Cuba, living museum: the international community and the accomplice abandonment of eleven million people. Review and outlook
Inevitably, dealing with the Cuban situation involves such complex and comprehensive aspects that becomes impossible to summarize it in a few lines. However, there is general consensus to explain the beginning of the Revolution, which received a boost from the high corruption level inherent in Fulgencio Batista’s government.
The abundant corruption and the increase in repressive measures ended up imploding the man in uniform’s popularity. Washington -which to a large extent had contributed to his installation- reviewed its supportive position few years later and opted to surreptitiously facilitate Fidel Castro Ruz and partners' work. The United States of America’s international image had started to look contaminated by the ¨spillover effect¨ and, in this scenario, Batista’s close relationship with the heads of the Jewish and Italo-American mafia had a lot to do with. This element from the organized crime (Santo Trafficante, Frank Costello, Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lamsky, among others) was in good terms with the Cuban government regarding the exploitation of profitable businesses in the island, such as gambling and tourism. Indeed, Cuba had become a gigantic brothel for the overwhelmed American citizens whose country laws were very strict. On the other hand, and knowing full well that US government was carrying out a laissez faire policy in view of the activities of the capos and seeing the permissiveness exhibited towards the regime, Cuban society quickly began to protest against batistismo. However, few Cubans imagined that, in a short time, they were going to bump into an irredeemably worse nightmare.
The beginnings of the Revolution. Measures
In its conception -though publicly denied-, the Revolution had a well concealed American approval. The influence and penetration of the revolutionary message came into effect as a result of the enormous dissatisfaction with Batista and the great level of demoralization of the army. Washington, however, could never contextualize these variables properly, and they did not suspect about Fidel and Raúl Castro Ruz’s secret agenda either. In the north, the militar-industrial complex and its associated political figures would have never believed that a territory just a hundred kilometres away from Florida would have dared to divert from capitalism. Shortly after capturing Havana, revolutionaries drew on a compendium of drastic measures, which were justified on the grounds of ordering the nation. Among these initiatives, the standouts were:
* Suspension of the 1940 Constitution, which guaranteed Cuban people’s essential individual rights. The objective became to rule by decree.
* Compulsory nationalization of all enterprises arising from the private sector.
* Detailed inspection of all material spread through the Media.
* Physical extermination of around six hundred supporters of the former regime and imprisonment of one hundred thousand people opposing the Marxist-Leninist programmatic guidelines of the Revolution.
* Closure of all religious schools and immediate expulsion of Catholic Church representatives in the island.
* Abolition of political parties.
* Elimination of private property and the subsequent confiscation of all corporations and foreign-owned property, without compensation whatsoever. It was then estimated that six billion dollars worth of assets and private property owned by US were confiscated.
Fidel and his partisans´ new agenda took US government by surprise, and the episode came to be recorded as one of the most notorious fiascos of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), who failed to anticipate the direction of the new Cuban government. Castro Ruz (who had vowed to stay in office for a short time and initially denied being a communist) assumed the sum of public power in Havana and, understanding the magnitude of the scarce country resources to generate capital, decided to seek financial support in Moscow. Few years later, the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics sent Cuba remittances which annual figures exceeded five billion dollars.
