Questions for Raul Castro

Thursday, December 19, 2013
Excerpt by former Cuban diplomat and social-democratic critic, Pedro Campos, in Havana Times:

The Needless, Counterproductive Repression of Cuban Dissidents

I am going to pose a series of questions to President Raul Castro, the members of the Politburo, the generals of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR) and Ministry of the Interior (MININT), those who directly participated in these repressive acts and to share some general opinions about these events.

What does the Cuban government achieve by breaking into people’s homes, imprisoning, kidnapping and even beating people who sought to celebrate Human Rights Day peacefully in Cuba? What benefit is derived and what good does it do its international credibility.

I believe it could have gained a lot more had it allowed these peaceful celebrations to take place.

What is the government afraid of? That a few hundred people talking, listening to music and perhaps yelling anti-government slogans are capable of mobilizing thousands or perhaps hundreds of thousands of people, who will support them and overthrow the government in a massive, popular uprising? If that were the case, it would be a tacit acknowledgement of their political defeat.

Doesn’t the Cuban government realize that, in the age of the Internet and smart-phones, when it’s no longer possible to keep such incidents from being divulged around the world, its repressive actions serve only to bolster the national and international prestige of these dissidents?

Should the slogan “the streets belong to revolutionaries” be made a reality by securing massive support from the people through popular measures, or by cleaning the streets of dissidents through violent means?

I sincerely believe that the Cuban leadership, still imbued with the spirit of the Cold War, Stalinism and military authoritarianism, blinded by its own inability to pull the country out of its crisis and its desire to remain in power at all costs, is unable to reason and see all of the absurd things it is doing at all levels – economic, political and social.