Raul Castro put his son Alejandro (right) at the head of what he called the Defense and National Security Commission. In between is Raul’s grandson and personal bodyguard Raúl Guillermo Rodríguez Castro. File photo: (Cubanet)

By Yunior García Aguilera (14ymedio)

HAVANA TIMES – If we consider that the security of any country is based on the notion of stability, peace, development, as well as the strategies to achieve these objectives, there is no doubt that the authoritarian powers of the island pose the greatest threat to national security.

This concept appeared in the United States shortly after the end of World War II. In the context of the Cold War and in the face of the threat of nuclear weapons, the term focused on prevention, on the ability to foresee danger and strategies to mitigate its effects. Over time and as globalization erodes borders, the term has acquired other connotations.

Today, a state’s national security does not only depend on external threats. Included in this concept are ordinary delinquency, mafias, environmental risks, pandemics, catastrophes or uncontrolled migrations.

In Cuba, Raul Castro placed his only son in what is called the Defense and National Security Commission. As usual, none of the delegates asked uncomfortable questions and no one questioned whether placing Alejandro Castro Espín in this position on a whim was in the real national interest or only to do with having a colonel with the last name Castro dutifully overseeing (with his one eye) the monarch’s sacred family security.

It is extremely difficult to define the Cuban system. It’s not communist because communism doesn’t exist, pure fiction, something that has never been nailed down anywhere on the planet. Socialism, on the other hand, has so many definitions that it would be vague or imprecise to describe Cuba as a socialist state, especially considering that on the Caribbean island, workers are not a force with a political clout, nor have the opportunity to propel change in any way.

This small portion of the world is a territory controlled since 1959 by a clan of individuals who have monopolized decisions, development strategies and the notion of national security. Since then, Cuba has remained under the yoke of a gang that has used the ideologies of the day to justify its empowerment. This caste has already failed precipitously in the economic development of the country, the conquest and guarantee of individual and collective rights, the well-being of the population and even the survival of the State.

The situation becomes more complicated when the chiefdom, self-legitimised as a result of historical events, biologically disappears, in addition to the elimination of its contrarians or the best press a generation has had. But they were replaced by a band of bureaucrats with no caption. The substitutes (tombs in guayaberas) do not appear in the history textbooks read by school children, nor have they worked a single day of their life, and no dove has ever rested on their shoulder. Forced replacements haven’t inherited the charisma of their role models, they can’t count on popular support, they don’t even get the benefit of the doubt.

The current situation in Cuba is the worst in decades because, beyond the inflation, the lack of bread or the 6 p.m. blackouts, people no longer want to be silent. We are the Latin American country with the most political prisoners, we are at the bottom of most development lists and we compete with the worst countries in the ranking of human rights violations.

However, the gang that recently moved to Havana’s upscale Siboney neighborhood refuses to accept democratic solutions. They continue to blame a “blockade” that crumbles every time a Cuban buys “Made in the USA” chicken from a store with USD prices. They insist on the threat of foreign military intervention, which even the most recalcitrant opponents in Miami completely reject. They repeat like parrots that all manifestations of discontent are paid for by the CIA, which must be bankrupt with so many scores to settle. Diaz-Canel team officials implore ordinary citizens to sacrifice themselves, stammer slogans that sound like tongue twisters, demand “creative” resistance. They call on people to endure the slaps of the police, the beatings of 11-year-old girls, and all for a bright future that no one believes in.

Singer-songwriter Silvio Rodríguez was right when he predicted that the people would eventually confront the government. He did it with flowers, songs. . . or stones. Tomorrow could be worse. The main threat to national security is the system itself.

Translated by: Silvia Suárez for the translation of Cuba


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