia there will be
change, but not democracy. But there's always the imponderable.

July 16 2012


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