Traditional channels do not usually mention the repeated disagreement among Castro, Huber Matos Benítez and Camilo Cienfuegos. These last two denied adopting the Marxist-Leninist system, and consequences of this disagreement are well known: Matos was imprisoned by Castro’s order, accused of being an accomplice of the CIA and the incipient dissidence. Camilo Cienfuegos Gorriarán was presumed dead as the plane Cessna 310 which had taken him from Camagüey to Havana was never seen again. Although Cienfuegos supported Matos’ arrest, his differences with Castro Ruz’s thought continue to be a source of controversy to this day, while countless theories regarding the disappearance of his aircraft have been outlined. In any case, Guevara de la Serna and Fidel’s path seemed clear: Cuba was definitely taking the Marxist-Leninist repressive and dehumanizing way, in the shape of a ruthless dictatorship. At the beginning of the Revolution, heated counterpoints between ¨el Che¨ and Castro about defining government actions and directing the regime entered hastily to the anecdotes record. It stands out, for example, the little explored Guevara de la Serna initiative to build a close relationship with the People's Republic of China. Fidel's response was reasonable: such a task was impossible, because the Maoist-style communism and the Marxism-Leninism have always been essentially different. For Guevara to understand this essential premise was too much to ask, in virtue of his limited cultural training. Maoism was the USSR true enemy. In fact, under Richard Nixon administration, there were joint war plans between Moscow and Washington involving an attack with nuclear warheads against northern China. The plan was abandoned latter, because a handful of US scientists warned that the fallout would have ended up poisoning Japan’s population as a whole, and with it, the US soldiers stationed on Japanese land bases. Anyway, Castro was not exempt from committing gross errors in interpretation. Despite his high intellectual capacity, he strongly recommended Nikita Khrushchev -on the occasion of a visit to Moscow- that he should strike the continental United States with his nuclear arsenal. Such an eventuality would have meant the complete vaporization of Cuba and its people, a variable that Fidel himself came to regard as "collateral damage": it was necessary to "sacrifice oneself" for the cause. This recommendation served to inscribe the today octogenarian dictator’s name in capital letters on the list of history greatest slaughterer. In this respect, there is more than enough argument to illustrate that Castro Ruz also exhibited serious mistakes when deeply interpreting the scope of US and USSR [or present Russia] relationships: the so-called Cuban Missile Crisis was never actually thought to develop into a nuclear exchange. That scenario was nothing but a close to recreation variant, derived from power distribution between the great powers. Castro's vision did not either consider the countless examples of cooperation between the CIA and the KGB [now FSB, Federal Security Service] and the PGU [Russia’s foreign intelligence agency, nowadays known as GRU], which at times have superseded Machiavellian status and which were coloured with embellishments as pithy as incomprehensible.
Ernesto "Che" Guevara
Ernesto Guevara de la Serna’s case is exciting, if framed within the analysis of theories relating to propaganda and construction, magnification and exacerbation of myths. Without having completed his studies of Medicine in Argentina, he quickly left the country to tour Latin America. Handwritten letters sent by himself to his mother reveal a violent personality, a fierce racism and an extreme and fluctuating emotional stability. In those missives he expressed himself without prejudice and with open and angry contempt for aborigines and homosexuals. In fact, Castro’s regime locked up homosexuals in grim concentration camps where they were subject to forced labor, because they were considered dangerous to the integrity of the Cuban Revolution. Guevara de la Serna not only used to participate actively in summary trials in the island: countless times he pulled the trigger personally. Often, to kill government supporters who did not respect the chain of command.
His tragic end in the Bolivian wilderness has also been a long business. Although there is no evidence regarding that it was Fidel Castro himself who entrusted his elimination, the truth is that the leader did all the necessary for his death finally to take place: "el Che" had become a threat precisely because of his fanaticism. In Bolivia, there still is controversy about whether it truly was the French citizen Regis Debray who informed the CIA -or the Bolivian army- about his exact whereabouts. The story shows that Debray -intellectual defender of the revolution- exhibited a strong friendship with Castro Ruz. The European "managed" to accompany Guevara into Bolivian territory, simulating the need of making a journalistic report of the beginning of the revolutionary path in South America. Finally, he obtained permission from the Argentine to leave the group and their camp. The story goes on with the suspicion that Regis Debray told other channels about Guevara’s presence in Bolivia, and that is how his executioners end up finding him. At least this is the investigation thread on which the Swedes Erik Traik Gadini and Saleh set up their work. It seems that Ciro Bustos was not the true "informer" about ¨el Che¨.
In any case, Ernesto Guevara de la Serna’s tragedy is not only relegated to the events surrounding his death. It is fair to declaim that his end was even sadder, considering that his image has ended as mere merchandising material in the shape of shirts, keychains and other marketable products.
