Dissection of a Tyranny (Part VII)
by Jose Luis Garcia Paneque
Without a doubt, Fidel Castro is a person with a very contradicting personality who evokes strong emotions. We must not argue, or deny, some things which his followers and some bohemians who still believe in the “revolutionary dream” attribute to him. But what nobody can deny is that Castro is a dictator.
It’s a real shame that humanity has not learned from the lessons of History, and that despite so many failures we continue to fall for the same traps of populist and sweetened discourses on behalf of the “rebels”.
David Hume already mentioned it. “We know that tyrants produce rebels and throughout history we find that when the rebels triumph they are susceptible to becoming tyrants themselves”.
Following our own series today we will compare another postulate of Saint Thomas of Aquinas with the reality of what has been installed in Cuba which can’t be described as anything else but a tyranny of “rebels”.
“In order to sustain a tyranny, it is not necessary for a tyrant to appear as a cruel person before the eyes of his subjects, for if he does then this will awake feelings of hate among them and it could possibly lead to an easier uprising”.
From his very first discourses Fidel Castro spoke with a compulsive tone about the “inevitable revolution” needed to overthrow a dictatorship, and step by step he started radicalizing the process by promising deceitful things, promising a “Revolution as green as the palm trees” and “general and democratic elections for public positions 18 months after”.
Barely two years had passed when he declared the socialist inclination of his regime. Like a good opportunist he took advantage of the popular indignation of the happenings which occurred in the Airports of San Antonio de los Banos, Ciudad Libertad, and Santiago de Cuba on the eve of the Bay of Pigs invasion.
The Castro discourse began to change when he started to successfully trick people with promises of a better life whilte at the same time he was eradicating all traces of freedom for Cubans. Those who are older can probably remember that as time passed, the slogan of the country changed to “elections for what?” and the country remained without a constitution until 1976 when there was already nothing left and promises just morphed into more slogans like “defense of Revolution and Socialism” proclaiming a Socialist Constitution.
The Agrarian Reform was one of the first sweet lies. In truth, it did not end with the large estates owned by a single landowner, and they also did not give land to Cuban peasants. Only less than 20% of cultivable lands were given to peasants. The rest of the lands ended up being large estates under the ownership of one larger person- the State. In this case, the lands became completely unproductive. More than 70% of the state lands are infested with an overabundance of Marabu weeds and have been classified as “idle”.
Another populist component of the “Revolution” was the free education, which already existed decades before. It could have been argued that the free education being provided was not the most advanced but it was fit for the period. What the Cuban regime did was to eliminate private schools and impose a single education system for the country. This helped him uniform society through the use of a completely ideological method. In his name they have committed, and continue committing, the most immoral crimes. Applying this new education to the masses killed its quality and today it has continued to follow this path.
Castro’s discourse also applied a fourth element to try and gain sympathies: the right to employment, also consecrated in the current laws. But that supposed right led us to a society absent of incentives which took us straight into poverty, destroying a culture of work ethic. Applying rights without providing duties is one of the worst forms of populism and contributed to the material and spiritual destruction of a hardworking people.
After more than 5 decades of totalitarianism, now it turns out that there is a surplus of more than 1 million and a half Cuban workers within the governmental structures, which is the main employer of the country.
Unfortunately, little is learned from past failures and the populist discourses once again achieve to fool people with false promises and a large dose of paternalism which is paid at freedom’s expense.