Cuba, political harakiri in the name of art: San Isidro betrayed.
If the Minister of Culture, Alpidio Alonso, really believes that they have “enough strength to talk about the most difficult issues,” why then don’t they say that the Communist Party of Cuba plays in Cuba the same role in terms of power that the Catholic Church played in feudal times?
Isn’t it time for this regime to make its own government secular and transitory, not in order to put another feudalism with a different political creed, but to make any party that takes power transitory and secular?
When the minister of culture, Alpidio Alonso, and Abel Prieto tell us that “no one but them wants changes” they say it as if those who think differently from them were or could be in the same position of power as they are. That is like saying to the slave Hatuey:
“Look, we are here for changes too, and we respect that you are different, but for as long as you do not question our slavery system because after all without us the people (the slaves) would be a mindless mob who do not know how to organize themselves.”
Of course, they would never say that but having the audacity to say that they are and have always been for changes from the position of power they have and without giving anyone else a chance to share that power, all the changes they talk about are simply demagoguery from that power.
One of the participants said:
“Cuba has to be a parliament within a trench. (…) We cannot lose the ability to be that parliament, even in trench conditions.”
These words only make sense in a society whose ideology and politics are not only militarized but whose politics are in a state of police siege. This, whichever way we look at it, is deeply undemocratic.
For more than five hours, a group of young creators and artists met at the Abelardo Estorino theater of the Ministry of Culture of Cuba to “dialogue” with the authorities of the Ministry of Culture of Cuba.
The journalist and writer, José Ernesto Nováez, said:
“I don’t think there is a cultural leader in this country who doesn’t understand the importance of dialogue. Which does not mean that it is always done (…) But we cannot lose the perspective that this is not a pure debate. I always agree within the principles of a sovereign and socialist Cuba ”.
This journalist is either incredibly naive or simply absolutely believes in the Cuban communist regime because he has never exposed his mind to another way of thinking or to any other valuable moral judgement of society than his own. Let’s say, for example, the term sovereignty, independence, freedom, equality and many others have a universally recognized meaning in every corner of the planet.
When this journalist tries to attribute to the term “socialist” the same universality as the term sovereignty, he does it, and he can only do it from a position of flat ignorance or cynicism. Historically, it is known that the word “socialist” and “sovereignty” do not share the same universality. Wherever you visit in the world you will find that sovereignty is something that a large part of all cultures and countries share and consider as a legitimate universal right.
If we make the same visit around the world wherever we visit we will find that very few share the idea of socialism as a legitimate universal right. It is clear that socialism is not a legitimate universal right. It is a sign of moral and political insolence that this journalist joins the troupe of the Cuban communist regime by putting socialism and sovereignty as if both were equally universal inalienable rights when very few or no one in the world recognizes such equality.
And then the Minister of Culture himself, Alpidio Alonso, tells us:
“We have enough strength to hold all the meetings that are necessary, to talk about the most difficult issues (…) we have to be able to design spaces for dialogue that are increasingly effective and that serve to transform reality (…) always with the premise with which Uneac was founded, that defending culture is defending the Revolution ”.
It is shocking that Alpidio Alonso said that “we have enough strength to talk about the most difficult issues” and at the same time finished the sentence saying, “culture is defending the Revolution.”
Historically, the only societies where everything has been militantly tied to and linked to the state and politics have been feudal societies. Saying that “culture is defending the Revolution” is very similar to saying in feudal times, culture is defending Catholicism.
Today the church is separated from the state in almost all countries. And here the problem is not whether it is Catholicism or Socialism, the real problem is that a single ideology or politics should not be allowed to be in control of the political and economic power of a society. This should be a universal principle as it was in relation to any religion after the French Revolution.
Culture should not and cannot be defined as defending the revolution simply because the revolution is first and foremost a political-economic phenomenon while culture, although connected and interrelated with political and economic processes, has its own independence from politics. Only in feudal and totalitarian countries can such mental processes make sense, where everything is necessarily linked to politics.
If the Cuban communist rulers and officials were really undergoing changes, they would begin to make viable the possibilities for independent organizations in Cuba to be freely financed and helped not by the “Yankee enemy” but by entities and organizations that also think differently from the Cuban communist regime.
However, such funding should not be given with the intention of destroying the Revolution but simply to peacefully oppose the Communist Party of Cuba. It is inadmissible to say that opposing the PCC is opposing the Revolution or the Cuban people if the concept of the people in any other nation in the world is beyond a single political creed. What is beneficial to the Cuban people cannot be defined solely by the Communist Party of Cuba.
If the Minister of Culture, Alpidio Alonso, really believes that they have “enough strength to talk about the most difficult issues,” why then don’t they say that the Communist Party of Cuba plays the same role in terms of power that the Catholic Church played in feudal times? Isn’t it time for that regime to make its own government secular and transitory, not in order to set up another feudalism with a different political creed, but to make any party that takes power transitory and secular?
The current government of Cuba cannot question itself or allow others to question it without automatically not implying for them to question the Cuban people, and since they would not allow it, by extension, no one can question them. And there is only one reason for it. The Cuban government believes that as a government it is the set of all groups of Cuban society, it is believed to be the Tower of Babel, and worse still, they do not speak about it not because they cannot speak but because if they speak they know and fear that they would fall in no sense and in paradoxes whose only solution is to allow other social groups to decide the fate of the rest of the Cuban social groups. It’s that simple.
