25 January 2014 ~ 6 Comentarios

The CELAC vs. the Democratic Charter

by Carlos Alberto Montaner


Gen. Raúl Castro is the chairman pro-tempore of the CELAC* and everyone went to Havana, like the mice following the Pied Piper of Hamelin, to celebrate a second summit.

What are the Latin American governments playing at? Apparently, the first objective of that organization, as declared, is: “To reaffirm that the preservation of democracy and democratic values, the validity of the institutions and the Rule of Law, a commitment to the respect for, and the validity of, all human rights for all, are the essential objectives of our countries.”

What do these people understand democracy to be? Cuba, like the other countries hatched by the now-extinct Soviet Union, is a one-party dictatorship older than half a century where no individual freedoms exist and no human rights are respected. While the CELAC is being held, the political police harasses and bashes the Ladies in White and the opposition democrats who dare to protest. Is anyone unaware of this?

Raúl and his Stalinist troops do not conceal this. They are brutally and proudly frank. They use legal loopholes to execute or jail people. Grandly, they defend that way to fence in society and insist that it’s the most open, democratic and unifying system in history. They don’t even admit that they torture the dissidents. The oppositionists are not persons: they are worms, scum who deserve to be crushed with rifle butts for opposing the people’s happiness and seeking to hand over the nation to Yankee imperialism. 

There is no flagrant violation of the rules. The rules allow it. Castro & Co. don’t have to “disappear” their foes. They bash them in public. The Constitution, a carbon copy of the Soviet model, grants the Communist Party the exclusive power to organize society at whim. That legal mishmash has been approved by a huge majority.

Cubans, like North Koreans or any terrified individuals, vote for whatever is placed before them, while dreaming about a raft. Each and everyone is subordinated to the goals of Marxism-Leninism and any conduct that contradicts such principles is forbidden. The past, the present and the future and wrapped up, good and proper.

And there are elections. Every so often, the dictatorship — as happened in Europe’s eastern bloc — holds tightly controlled elections to legitimize in power some functionaries who serve as a transmission belt to the initiatives of the strongman-in-charge. They are the apparatchiks. They are the nomenklatura, obedient and mindful. An astounding, perfectly pitched choir that sings the Party slogans a cappella.

As it was evident that the communists had built a different political model (Marxist-Leninist totalitarianism) and demanded the right to call themselves something different, the defenders of liberal democracy defined the political system that they proposed in a document called “the Inter-American Democratic Charter,” signed in Lima on Sept. 11, 2001.

There can be found the basic elements for the true exercise of republican democracy: free and plural elections, the separation of powers, individual freedoms including freedom of the press and association, transparency, neutrality of the Rule of Law, respect, tolerance. It was exactly the antithesis of the model imposed by the Castros in Cuba. The opposite of what the CELAC today condones.

But Latin American politicians don’t mind at all saying one thing in the “Inter-American Democratic Charter” and doing something very different in the covens organized by the CELAC. Paraphrasing Walt Whitman’s famous poem, they keep repeating, “I contradict myself, so what?”

Present in Havana will also be the Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Mr. José Miguel Insulza, who should be the guardian of the respect for the OAS’s Democratic Charter, living proof that ideological schizophrenia exists and is incurable.

None of this is new, I fear. One of the most unpleasant features of many Latin American politicians is their hypocrisy. They have several discourses, several faces. They say that they’re pragmatic. Not true. They’re cynical.

For decades, the neighbors coexisted in silence with the old dictatorships, like those of Stroessner, Somoza or Trujillo. Now they don’t care a fig what happens in Cuba or in Venezuela. It’s the Rule of Moral Filth.

6 Responses to “The CELAC vs. the Democratic Charter”

  1. Augusto de la Torre Casas 25 January 2014 at 7:18 am Permalink

    Haber elegido a Raúl Castro como presidente de la CELAC es la muestra definitiva de que los Castro han ganado: hay que rendirse a la evidencia, los buenos no pintamos nada en este mundo que está siendo cada vez más tomado por los malos. Negarlo es de bobos: confiar en que la bondad triunfará da risa. No hay peor ciego que… etc.

    Augusto Lázaro

    • antfreire 25 January 2014 at 12:56 pm Permalink

      Me recuerdas a las mentes debiles de los otros tiempos cuando decian que la URSS iba inexorablemente hacia la victoria y que los dias de predominio de EEUU estaban contados. Que paso con la URSS?

    • antfreire 25 January 2014 at 12:59 pm Permalink

      Me haces recordar a las mentes debiles que en tiempos pasados declaraban que la victoria de la URSS seria inexorable y que los dias de predominio Yankee estaban contados. Que paso con la URSS?

  2. geovani lugo 25 January 2014 at 12:44 pm Permalink

    La pobresa y la desgracia pasa, la verguenza y la infamia no sera olvidada jamas, latino america cargara, para siempre con esa mancha, al igual que las naciones que cerraron los ojos ante la barbarie nazi, la historia nunca olvidara,tanta demagogia e hipocresia, la memoria historica de nuestra nacion recordara por siempre, a quienes se confabularon con la dictadura.

  3. jose padro 25 January 2014 at 3:36 pm Permalink

    Porque estan los comentarios en OTROS IDIOMAS?

Leave a Reply