Even though many rescue his legacy (that which preaches about the necessity of never betraying your own convictions), the fact is that such convictions might lead you to a supine state of alienation, and condemned you to die in the attempt. The Argentine writer Nicholas Marquez has written a remarkable book, very harsh, in which the events associated with ¨El Che¨ while he was alive are clearly illustrated (El Canalla. La verdadera historia de "el Che").
Raul Castro’s role, the true architect of the system. Intelligence, counterintelligence and drug smuggling. Nikita Khrushchev’s support to the Cuban regime
The authorship of the phrase ¨Drugs can do more harm to capitalism than nuclear weapons because they can erode it from within¨ is generally attributed to Fidel Castro Ruz, and such attribution is not wrong. However, Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev (USSR premier from 1958 to 1964) was the true strategy’s ideologist, when opportunely he suggested in the Kremlin that the underground movements of Marxist origin around the world should be self-financed with the ¨ Western bad habits¨. The historical context becomes appropriate in order to explain the growth of drug trafficking from a global perspective. But also because, from that moment, drugs smuggling becomes an obliged protagonist in practically every important war conflict, though from behind the scenes. This approach could be labeled as reductionist, if it was not because the illegal drugs trade moves approximately seven hundred billion dollars per year. There are, then, plenty of arguments to blow up the lie that is hidden behind those leaders and officials who declaim that the war against drugs can be ¨won¨.
Anyway, while international experts appear distracted focusing their attention on Fidel’s bad habits and poor health, referring that Raul Castro, his brother, is actually the true catalyst of the Cuban revolution dynamics is avoided. Perhaps who best contributed to denude the personality and real goals of the aforementioned, is Ion Mihai Pacepa, the highest rank intelligence officer who has managed to desert towards the West. Pacepa was born in Romania, and was the head of Romania's secret police (Securitate or DSE, State Security Department). In his own words, he records each opportunity in which he personally met with Raul Castro in Moscow, Havana and Bucharest. This is not irrelevant information, as Pacepa personally took charge of triangulating and organizing funds from drug trafficking in bank accounts belonging to Nicolae Ceausescu, the notorious dictator and slaughterer of the Carpathians. The former intelligence official tells how Raul Castro was introduced to Nikita Khrushchev by General Alexander Sakharovsky, creator of the Communist Romania's espionage structure. Fidel's brother came to make great friends with the then Soviet premier. Khrushchev, in good terms, ordered that Castro was assigned a first line advisor from the KGB orbit. The role of executor will eventually be entrusted to Nicolai Leonov, who at that time was an expert on Latin America from the PGU (Pervoye Glavnoye Upravleniye), USSR foreign intelligence agency. Thanks to Leonov’s good offices, Raúl Castro was able to have intelligence on Fulgencio Batista’s troop movements and weapons reception. Thanks to those valuable data, the Castro brothers and their paramilitary vanguard had more options on the ground, and in 1958, their revolutionary guerrillas captured a rough estimate of fifty Canadian and American citizens who held different jobs in the island. As a result, Batista declared a ceasefire, which was used by revolutionaries to enter significant amounts of Soviet armaments and so turn the swampy war theatre into their favour. Hostage taking also served to freeze aid that the Cuban government was receiving from Ike Eisenhower’s Administration. The Revolution success was assured: the Castros took the country's effective leadership. While Fidel gave the speeches and his image of regime’s strong man was built, Raúl led the Cuban economy, ordered its foreign policy, its trade, its judicial system -prisons included- and its tourism, including hotels and beaches. With property expropriation, the new nomenklatura took hold of the most luxurious properties from the self-exiled upper classes, including buildings belonging to foreign embassies and consulates. Raul -together with Ernesto Guevara- personally organized the summary execution of hundreds of Batista’s police and army officers. The corpses were eventually buried in the outskirts of the city of Santiago de Cuba.
