The axis of confrontation of dictatorships against democracies is worldwide

Carlos Sánchez Berzaín

The swearing-in of Nicaragua’s dictator with the attendance of Mohsen Rezaee in representation of Iran as his guest, the surge of tension of Russia against Ukraine, the announcement of the Russian Vice Minister not to rule-out the “deployment of military infrastructure to Cuba and Venezuela”, the announcement of China to fund infrastructure construction in Latin America that includes the 5G network with Huawei, the control garnished by dictatorships of 68% of the United Nations’ Council for Human Rights, are some of the facts that prove that in the 21st century the axis of confrontation is dictatorship against democracy and that this is worldwide.

Generically, there are only two ways to organize a state’s system of government; one that is based on the respect for freedom and human rights that is democracy, the other that focuses on garnering total, indefinite, and unconditional power in the hands of individuals or groups that violate the freedom and human rights of those who it subjects, that is dictatorship.

Freedom, fine-grained in the respect for human rights, is the basis of democracy and entails an expression of the popular will to gain access to the government, its temporariness of assuming power, the nature of the mandate along with the accountability that empowers whomsoever receives it, the impossibility of concentrating all power by the separation and independence of the branches of government, independent justice, adherence to the laws that structure the rule of law, free political organization.

Democracy is the system in which an individual’s rights and freedoms can only have as a boundary the rights and freedoms of others and it is far from being a perfect system, but there isn’t a better one. Sir Winston Churchill consecrated his famous saying “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time…”

Any and all forms or systems of government that subordinate freedom and respect for human rights to the will of an individual or group in which any form of violence is used to take and retain power, is a dictatorship. The use of force or violence, the concentration of all power in a person or a group, the indefinite tenure in the government or to have the objective to do that, the lack of guarantees that institutionalize the violation of individual liberties and the impunity granted to anyone for doing the above, clearly indicate the existence of a dictatorship.

To disguise a dictatorship as; a political undertaking for the liberation of people, a social revolution, a process for change, a new organization of the State, a spike of nationalism, a theocratic concoction of divine or religiously inspired mandate, are some of the ways with which they pretend -with some success in their publicity- to present themselves as acceptable and even as a “new form of democracy”. Their general effort is focused in obtaining a legitimacy that normally regimes who violate human rights or have organized crime are not granted.

The Americas in the 21st century is defined by two antagonistic facts: 1. The institutionalization of democracy through an obligatory constitutive treaty for all States that is the Interamerican Democratic Charter signed in Lima on 11 September of 2001 that declares “democracy as a peoples’ right . . .”. 2. The expansion of Cuba’s dictatorship with the infusion of Venezuela’s resources, establishing dictatorships of the 21st Century Socialism or Castrochavism in Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Nicaragua, counterfeiting politics to coverup organized crime.

The clash between the dictatorial regimes and their approach with democratic governments and their proposed actions is not a matter of left versus right, as it is insistently pretended to be shown. The confrontation between democracy and dictatorship is not ideological, it is existential. There is no ideological confrontation between the defense of freedom and human rights against transnational organized crime who holds power with “State-sponsored terrorism”, installing narco-States, perpetrating all sorts of crime because of the impunity they are granted. Crime is not an ideology.

The clear relationship between the Cuban-owned dictatorships of the Americas and dictatorial regimes from Iran, Russia, China and elsewhere, is only “the notorious fact” of a natural close relationship between them that is based on the coincidence of objectives and methods that violate freedom and human rights and that they disguise as “anti-imperialism”.

The worldwide confrontation of this 21st century has been proven and it is dictatorship against democracy, disputing how people will live in a capitalist, globalized world with an on-going technological revolution. It is the confrontation of the whole history of humanity -liberty or barbarism- but in our time the principles and values identify dictatorships as organized crime and not as politics.

*Attorney & Political Scientist. Director of the Interamerican Institute for Democracy.

Translation from Spanish by Edgar L. Terrazas

Published in Spanish by Sunday January 16, 2022.

“The opinions published herein are the sole responsibility of its author”.