The traitor to his people

 

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I see on TV the demonstrations of immense joy of Miami Cubans and I must admit that have conflicting feelings. I share that joy, I am fully with them, with all the Cubans in exile. I am also with the Cubans of the inner exile, who are many more than the Cuban politicians think, but I feel an immense sadness for all the time lost, and for the devastating consequences that Castrism brought.

Fidel Castro (1926-2016) is now what he always wanted to be, a subject for the history´s judgment, a transcendent being, a character who put his country in the newspapers around the world, a myth for some, an invented being for those who wanted to see him as a messiah, and a furious dictator for the majority who have no ideological prejudices. The Cuban New Trova forged with its notes the epic rebellious song, until the New Trova ceased to be so new and began to glimpse something more staled than fresh about the Cuban revolution. In the early 1960s, Castro used to discuss with university students about what to do with the brand-new revolution. He argued with them until he grew tired of discussions, and then he cut with the ideological diversity and sent those critics to the labour´ fields, and the island to the real socialism, to remain a totalitarian, dogmatic and unique thought.

Already since his puberty, Castro showed the authoritarian and egocentric features which are described as “narcissistic” by the specialists. Fidel was narcissistic and besides, he felt someone special, capable of trying and performing the greatest feats. It was his great self-perception. He was a radical revolutionary, anti-capitalist and anti-American, temperamental and fascist. In the 1960´s midst of the Cold War, his character could only lead to the Soviet communism´ model, because only the USSR could make sense of the disorganized and chaotic band who had taken power in Cuba, and protect them against Washington.

After the revolutionary triumph, Castro promised to the then Vice President of the USA Richard Nixon, that his Government was not communist. But after the Bay of Pigs invasion´ attempt, he declared the socialist character of the revolution. Since then, his diatribes against the American presidents and policies, their interference and contradictions, made him won him many sympathies. “If I am considered a myth, it is a merit of the United States,” said Castro in 1988, with his usual cynicism.

I know Cuba well, from Viñales to Santiago. I have visited the island on many occasions, and I love Cuba and the Cubans. I found once love there, and I keep great friendships, of those all-life´ kind. Cubans are entrepreneurial people, bright and endearing, whose wit, wisdom and sense of humour is something very big which they carry inside them and as a Spaniard, I recognize it. They have a lot of Spaniard inside them. At first, I was struck by the romantic idea of a place, a country where the time seemed to have stopped. That coupled with the Caribbean exoticism, it had an attractive halo. The charm lasted until I began to know in depth the Cubans´ real-life, their poverty, lack of freedom, fear, “the daily anguish to solve,” as they say there.

On the island and in the exile, it is said that every Cuban has in the family either a prisoner, an exiled or a mortal victim of the Castro´s dictatorship. In a country of little more than eleven million inhabitants, there are hundreds of thousands affected by it. No one who knows about this tragedy can deny the magnitude and horror of the last 57 years. Per the political spokesman Juan Carlos González Leiva, Executive Secretary of the Council of Human Rights Rapporteurs, the balance of victims is “incalculable due to those who have died at sea, but it could exceed of 50,000 dead.” Whereas during the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista were in Cuba about fifteen prisons, there are now about two hundred, fifty of them of maximum security. The exact figures will never be known, but the tropical utopia accounts for at least 25,000 deaths and 2 million exiled. A shocking balance that nullifies any justification of the dictatorship. Castro has portrayed himself as a tyrant, devoid of any epic.

Castro turned the Cuban revolution in a treason to the Cubans which lasted for 57 years. Between violence, denunciation and lies, it crosses a stinking trail of pain, disenchantment and frustration. Cuba is a neglected island, where all the bonfires of the legend have already been extinguished. What Cuba could have been from January 1st, 1959, it has been frustrated because Fidel turned the illusions of a people who believed and trusted him. He sacrificed the democracy. He silenced and imprisoned all those who opposed his designs. Almost 60 years later, Cuba is today the paradigm of the oppression. A ruinous island deprived of freedom and food, administered by a leading oligarchy who aim to become dynastic, in the style of North Korea. A dictatorship with capital letters which has achieved the collective destruction of any hope. Cuba is the memory of a disloyalty to the people dreams, people who believed in the bearded myth that arose from the Sierra Maestra. The same myth who he did not want to leave the island since 2000, for fear of what happened to Pinochet, might happen to him.