Already in 1959, Vice Premier of the Soviet Union Anastas Mikoyan arrived in Havana, being welcomed by Fidel, Raúl and the brand new advisor from the KGB, Alexander Shitov [alias Alexei Alekseyev; Shitov would also serve as intelligence advisor to the Chilean Salvador Allende’s government in 1971]. But the USSR envoy’s mission in Cuba was clearly outlined: assisting Raúl Castro in his objective to create a "Cuban KGB" and a Soviet-style army. In 1962, Shitov became the Soviet ambassador to Cuba. Just as he arrived, the construction on the island of missile bases capable of carrying nuclear warheads began. It was in 1971, during an official visit of Romanian dictator himself Ceaucesco to Havana, that Cubans and Soviets reached consensus about the creation of financial structures based on drug trafficking. The aim was to use those financial resources to support guerrilla movements in Latin America. Conflicts in the region would worsen as years went by, thanks to the assistance provided by the Cuban DGI (General Intelligence Directorate), which Soviets had helped to develop. In Central America organizations like the Sandinismo (Nicaragua) and the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front or FMLN (El Salvador) gained force. Also with Havana’s support, the Colombian FARC narco-guerrillas took regional relevance. Initially, the motivation of this underground group involved clear ideological purposes, but eventually shifted towards the protection of drug traffickers’ routes: the phraseology and verbiage began recycling to hide the new target. Cubans’ long arm reached Angola, where money from drug trafficking and a significant amount of cuban-sovietic troops and armaments contributed to the destabilization of the African nation, so that the MPLA (Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola) reached power.
In mid 2007, agent Scott Carmichael from DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency, USA) revealed -during a presentation in Washington- that the international espionage network in Cuba ¨is one of the most intelligent and capable ones ever created in the world¨. He warned that the network has a specific target: the United States of America. Carmichael's assertions were not casual: they refer to the famous case of Havana government's spy Ana Belen Montes who -in her role of analyst for DIA- submitted reports to the DGI for years. She was captured by FBI agents a week after September 11th, 2001 attacks, fearing that she could leak information about future US campaign in Afghanistan. Montes affair is the tip of the iceberg of the complex and well-oiled infiltration network that Cuban government has constructed, to Washington’s headache.
Likewise, Scott Carmichael reveals how the espionage structure on the Caribbean island shares top secret information with their counterparts in Venezuela, Syria and Iran. Indeed, the complaints opportunely filed by top Venezuelan military officials shed light on how the Cubans have co-opted the entire intelligence decision-making spectrum at the top of Chavez regime. The network operates as follows: loans that the Bolivarian Republic has granted Cuba are cancelled though barter: Havana compensates those loans by sending medical assistance, social assistance and military advice. Little by little, Cuban officers well-trained in how to take advantage of that ¨assistance¨ cover cling to Caracas’s power and eventually end up running it a piacere.
Carmichael finishes his research work -detailed in his book True Believer- with a rather alarmist sentence: ¨For them [the Cubans], we threaten their own existence, so they have no choice but to infiltrate agents into the government or recruit assets among staff already working for the government¨.
The unexplained origins of Fidel's fortune
During 2005, Fidel Castro was furious after becoming aware of a publication on US magazine Forbes, which ranked his fortune as one of the highest in the world, approaching half a billion dollars. This figure would be later updated, to be placed in around nine hundred million in US currency.
The source of this fortune gave rise to a great deal of analysis and interpretation. With the Soviet Union collapse and the Cold War forced landing -to label it some way-, the billions of dollars that the former ¨Evil Empire¨ annually sent to Castro’s regime evaporated. Cuba only displays value from an important geopolitical situation, but lacks an economy capable of generating capital and creating value. It is known nowadays, for example, that almost all tobacco used in the manufacturing of globally popular puros comes from abroad. Since Cuban economy is visibly poor, and while Havana accumulates large debts to other nations in the region and Spain for loans granted, how can we explain the origins of Fidel’s monumental ¨white¨ personal fortune that he has been able to accumulate?
Definitely, such concentration of funds could not have been achieved thanks to the equal society between the dictatorship and the Spanish Sol Meliá, for the firm headed by Gabriel Escarrer only arrived in 1990, while the total accrued investment declared for hotel ventures does not exceed half a billion dollars. And certainly, information bringing details on Raúl’s accounts is still to be checked.
