Cuba’s Dictatorial Triumph: On the Backs of Submissive Neighbors
Even the Last Bastion of Opposition, the United States, Is Softening
When assessing the current state of radical collectivist and authoritarian governments in the continent, there is no doubt that the Cuban regime is enjoying one of the most favorable periods of its long history. The governments of Ecuador, Bolivia, and Nicaragua have also achieved high growth rates, and long periods in political power, but the regime headed by Raúl Castro today has achieved more than any of them.
In addition to maintaining Castro’s dictatorship in times of transition and improving the always-critical condition of its economy, it has enjoyed an unprecedented level of power and political influence in the region.
This is largely thanks to the politically submissive, cash-rich administrations of Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela. They were the ones who implemented the “revolutionary integration” project, devised by Fidel Castro in the 1960s and materialized in organizations such as the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA).
Due to the enormous amounts of aid granted to Cuba and other international partners, in addition to wasteful and corrupt business initiatives conducted with public and private sectors of these “strategic friends,” Venezuela is going through the worst economic and debt crisis of its modern history.
Without sufficient reserves or the financing options it had in the past, it has become the country with the riskiest investment climate in the world — surpassing Argentina and Belarus on this score.
The Second Presidential Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) held in Havana proved beyond any doubt the strength of the Castro regime’s political influence, and the solid support it enjoys from virtually all Latin-American governments, as well as the heads of the Organization of American States (OAS) and the United Nations (UN).
This international support and current political influence are also evidenced by the European Union’s recently adopted policy of openness towards Cuba.
Despite the intense political persecution against Cuban dissidents, the EU Council of Foreign Ministers just agreed to launch negotiations for political dialogue and cooperation with Cuba, in which the regime’s political opponents will not participate. The objective is to support Raúl Castro’s reforms — which have been few and slow — and a supposedly greater respect for human rights that in practice is nonexistent.
As recent as January of this year, more than 1,000 political opponents were arrested in Cuba.
To make matters worse, most people in the Americas and Europe seem to support political moderation and coexistence with the dictatorial regime.
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