It is difficult to guess about the future of the island. The regime seems to be betting on a Chinese-style´ capitalist regime. Capitalism without freedom. The future of Cuba must to go through the reconciliation of all Cubans, the island and the exile, the communist party and those who suffered it. Cuba has the difficult task of redeeming itself and looking ahead. To do this, it must first bet with ambition for the open and democratic society which could never be because of a betrayal. Now, at last, it might end, thanks to the unwavering will of a wonderful people who will know how to live up to the great historical challenge.

Fidel is dead. Is there anyone with a minimum of political decency who can mourn him? He has caused much harm and collective disappointment which are irreparable. It is his most personal legacy. No, the History will not absolve him.

A light for peace

 

 

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The former president of Israel Shimon Peres died on last September 29th at the age of 93, after not being able to overcome the cerebral haemorrhage that he suffered. Israel lost a founding father and “a light for peace,” per the Israeli news agency.

Born on August 2nd, 1923 in Vishneva, a Jewish shtetl in what was then Poland and is now Belarus, with the name of Szymon Perski, emigrating with his family to Tel Aviv at the age of 11. After his family immigrated to Palestine in 1934, he joined a socialist youth movement and signed up for an agricultural school at Ben Shemen to grow himself in the Zionist ideal: as a farmer. As a young man, he changed his name to the Hebraized Peres, meaning vulture. At the age of 17, he was one of the founders of Alumot’s kibbutz in the Jordan Valley. After his first experience as founder of Alumot’s kibbutz, where he worked as a shepherd, herdsman and secretary of the organization, Peres entered with 20 years in the Israeli politics with David Ben Gurion, who appointed him as a member of the secretariat of his party, the Mapai, and sent him as a youth delegate to the Zionist Congress held in Basel, Switzerland in 1946.

His long career in PA began when he was appointed head of the Ministry of Defence in 1953 and concluded after having served from 2007 to 2014 as President of Israel, a position he reached when he was about to turn 84. Peres worked as a deputy for the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament, for 48 years (1959-2007) and was a minister in twelve different governments, and twice was PM (1984-1986 and 1995-1996). In his more than 60 years dedicated to politics, Peres had the opportunity to work under David Ben Gurion’ command, the PM who officially proclaimed the independence of the state of Israel; also to Golda Meir, Isaac Rabin and Ariel Sharon, among others.

Mr. Peres left a complex legacy. At every stage in his political career, the European-born Mr. Peres had to fight the sense that he was insincere, consummately political and opportunistic. He never passed for an Israeli-born’ sabra and always seemed to be slightly removed from the country he led. His Hebrew was tinged with a Polish accent, and his florid rhetorical style was at odds with Israeli directness. Israelis commented that even his carefully combed hairstyle seemed somehow European. He was never a combat soldier or an officer in the Israeli army, which he would later head as Defence minister. The late prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, his long-time rival, once called him an ‘inveterate schemer.’

To many, Mr. Peres seemed a contradictory figure. Although he served as prime minister three times, he was never elected to the office and remained unpopular with voters. He projected intellectualism but had little formal education. He spoke of moderation and compromise but was notorious for his vitriolic feuds with other politicians.

As foreign minister, Mr. Peres shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 with Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat after helping to create a program for negotiating with the Palestinians that later stalled and sputtered out.

The man best known internationally for promoting peace started his public career procuring weapons at a young age. In the 1970s, as Defence minister, Mr. Peres encouraged Jewish settlers to claim land in the occupied West Bank, Gaza Strip and Golan Heights. By the early 1990s, a growing number of Israelis were rejecting the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip as morally wrong, on the grounds that it violated principles of democracy and equality; that it was demographically undesirable, because it brought millions of Palestinians under the authority of the Jewish state; and that it was militarily impractical, because it committed Israeli troops to confronting Palestinian civilians instead of the potential threat from foreign enemies. And Peres then retracted, according to the new times.

In June 2007, as the Knesset elected Mr. Peres president of Israel, he gained unprecedented popularity at home, enjoying the status of elder statesman. He served as consultant to Netanyahu when the latter became prime minister again in 2009 and was largely viewed as a moderating force against Netanyahu’s hard-line policies: “I expressed my opinion, and that was my duty,” Mr. Peres said.

Also in 2007 President Obama awarded Mr. Peres the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honour, calling him “the essence of Israel itself: an indomitable spirit that will not be denied.” The Israeli politician also received a Congressional Gold Medal in 2014.

After more than a half-century of involvement in the most important events of Israel’s history, Mr. Peres had become “the grand old man of Israeli politics,” said Chuck Freilich, a senior fellow at Harvard’s international security program and a former deputy national security adviser of Israel. “You could feel his influence everywhere.”

