UNITY BY PRINCIPLES AND VALUES TO RECOVER AND DEFEND DEMOCRACY
Carlos Sánchez Berzain*
The recovery of democracy in Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Bolivia gets complicated with all the ideological, pragmatic or strategic arguments and differences amongst the leadership and groups called upon to conduct and accomplish this historic necessity. The defense of democracies in the Americas, confronting transnational conspiracy and sedition, has these very same obstacles preventing it from formulating internal governmental policies and taking opportune international actions. The facts reveal that in order to recover and defend democracy, unity is indispensable, a unity which can be built on the basis of principles and values.
Let us remember that principles are “a set of ethical parameters of a universal nature that guide life within a society”, it is about “the fundamental guidelines or ideas that govern thought and behavior” such as; the principle of “life”, “freedom”, “humanity”, “equity”, of “goodness”, “honesty”, “justice”, “morality”. Values stem from universal ethical principles and are “individual skills or qualities that define an individual’s conduct within society”.
The recovery and defense of democracy facing Castrochavism’s dictatorships is a matter of the reinstatement and defense of principles and values such as; life, liberty, equality, humanity, goodness, honesty, justice, morality, tolerance, responsibility and more, facing the violation of human rights, oppression, inequality, the degradation of people, organized crime, corruption, prevarication, and the destruction of the familiar ethical, moral, and civic values.
Principles precede and determine ideologies, political agendas and strategies. “Ideologies describe and establish the ways of how to act over the collective reality”, above all in society’s system or in areas, such as; economy, social interaction, science, culture, politics, and others of common interest. In this way, all groups, parties, leaders and actors in democracy have the same principles on the basis of which they propose “ways to act over the collective reality through ideological and pragmatic proposals that they transmit and apply with strategies.
Unity based on principles and values is viable if what is sought to be recovered and what is being defended is “democracy” that has precisely principles as its minimum essential components, principles such as; “respect for human rights and basic freedoms, the rule of law, the conduct of periodic, free, and fair elections based on universal and secret suffrage, the unrestricted political organization, and the separation and independence of the branches of government.
In the fight to end and defeat dictatorships, there are only two groups that face against each other, these are; dictatorship and democracy, there is no middle ground because the grey area belongs to the dictatorship. Those who prevent unity are helping the dictatorship’s permanence and must be considered as part of it. Until the dictator leaves and the dictatorship is ended with the “restoration of the rule of law” the situation is of a national emergency that can only end with “free, fair elections based on universal and secret suffrage as an expression of the peoples’ sovereignty”
Without unity it is not possible to defeat dictatorships. Dictatorships end when the people confront the usurpation, is lead by a leadership of unity whose sole purpose is to restore freedom and democracy and does not seek partisan benefits for the next “election in a dictatorship”. This is why, the dictatorships’ strategy is to divide the nation in order to destroy it, multiply the issues and axis of confrontation, manipulate the opposition, create a “functional opposition” have the opponents confront each other in order to weaken and extinguish them.
The “vote-catching” model of dictatorship imposed by Castrochavism strives to attempt to retire the dictator in elections which enables it -if this were to happen- for the dictatorship to remain as a system and as an organization. Today, this risk is a crisis in Bolivia where, following the resignation of dictator Morales, what really happened is that “the dictator was removed but not the dictatorship” all while the interim government and the opposition are facing each other for a better partisan position of functionality without democracy.
If political actors facing dictatorships do not unite on the basis of principles and values in every country and clear themselves of the growing suspicion of being “functional opposition members”, dictatorships will fall along with those who simulate opposition and prevent unity.
*Attorney & Political Scientist. Director of the Interamerican Institute for Democracy.
Published by infobae.com July 5, 2020
“The opinions published herein are the sole responsibility of its author”
Translated from Spanish by; Edgar L. Terrazas, member of the American Translators Association, ATA # 234680.