The problem with the Cuban communist dictatorship is that they believe they own the knowledge of the whole or the unity of the whole of the Cuban people. As a result of this direct identification between the whole (the Cuban people) and its representation or representatives (the dominant regime) to question that dominant regime is to question the Cuban people. They do not want to be called a dictatorship, they have no ears for it since to call them that would be absurd considering the great popular support they have.
However, while it is true that there are historical moments in the evolution of any society in which the totality of it is identified with one of its parts simply because this part has managed to galvanize the interests of that great majority. Even so, nothing is written in stone, and what is also becomes eroded by the wind of history and not necessarily for bad outcomes but also for progress.
The currently dominant political forces in Cuba are regressive no matter how revolutionary they try to appear. Those same forces were the ones that have broken the dialogue with the protesters in the Ministry of Culture. The official press in Cuba and the Ministry of Culture declared that: “Those who asked for dialogue break the dialogue.” However, the protesters did not change their conditions, but raised the level of their demands as a result of the historical deception to which they have been subjected in previous “dialogues”.
Even if we leave that past behind, there is something that is not congruent in the refusal to dialogue by the Ministry of Culture. A dialogue is broken when one of the sides stops proposing an option other than the one they just rejected.
It was the Ministry of Culture that offered no other option in relation to the one it rejected. Therefore, who has broken the dialogue was the Ministry of Culture. Otherwise, his response would have been to still be open to dialogue, but under mutually negotiable conditions for both. But no, the Ministry of Culture was not willing to accept sacrifices from both sides, and that is a clear sign of breaking the dialogue.
But we return to the usual question. Why is the Ministry of Culture not willing to accept sacrifices on their part in a hypothetical future opening of the dialogue if the opposing party is willing to accept sacrifices in their interests as well?
The answer is very clear. Neither of them believes that they can coexist in government unless one destroys the other. This is the key problem and both are responsible for this impossibility of coexistence.
If the opposition in Cuba geared their political opposition to a genuine coexistence of the communist and anti-communist orientation without the communist or anti-communist meaning destroying their opponent institutionally and financially, a peaceful transition to a truly democratic Cuba would be possible.
As long as both ask for their heads and put terrorist actions of violence and ideological actions of disagreement on the same level, the only solution will continue to be to remove by force with the use of foreign military action.
I do not believe in this last option, not only because I do not accept it morally but because I believe that it would be a Pyrrhic intervention that would bring the same or more chaos to ordinary Cubans.
Therefore, the best option continues to be to maintain a dialogue with those who do not agree with the dominant policy in Cuba and to not continue taking them as criminals or mercenaries.
Many Cubans have been accomplices of what we have in Cuba as a government, therefore, an effective “dialogue” is not so much with the dominant power but with and among us Cubans inside and outside the island.
The more that dialogue between Cubans spread, the more the existing power will need to dialogue with a growing popular force. There is still a lot of fragmentation in the Cuban forces opposed to the current regime and there is a lot of forced and paranoid unity in the forces that support that dictatorship.
Thus, at the moment, I do not believe that anything concrete can be done that does not dissolve in the same: the existing power is going to recycle everything for the benefit of itself.
Political lessons that can be learned from the San Isidro Movement.
1- That the Cuban communist regime will always connect all political opposition with the United States and will always take all domestic civil protests as foreign intervention.
2- That the political opposition has never had significant popular support, therefore, the political opposition has to go beyond “art” and “intellectuals”, and address more to the Cuban people as a whole.
3- That the political opposition has never had the official support of any sector. Since there is a bust of Fidel and communist paraphernalia in all Cuban institutions, the only decent morality in Cuba, officially, is communist morality. The official support to the political opposition will be a late process given the state of communist indoctrination in which the entire country finds itself.
4- That the political opposition has no other option but to receive financial and moral support from abroad, and that to consider it “foreign interference” is simply moral impudence of the communist regime that does not allow the institutional development of voices opposed to the ruling party.
5- That the political opposition cannot try to make a clean slate in its demands, since it does not have the infrastructure for a replacement of such magnitude. Only sufficient popular support would allow such a thing.
6- That political demands cannot be presented under the cover of art or any other profession but as citizen demands, that is, political demands, otherwise, the opposition will continue to go around the bush and not take the root of the problem: The Cuban communist regime does not peacefully accept institutionalized opposing voices in society.
7- That the Cuban judicial system is arbitrarily and abusively linked with the official policy of the country when it should be independent or at least try.
8- That a transition to a free society in Cuba is going to happen with the communists in power, after all, they have already betrayed their own values at their convenience. Like it or not, the opposition will have to work with the communists.
9- Remember, once in power, the rulers do not stay in power fundamentally by or as a result of their ideas, very few do. Therefore, power must be eroded not with the power that one does not have (ego impulses) but with the real power that one can gain, not among those already in power, but with the power granted among those who the current power oppresses, the people.
10- That the final objective is not to remove the communists from power once and for all, but to work with them in the management and exercise of power for the mutual benefit of the Cuban people.