All this compendium of valuable information also helps to demolish the alleged damage that the so-called "economic blocking" imposed by the United States means for Cubans. Is it possible to support such declamation when the island citizens’ poverty and misery is far beyond the limits of tolerance? An unavoidable conclusion is that the Spanish government and Sol Meliá -among others- are necessary accomplices of the Cuban genocide and Castro brothers’ clandestine activities. Although -legitimate to say- it is understood that neither Aznar nor Rodriguez Zapatero have never been able to do much, because the hotel chain under analysis is part of the Spanish establishment of which Repsol and Telefónica are also part. Therefore, finding César Alierta among the important names that have participated in the early conformation of the group Sol Meliá is not surprising either.
The Cuban society real standard of living
Much has been said about the supposedly exemplary lifestyle of Cubans since the advent of the Revolution, but, ultimately, this promotion has proven to be caused by the continuing propagandistic efforts emanating from Castro’s apparatus. While foreign tourism is carefully "conducted" by the regime’s care takers so that they only witness what the government considers convenient, the fact is that any visitor who dares to explore the real Havana will find an actually bleak prospect. In the famous city’s boulevard, it is always possible to see hundreds of Cubans standing a sort of guard, ready to capture attention from those tourists who may present them clothing, money or food. Of course, others manage to deliver drugs and even prostitution. As a corollary, it has been suggested that Cuban government itself encourages the activity of the so-called jineteras (prostitutes) and the drugs trade. This last factor has become an endemic problem in the island, and it is common to see local police executing drug traffickers in the street in broad daylight: there is always some suggestion about the state not giving an inch when it comes to eliminate competition.
It is an understandable scenario, considering that the average Cuban salary does not exceed twelve or seventeen US dollars per month. In this scheme, it becomes necessary to address the issue of the notorious ¨ration books¨, where Cuban citizens’ consumption of food and essential items for life is recorded. By the way, everything that they can get through this tool observes an appalling quality, with ever growing prices per unit. There is certainly a black market for basic needs, but in these cases, the acquisition cost per item is significantly higher than those recorded in their books. No surprise, finally, that the Cubans any tourist can happen to meet during the stay in Havana are characterized by their confused looks and a virtually demolished psyche. They are like robots roaming heavily through a landscape in full state of neglect.
To further exacerbate the situation, the observer will notice that virtually no one dares to criticize Castro’s regime: if you are pointed out as referring in bad terms to someone from the nomenklatura, you are liable to immediate compliance imprisonment. It happens that in Cuba, even walls have ears. And there are countless cases of relatives who have betrayed their own family members. At this point, it becomes necessary to mention the example of individuals who disappear never to be seen again.
The provision of health services is also a variable widely contaminated by the efficient machinery of Castro’s propaganda. Also, as a result of the former Soviet Union disappearance, the regime has suffered the decline of currency flow that used to be the system’s support. The authorities’ response to this obstacle is to promote foreign tourism to see to their needs and cares in the island, to the detriment of the service which local population receives. For the nomenklatura, foreign currency incomes from this use are essential: the best of health staff and the little technology available for this area is made available to foreign visitors, who pay large sums in euros or dollars to be accepted. On the other hand, different studies reflect the usually poor quality of services received by local residents: chemist’s shops lacking medicine and hospitals in the worst conditions are common place. In this regard, it is interesting to make a note of the good research work done by Peruvian documentary filmmakers, entitled Cuba y los Elefantes. This may be reviewed in chapters on the Internet video channel You Tube (http://youtu.be/EzrwKPQPuT8). The documentary also deals with revealing the remarkable lifestyle enjoyed by the regime’s children: they have well-stocked chemist’s shops, imported cars and they frequent bars and restaurants which have everything the Cuban society as a whole does not know.
