Unable to defend the massive failures of its socialist revolution or even its very own existence, the communist Castro dictatorship has zero tolerance for dissent. In the past, State Security would simply disappear Cuban dissidents. But with the eyes of the internet and social media on Cuba and the regime’s desperate need to avoid bad PR in an effort to revive its tourism monopoly, that option becomes less attractive. So the next best thing is to just force dissidents into permanent exile and ban them from ever returning to Cuba.
A month ago, Cuban artist Hamlet Lavastida was forced into exile by the communist government, which he accuses of being afraid of those that speak out in defense of freedom.
Lavastida is one of dozens of dissidents and opponents — including artists — of the single-party state banished from their homeland.
“Artists are the best ambassadors of civil rights, of cultural rights, of freedom of expression,” Lavastida told AFP in Berlin, where he now lives.
“When they send you into exile … they think that in the end, you’ll forget all this (but) that’s not the case,” added the 38-year-old.
Forcing opponents into exile is nothing new for the communist government that came to power in the 1959 revolution.
“Now it’s back in force as the pressure mounts and unhappiness has spread to all sectors of society,” said opposition figure Manuel Cuesta Morua, 59.
That dissatisfaction exploded on July 11 as unprecedented anti-government protests broke out all over the island nation.
The response from authorities left one man dead, dozens injured and hundreds in prison.
By its very nature, socialism requires complete conformity with the State in order to remain in absolute power. Those who dare challenge the status quo are swiftly dealt with by the State. This is not a bug of socialism, it’s a feature.