The champion of freedom Pablo Casado is determined that President Sánchez proclaims from the rooftops that Cuba is a dictatorship. The head of the Executive has affirmed that Cuba “is not a democracy”, but to the leader of the PP it seems insufficient. “Mr. Sánchez, repeat with me: Cuba is a dictatorship. There is nothing wrong with saying it,” he insisted.
Make no mistake: Casado doesn’t give a damn about the fate of Cuba and the quality of democracy. What he seeks is to take advantage of any circumstance – in this case the social protests in that Caribbean country – to attack the president on behalf of his alliance with United We Can, within a relentless offensive to delegitimize the Government that began at the same moment in that Sánchez set foot in the Moncloa. Casado knows, or should know, that the PSOE belongs to the ideological family of social democracy, which more than a century ago staged a traumatic break with the communist international. And if President Sánchez avoids proclaiming that Cuba is a dictatorship, it is not because he does not believe that it is, but because he prefers above any consideration to maintain bridges with that country (which would be a reasonable argument in the case of a member of the Ibero-American community ). Or because he does not want to upset his government partners. Or because he simply does not want to please Casado. Or all at once, who knows?
Cuba is a fierce 62-year-old dictatorship that has survived an intense economic blockade and several invasion attempts by the United States. The previous president of this country, Barack Obama, undertook a new stage of relations with the island, which, according to experts, was more likely to lead to its democratization than all the policies applied until then by the first power. But the process was interrupted by Donald Trump, that madman admired by the PP who demonstrated throughout his term the scant consideration he feels for democracy, starting with that of his own country. Now, the repression that we are seeing these days in Cuba is not an exclusive phenomenon of dictatorships. In Chile and Colombia, countries with formal democracies, there have been recent police actions of such brutality that they have deserved harsh reproaches even from a body as measured and equanimous as the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. A good democrat must censor all repressions, wherever they come from, and not on demand, as the PP does. A good democrat must advocate for democracy everywhere, not just where there are regimes we don’t like.
That said, let’s get into the game proposed by the PP leader.
Repeat with me, Mr. Casado: ‘The founder of the PP, Manuel Fraga, was an accomplice of the Cuban dictatorship.’ In 1991 he was received with State honors in Cuba. The following year he received Fidel Castro with great fanfare and, amid joyous games of dominoes and friendly queimada libations, toasted him “to the independence and progress of Cuba.”
Repeat with me, Mr. Casado: ‘José María Aznar, the great helmsman of the PP, was an accomplice of the dictator Fujimori.’ On a visit to Lima in September 1998, just five months after the Peruvian president’s self-coup and in the midst of serious human rights violations in the Andean country, the Spanish president stated: “There are organizations that have recognized progress in the defense of human rights in Peru. What I want is for him to continue making solid progress on it. It is a very satisfactory start. ” Fujimori was already the subject of complaints by respected media and international organizations. Today he is imprisoned for a long string of crimes, including violation of human rights, corruption and usurpation of functions.
Repeat with me, Mr. Casado: “Aznar was an accomplice of the tyrant Gaddafi, a well-known sponsor of international terrorism.” In 2003, when the Libyan dictator was isolated by the international community, the Spanish president visited him in the framework of an operation to wash his image within the maddened war on terror George W. Bush. Faced with the incongruity involved in supporting the Libyan regime while advocating for the isolation of Cuba, the well-remembered journalist Peru Egurbide asked Aznar: “Why not Cuba and Libya yes?” And the president responded smiling, with the pride of one who handles the arcana of the realpolitik: “Why not Cuba and Libya yes? Because Libya yes and Cuba no”. In a lecture at Columbia University in 2011, Aznar recalled Gaddafi’s becoming a “friend” of the West: “He is not stupid. He has been in power since 1969. But in 2003 he thought: ‘These people [EEUU] He invaded Iraq and now they can come here and maybe they will change the regime in Libya. “The Libyan dictator understood, then, that to maintain his despotic regime he had to get along with Bush and his allies, according to Aznar’s starkly sincere account. Few months ago later, a popular insurrection overthrew and executed Gaddafi.
Repeat with me, Mr. Casado: ‘The United Arab Emirates, where King Emeritus Juan Carlos I lives his golden exile, is a dictatorship.’ The Intelligence Unit of The Economist (EIU), a magazine not suspicious of leftism, produces a ranking of democratic quality in 167 countries. In the category of “authoritarian regimes” appear the highly praised Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Russia and China, the last four below even Venezuela and Cuba. Please, Mr. Casado, you who are so demanding that things be called by name, step out onto the balcony of Genoa and shout at the top of your lungs that these countries are a dictatorship. I don’t think anything happens to say it. Or if?
Repeat with me, Mr. Casado: ‘The PP is complicit in the violations of rights in Hungary’. On July 8 last, 12 of the 13 PP MEPs (with the worthy exception of Esteban González Pons) abstained in a harsh resolution against the ultra-government of Víktor Orbán for the approval of homophobic legislation that violates the values and principles more basic EU. The resolution went ahead with the support of 459 MEPs from practically the entire parliamentary arch; 147 voted against, all members of the European extreme right, and 58 abstained, including the 12 deputies of the Hispanic party that proclaims itself a defender of freedom.
Last but not least, repeat with me, Mr. Casado: ‘Franco was a dictatorship.’ The Civil War was not “a confrontation between those who wanted democracy without law and those who wanted law without democracy,” as you perhaps pointed out in an unfortunate slip, but a military uprising against a democracy.
Repeat too, but with conviction and not out of a fit of anger at a motion of no confidence that you disliked: ‘Vox is a threat to democracy’. In more advanced Europe, parties like Vox are isolated by the Democrats, while in Spain they are allies of the main opposition party: theirs.
Finally, repeat with me: ‘Spain is today a democracy’. The Sánchez government, like those that have preceded it at this stage, is legitimate, even if it doesn’t like it. The last elections were clean, even if you lost them. Let’s see if he understands that his permanent campaign to delegitimize the Government, regardless of whether it weakens Sánchez or not, causes irreparable damage to democracy.
I assure you that if you repeated all these things with me, people would take it a little more seriously when they demanded that President Sánchez describe Cuba as a dictatorship.