Dr. Hilda Molina used to be not only Fidel Castro’s personal doctor, but also the director of the island’s renowned International Center of Neurological Restoration, which currently concentrates its attention on foreign citizens’ recovery services. The doctor -who gave a lecture a few months ago in the City of Buenos Aires at an event organized by the foundation HACER (http://www.hacer.org/)- describes Fidel Castro as brilliant, though she remarks that ¨it was thanks to his sharp intelligence that he has managed to stay at the pinnacle of power for so long¨. On the other hand, she does not save words when describing the resentment and envy that characterize the dictator. ¨Fidel Castro is the person who has robbed us our soul and consciousness. But do not get confused: his ideology is himself.¨
Molina’s concepts are interesting, because -thanks to the usual contact that she used to have with key members from the Communist Party and the nomenklatura- they show details about envy and the confirmed endless infighting among the regime’s leading figures: it is all about ¨pleasing¨ Fidel Castro Ruz. Dr. Molina has also described the stinging reality of medical staff working in the island whom, exploited and underpaid, are forced to work on the basis of high doses of methamphetamine to cope with pressure and poor working conditions involving their daily tasks.
Hilda Molina -who was able to self-exile few years ago- describes the general situation of local people using fine words: ¨We Cubans have been undergoing a long process of mass psychological extortion and self-esteem destruction. All this process has therefore caused the breakage of the human being’s essence. Drug addiction, alcoholism and prostitution are endemic problems in the country. The suicide rate has dramatically soared in recent years. The only solution is to flee. For the world Cuba is a kind of enormous living museum¨. In such statements lies the explanation for that apparent Cuban people’s ¨stillness¨ when trying to promote an effective change in the kind of leadership that oppresses them.
Experts agree that the apparent ¨changes¨ that the Castro dictatorship has begun to advertise through the figure of Raul are just distractive variables for the world’s public opinion. Fidel Castro Ruz’s brother has developed a plan to introduce a falsely conciliatory image of himself when in fact the intricacies and gloomy aspects of his repressive and inhumane real personality are known. It is worth tracing back to an extract from a relatively recent article by Ion Mihai Pacepa -aforementioned former head of the Romanian Securitate- that refers to media operations involved ¨to put up their umbrella¨ facing Fidel’s failing health:
¨Nobody has a clear picture about Fidel Castro Ruz’s health -physically or politically- either within or outside the island. However, something that Raul could perfectly learn from his teachers in the KGB is happening. Leonid Brezhnev [former Soviet premier] died on December 10th, 1982, but the chairman of the KGB, Yuri Andropov, kept his death in secret for several days to win time and consolidate in power. Once at the head of the Kremlin, the cynical Andropov hurried to appear before the Western world as a moderate communist, a sensitive and warm man who allegedly put his hand on an occasional drink of scotch, who liked reading novels in English and enjoyed listening to American jazz. Everything was a lie. Raul Castro may try to appear as a reformer and a pacifist, but Andropov’s secret era has already finished. I expect those who know Raul as much as I knew Nicolae Ceausescu to step forward, strip him politically and show him to the world as he really is: a murderer and an international terrorist who has made an immense fortune by trafficking weapons, drugs and human beings.¨
Anyway, Pacepa most probably has not yet been aware of a new fact, namely that Alejandro Castro Espin -Raul's son- is currently being trained by his father, with the intention of becoming -tomorrow- the heir and successor of the Revolution. Much of this ¨training¨ is being provided abroad, including a necessary step into prestigious universities from the Old Continent.
Opposition to Cuban regime. The role of the Internet
Given the nature and scope of the Cuban espionage long arm, local opposition groups’ chances of expression have been restricted. The peaceful parades staged by the ¨Ladies in White¨ and the spread of the pitiful health conditions of the island's political prisoners have served to forcefully expose the systematic violations to the detriment of Cuban society's human rights.
