Saturday, March 26, 2011

Erasmo: A Test for Dictatorship

A Test for Dictatorship @ Havana Times

March 26, 2011 |By Erasmo Calzadilla 

This post is concerning a TV program whose theme was the media war against Cuba. In it, Yoani Sanchez and other bloggers were presented as mercenaries on the payroll of the empire.

If you want to know if a government is dictatorial, ask its representatives if there are or are not dissidents.  If you get a negative answer, the more absolute it is the more it's a symptom that things are pretty ugly.
How is it possible then, at this stage of the game, that these types of functionaries continue repeating the same thing?  Have they no shame?  Don't they realize that by doing this they're putting nails in their own coffins?
The most normal thing in the world is to have dissidents.  It's logical.  It's what should happen so that things function.  It's characteristic wherever one wants there to exist a healthy diversity of opinions and points of views.
Where there are no dissidents it's because they're murdered or gagged them whenever they open their mouths, because even bees and ants should have dissidents.
What's more, we should all be dissidents, each having a varying position on one or another measure that reigns in society.  And we all should be struggling for the recognition of our differing point of view.
For some time, government spokespeople and others who agree with their positions came out accusing Yoani of being a mercenary of the empire, paid through the many international awards she receives, even the highly recognized Ortega and Gaset prize.
I don't know if the recognitions were fair or not, but to accuse someone in front of the TV cameras like that requires that they should at least present some proof.
Listen!  If you don't want them to call you a dictator then don't do those types of things.  It appears that either they've gone completely crazy or they believe that the people of Cuba are just plain stupid.
I know very little about what Yoani, Pardo and the rest of the bloggers do, but I think that any government in the world would be proud to have dissidents as peaceful and respectful as them – so different from what terrorists represent.
But there's another aspect: When they mention Yoani on the one hand, and the bloggers who support the government on the other, they reduce the whole blog sphere to this dichotomy, but there's actually a rich and diverse world thanks to bloggers.
I could cite, for example, leftwing bloggers like some of the ones who write for this web page.  The left bloggers remain essentially invisible because to the authorities it's "not convenient" that the world know how much socialism itself has been betrayed.  What's more, the social activism these bloggers invite could end up stripping the ruling elite of the privileges they enjoy. 

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