University of Ottawa professor Isaac Nahon-Serfaty calls on his country’s government to end its tolerant stance towards the communist Castro dictatorship and stand up for the rights of Cubans.
Canada should end its tolerant stance toward Cuba’s dictatorship
‘Why should Cubans have fewer rights to a freely elected government … and the guarantees of a democracy than Canadians?’
Cuba, the country with the longest dictatorship in the western hemisphere, is for most Canadians a Caribbean paradise of sun and beaches. Before the pandemic, more than a million Canadians visited the island in 2019. The reality for most Cubans is very different. They suffer human rights abuses, live in poverty and, and when trying to protest for freedom, are harshly repressed. According to Amnesty International, the Cuban authorities imprisoned hundreds of Cubans during the protests of July 2021.
The Cuban regime has played a disruptive role in the geopolitics of Americas since Fidel Castro grabbed power in 1958. First, in the context of the Cold War as ally of the Soviets spreading the revolution in Latin American. The cases of Venezuelan guerrillas in the ’60s, the Che Guevara failed campaign in Bolivia, and the influence on the Chilean socialist Allende are the best examples of such tragic interventions.
Second, the role Cuba has played in supporting the authoritarian regimes in Venezuela and Nicaragua. According to a recent report by the United Nations’ Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Human Rights abuses in Venezuela, former officials of the Venezuelan General Directorate of Military Counterintelligence (DGCIM) confirmed that “agents of the Cuban State have instructed, advised and participated in intelligence and counterintelligence activities with the DGCIM.”
Third, Cuba remains a close ally of Iran, Russia and China, relaying the propaganda and misinformation of these governments in the Americas (including Canada) through its television channel Cubavisión Internacional, its news agency Prensa Latina and a network of indoctrinated scholars, journalists and commentators. The political analyst Armando Chaguaceda has qualified this disproportionate influence of communist Cuba as the “complicity of the progressive hegemony.”
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