However, new technologies like the Internet and the social networks are the tools that local society has been able to use more deeply, always with the purpose of making their situation known in the rest of the world. The blogger Yoani Sanchez has become the main referent over the past years. From her opinion space Generación Y (http://www.desdecuba.com/generacionY), she has published an interesting compendium of articles and opinions in which daily hardships of the average Cuban are fully reflected. This material has virtually reached the whole globe, and has even made Sánchez awarded the Ortega y Gasset prize for digital journalism. At present, the head of Generación Y suffers not only from a limited persecution by the regime (limited, because she has gained some notoriety), but also she is prevented from travelling abroad to receive awards or participate in international conferences. The decision is understandable, because she represents a sort of Castro’s Achilles’ heel: her voice must be suppressed at any cost. The example of Cuban bloggers (grouped on the web http://www.desdecuba.com/) is interesting from a sociological analysis. The reason is that their efforts have significantly contributed to demolish the propaganda that the Cuban regime prints for the foreigners visiting the island as tourists. Cubans’ freedom advance on the Internet has permitted to bore through the communication strategy of Havana’s government, with great results. In this sense, the official initiative to limit the access to the information highway to reduce ¨losses¨ is reasonable. While the use of illegal nets in the country is punishable with jail, tourists must pay no less than seven dollars per every thirty minutes of connection and, in all cases, speed connection is extremely slow.
The limited information technology available is, obviously, in Castro’s hands. He uses it regularly in order to drop opinion spaces contrary to their propaganda goals. Any long-term plan which goal is the demolition of Castro’s regime via Internet, as it has been seen in Muslim nations, will eventually become obvious, as there are essential differences when comparing the two scenarios. While in Arab countries which currently observed social unrest, Internet connection existed previously and was handy for the average citizen, the Cuban regime has been concerned about regulating its growth from the beginning, centralizing it. In cases such as Egypt, the government only turned to the disruption of Internet and cell phone services when the opposition messages were already spread. Conversely, in Fidel and Raul Castro’s Cuba the exponential or geometric growth conditions of anti-government communications were never given: the breeding ground never had a chance to be prepared. Summarizing, any effort to undermine the Havana government's response capabilities could not be started from within the country, because it will always be doomed to oblivion. Anyway, any initiative pursuing this goal must begin abroad, in such a way that the quality and redundancy in the dissident messages converge -like oblique lines- to the point where they make contact with the work done from within the island itself. Considering that we are already walking the path of information wars, the Cuban scenario is put forward as a paradigm, in view of its unique characteristics in the communications field. Unfortunately, the so-called anti-Castro efforts have only served to strengthen the regime's strategy. The Cuban approach imposes strict programmatic criteria with clear objectives not in a linear way but based on ongoing adaptation. Precisely the opposite of what government opponents have been doing so far.
The United States of America’s government has not reaped success in the midst of that effort: Washington has mildly participated -lacking real commitment- and becoming, at the same time, part of the problem. In a future scheme of demolition of the apparent Castro dictatorship’s good health, every single protagonist should coordinate efforts not to squander the available assets. Above all, it should be bore in mind that the goal should never divert from the ultimate objective, that is, a real change of government in the island so that the eleven million inhabitants can come closer to -once and for all- a true welfare state.
The prerogative applied in all cases is to have in mind that the Castro brothers have been brilliant when it came to hide their weakness and turn it into a seemingly unbeatable strength. They have understood better than anyone that the best defense is always a good offense. Concerning the Internet and social networks, these tools will continue to represent a key weakness for the self-lofty referents of the regime: despite all the difficulties that exist to spread its use in the island, the inherent speed of such technologies even escapes the possibilities of renewing Havana government’s material. Only by means of synergy of efforts destined to give local population more resources and training to operate them, with programs conducted from abroad and a high dose of international pressure, concrete and slightly acceptable results could be achieved in the future.
Finally, and using a reference closer to strict ethics, it is appropriate to resort to a statement made by the renowned lawyer and philosopher Armando Ribas -Cuban citizen who fled Cuba a few months before Fulgencio Batista’s overthrow, and who currently lives in our country- to the writer of this article: ¨The Cuban problem is not only important for what Cuba represents in itself; but also because it is the typical case in which citizens of any country take for granted a series of rights which they later end up losing. The process that is underway in the Hugo Chávez Frías’ Venezuela may well be repeated in Argentina. Because of this it is of vital importance to pay due attention to the gradual loss of individual freedoms ¨.
Translation into English by Debora Gravano - e-Mail: debora.gravano @ gmail.com
Matías E. Ruiz, Editor in Chief at El Ojo Digital
e-Mail: contacto @ elojodigital.com