The destruction of the constitutional order; the abuse against freedom and civil rights; the control and manipulation of the State; electoral fraud; the elimination and /or subjugation of the opposition, and the inexistence of the state of right, are today essential characteristics of the governments of Cuba, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia and Nicaragua.
These are verifiable facts through simple objective observation. The presence of these governments in power is de facto, anti-democratic, in breach of natural and international rights and duties. Their citizens are victims subdued to crisis of unknown consequences. Although late, it is time to admit that there are five dictatorships in Latin America.
An indispensable condition and a necessity for politicians and rulers, is “to recognize the objective reality”, which simply consists in the fact that the establishment of the conditions and identification of what is happening must be as precise as possible in order to take decisions with effective content according to what is truly going on.
If an individual does not recognize objective reality, runs the risk to act in a fictional world. And in politics and economics, in society’s needs, unreality only leads to unhappy crisis, which the longer it takes to confront, takes greater social and political costs.
Fidel and Raul Castro’s government in Cuba, is without question the longest lasting dictatorship in the Americas. The traditional kind which finishes being the last one in the 20th century. Unfortunately, it has expanded and created a partnership with Hugo Chavez, called today “Socialism of the 21st Century”, which with Marxists, anti-imperialists and populists, is just the old Castrism of the Cold War, decorated with electoral and legislative manipulation.
Without giving up to armed struggle that is selectively used to destabilize and overthrow democratic governments, Castrism has been able to make of simulation and electoral fraud its basic elements of “democratic show” for the governments they created and sustain in Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia and Nicaragua. Forging political constitutions, and taking control of legislatures, they created laws that define an entire institutional system of violation to freedom and fundamental rights in those countries, guaranteeing indefinite permanence of the local chiefs and their surroundings, digitalized from the central power installed in La Habana.
The governments of Nicolas Maduro, in Venezuela, Rafael Correa in Ecuador, Evo Morales in Bolivia, and Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua, gather all the characteristics and elements of a dictatorship. Even granting the concession of reaching power through elections, all of them have given successive “mild coup d’état”, without displaying military forces as it was the characteristic of the 20th century.
The coups are judiciary, legislative, administrative, institutional, legalized by the illicit norms they created with that purpose. All these rulers without exception have illegally altered (replacing or amending) the political constitution of their countries by another, custom made, to concentrate all the power; all have introduced re-election which was expressively forbidden; all have modified the electoral and judiciary systems for their own benefit; all have subjugated or replaced the public prosecutors, judges, magistrates, and electoral judiciary civil servants; all have abolished the freedom of the press, taking control of the media, through pressure, seizing, forcing sales with dummies; all, judicially, persecute political and civil leaders, clerics, journalists, businessmen, common citizens, and have political prisoners and exiles; all have consolidated “de facto governments characterized by the absence of the division and independence of powers and the state of law”; all have created “a system which makes it impossible that by an institutionalized procedure the opposition can reach power”; all “have installed defenselessness”, and corruption is the rule. That is dictatorship!
Objective reality shows Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela, manipulating the judiciary and electoral powers, as well as the armed forces, to hamper the peaceful exit of his dictatorship, asphyxiating the National Assembly, upholding a narco-state, assisting Cuba and the FARC, aggravating the crisis that humiliates and kills the Venezuelan people. To Rafael Correa manipulating his state machine to put in place a pro tempore successor or even perpetuate himself in power, persecuting and dividing the opposition with an economic crisis and corruption that he doesn’t hide. To Evo Morales manipulating the whole state to cover his crimes (before and after taking power), keeping unpunished before rampant corruption, promoting coca growth, putting make up to an economy which he shows as successful while it is in crisis, and trying to never leave power. To Daniel Ortega making work “his institutional system” eliminating the opposition from the coming elections, taking total control of the Legislative with “decisions of his own justice” and taking his wife to the vice-presidency.
All of the above, and more, is just a copy -in the XXI Century- of the best Castro tradition. They are an extension of the main dictatorship, with different degrees of progress but with the same doctrine, leadership and strategy. The objective reality is right there at everybody’s sight, including world and regional leaders, and the democratic governments. Thou who has eyes must see that is time to call it by their name. Today in Latin America there are five dictatorships.