The Castro dictatorship yesterday refused entry to former presidents Andrés Pastrana of Colombia, and Jorge Quiroga of Bolivia. Both traveled to Havana to receive the Oswaldo Payá award given by the Latin American Youth Network for Democracy.
Pastrana and Quiroga are decorated for their commitment to democracy in the region and, particularly, for their commitment to the struggle for freedom in Venezuela. The two former presidents promoted the creation of the IDEA group [Democratic Initiative of Spain and the Americas], whose objective is to prevent Venezuela from following the path of the island. Their efforts will be recognized this Thursday, March 8, in Havana.
Cuba Continues as a Dictatorship
The regime, currently headed by Fidel Castro’s younger brother Raúl, has once again demonstrated its totalitarian nature, and its intrinsic fear of freedom and dissenting voices. It places on display, for the whole world to see, the true nature of the Cuban regime, that continues to rule unchecked and unquestioned, despite their moral depravity.
The administration of Barack Obama made an attempt to thaw the relationship with Cuba after more than fifty years of resolute opposition to the Cuban tyranny. The idea was to realize the restoration of economic relations. However, the detente did not in any way, shape, or form, obligate Raul Castro to expand social or political freedoms.
Obama traveled to Cuba in March 2016. He became the first US president to set foot on the island in almost a century. That same day there were arbitrary arrests. Several dissidents were incarcerated while Obama’s presidential limousine roamed the streets of Havana.
During the reestablishment of diplomatic and economic relations, which served largely to benefit the regime, restrictions on liberties in Cuba were only increased. The message was clear: democracy would not return to the island while the Castro regime was in power.
Trump Takes Over
The Obama administration came to an end in 2016 and, with the assumption of power of Donald Trump, a shift in US foreign policy towards Cuba began. The Trump administration decided it would not allow economic benefits to flow to the Cuban government and military while its totalitarianism continued.
Now, on March 7, the Castro regime had the gall to refuse entry to dared to presidents Jorge Quiroga and Andrés Pastrana. This is an arbitrary decision that should rightly be a scandal and embarrassment for Cuba.
The Cuban Revolution was built and consolidated with the complicity of the world. It was an enthusiasm that was born of Fidel Castro’s struggle against the Batista dictatorship and his rejection of American influence. It was an enthusiasm that in certain sectors remained untouched for decades and has still not waned.
Today Castro is invited, like any other president, to events in the region. As a guest of honor at such functions, Fidel was always the man who hid his bloodied hands in his pockets.
Cuba will attend the Summit of the Americas. They will be present at the inauguration of Sebastian Piñera, and many other meetings of democratic leaders, where, fortunately, the dictator Maduro has often been prohibited.
The World Gives Castro Regime a Pass
But Castro is just as bad as Maduro. Or maybe worse. He has subjected a whole society to misery and horror. It is strange that while Latin America and the world, in general, have largely repudiated the tyranny of Chavez and Maduro, they have largely given a pass to the Castro regime.
In a few weeks, Cuba will hold elections that will ultimately amount to nothing but an electoral farce. There are no signs of a democratic opening. The regime of Raúl Castro continues to be as totalitarian as Fidel’s was. A tyranny that shot thousands of dissidents and trafficked its people around the world as mercenary soldiers and doctors.
The democratic world has united to condemn and pressure the regime of Nicolás Maduro. However, if western civilization really aspires to help the Venezuelans; It is essential that the Castro regime of Cuba be repudiated with equal conviction.