With the gulf between the government and the Cuban people growing ever wider, we may be witnessing the last days of the communist Castro dictatorship’s 63-year-long reign of terror.
Protests in Cuba: ‘The rift between the regime and the people is widening, the circumstances for a total breakdown are in place’
Three analysts offer DIARIO DE CUBA their viewpoints on the most recent demonstrations: ‘People have learned to stop being mere populations, and are starting to be citizens.’
The most recent protests in Cuba demonstrate a worsening split between the regime and the people in terms of the former?s legitimacy. Three analysts consulted by DIARIO DE CUBA agree on this, in the wake of demonstrations generated by an ongoing crisis that has become ingrained and exacerbated by the collapse of the national electro-energy system and the consequent blackouts.
Political scientist and historian Armando Chaguaceda points out that, although “it is necessary to have real data on the level of support for the Government to have a well-founded opinion,” there are signs of a rupture.
“What is evident, in a country that criminalizes dissent, where a new Penal Code has been approved (which supports this criminalization), where there are more than 1,000 people imprisoned for demonstrating, is that there is a high and growing level of rupture on the level of legitimacy.”
“Legitimacy is something that has been greatly eroded. You see people admonish officials, they don’t believe them, they mock them, knowing the cost of this: repression, which is what has increased the most, ” says Chaguaceda.
“Basically, there is a growing level of rupture, of disconnection between the government and a large portion of the people, although that is a diffuse category. Part of the population, whether for ideological reasons, or benefits, continues to support that government, but I think there is a much greater part that denies its legitimacy,” he says.
According to Chaguaceda, “the electro-energy crisis itself will not lead to an overthrow of the regime, because that requires other factors, more external pressure, fissures within the (Castroist) elite, more coordination of the protests, but all these elements add up to a crisis, to a model that is exhausted.”
He stresses that Cuba is seeing “a repertoire of protests, the banging of pots and pans, the chanting of slogans, and blockades in the streets, typical of popular protest worldwide and in Latin America that (Cubans) are incorporating” and that “are, nevertheless, still peaceful.”
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