Sunday, November 22, 2009

Two Faces

History always strikes twice: the first as a tragedy, the second as a comedy. But sometimes History strikes twice as a tragedy leaving comedy behind.doscaras

Francisco Franco was in power for almost 40 years dying peacefully in bed. He established a dictatorial regime characterized by a strong sense of Spanish nationalism, Catholicism, anticommunism and traditional values. For 40 years all the civil society in Spain remained in silence: the opposition was quashed by censorship, coercion, the imprisonment of ideological enemies in concentration camps throughout the country and the use of heavy prison and death penalty.

Fidel Castro took power in 1959 and his resume includes almost the same trajectory of his old reference in his ancestral second homeland but ideologically oppose. Castro regime has been anticlerical by excellence, communist by definition and opportunism and intolerant with old democratic values. For 50 years Cuba has remained in silence: the dissidence has been swept out by censorship, coercion, imprisonment of enemies and the same use of death penalties en heavy prison.

The result has been different in both. Meanwhile Franco is despised from leftists, liberals and even conservatives; Fidel Castro is venerated by almost the same audience. There are even some religious leaders who had expressed their sympathies for him.

Carisma, an outstanding capacity for long speeches, an extraordinary photographic memory and charming personality made of Fidel Castro a masterpiece of tyrant. Holding a nation under his foot with iron fist, Castro whips against capitalism, autocracy, injustice and violence: the same weapons he uses against his own people.

As Franco did Castro established the well-known UMAP to imprison all the spectrum of possible dissidence: homosexuals, political enemies, people with different opinion and well-known intellectuals and artists with an independent vision about the reality.

Castro brought to the third world a populist image in which he obtained a status of leader for the revolutionary movement in Latin-America, Africa and Asia. At the same time, He tried to export his ideology supporting those movements with weapons, guerrilla and political support from the Soviet Union. You could find his shadow in places and conflicts everywhere: Algeria, Angola, El Salvador, Viet Nam, Chile and Colombia.

Still today every time you hear about a guerrilla or a leftist association you can hear the name of Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, Cuban Revolution and Socialism. A double standard: one for his own people; one for the outsiders.

Cuba is a place where his influence is overshadowing any possible solution to divided families, disillusion and marginalism. His regime brought intolerance in a country where all the political components of the Cuban society brought one of the most advanced Constitutions in America in 1940.

He advocated for a Democratic country in 1953, crushed a democratic revolution in 1961 and institutionalized a leftist tyranny in 1976. Since then, Cuba is under his boot, and evidently it won’t be any solution possible until he dies.