Mr. Peres lived a life like that of his country, struggling to find a balance between security and peace. “My life’s work is not yet done. The final, crowning chapters of my biography are still being written at this time. They deal with the subject closest to my heart, peace.” Mr. Peres wrote in his memoir.

At his Nobel award speech, he stated “The wars we fought were forced upon us. Thanks to the Israel Defence Forces, we won them all, but we did not win the greatest victory that we aspired to: release from the need to win victories.” The legacy of Peres to the world can be summarized in this sentence: “The message of the Jewish people to mankind is that faith and moral vision can triumph over all adversity.”

The new political paradigm

 

 

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Many of the great polling places in different corners of the globe have been settled with the victory of the most unexpected options, with a slap to the established powers, to the rulers accommodated in their offices from where they rule the destiny of millions of people, to their status quo. The political analysts are alarmed, if not all, although most of the election phenomenon’ analysis are wrong or incomplete.

The political experts point out to several causes: the emergence of strongly charismatic people who break into politics, who build their leadership on culturally important issues in each country, and who take advantage of economic crises in order to launch utopian proposals; The voters let themselves be seduced by those promises; And the defects of the system which they call ‘neo-liberal’, and which, in their view, has proved incapable, being corrupt and plagued with inequalities. The leader would not have a proper political program proper, but promises to break with the practices of the past, ending corruption and empower the people. There is also an abundance of sensationalist discourse, very noisy and loud, which is mostly produced through social networks.

Days before the US elections, Ileana Garcia, woman and Hispanic and president of ‘Latinas for Trump‘ ‘s declarations about the Latinos, and described why she preferred the New York tycoon: She felt not offended by Trump and supported him because “this election means a war against the establishment of the two parties, the Democrat and the Republican, which have done absolutely nothing for this country. “ That challenge to the elites could serve to interpret the rebellion expressed in other recent ballots with surprising result. And again, the great failure of the surveys.

People are satisfied with Democracy, but very unhappy with their political leaders, with the functioning of their institutions. People perceived that the groups in power, the political parties, are not up to it. It seems like the elites have hijacked the democracy and their only means is the power itself. There is also the corruption, as well as the figure of the professional politician, making a career in the party, who has never worked outside politics, so that of their only horizon is the partisan struggle and intrigue, as Montesquieu stated, “When a government lasts for a long time, it breaks down little by little and without noticing it”.

 The world is changing and what happened in the United Kingdom with the ‘Brexit’, in the US with the victory of Trump, the victory of Tsipras in Greece, the rise of Marine Le Pen in France, Wilders in Holland and the populist parties in Italy and Spain, have many common aspects and should not be seen as isolated facts anymore. In most of the cases, there is a rejection of the ruling class, which is associated with the inequality’ increase after the last economic crisis in 2008, which has caused that certain parts of the society lost economic status and thus, they rebel against it.

In France, the National Front (FN) of Marine Le Pen is defending already for thirty years, the closing of borders, the rupture with the European Institutions, the ultra-economic nationalism and the immigrants’ expulsion. Marine Le Pen achieved a solid foundation among the workers who once voted for the Communist Party. 30% of French workers have been voting the FN far-right for two decades. According to Harvard professor Michael Ignatieff, “The European fear and phobia about immigration is a shame propitiated by a mediocre, small and provincial Europe with no place in the global economy.”

In the US, clearly, the lower-middle-class vote changed their vote in those traditionally Democratic and highly decisive industrial states, which has been a major cause for Trump’s triumph, whose protectionist and nationalist promises have permeated to those most punished by the severe deindustrialization with substantial job losses. He blamed abroad (mainly China and Japan) and made the announcement of tough measures against illegal immigration. With enormous intuition, he made the wall on the border with Mexico an election battering ram which even connected with part of the immigrants.

After the World War II, the public pensions, free health and subsidized education became widespread. Over the years these measures have entered into a deep crisis. When people believe that all these social services are free, the demand is infinite. To cover the expenses of an inevitably deficit welfare-state, the governments fall into two bad practices. The first is to balance social benefits with a public debt which only grows. Consequently, massive tax increases will be necessary, which will reduce growth, unless making large cuts in social services, which will provoke the anger of the citizen. It is a myth that the neoliberalism is the cause of the crisis of 2008. Capitalism has always shown cycles of expansion and contraction, although it is right to say that wrong policies aggravate them.

The traditional parties of the twentieth century and their ideological correlates such as Social-democracy, Christian-democracy, liberalism, have been contemptuously identified as ‘establishment’. Those continue within the cultural and ideological coordinates of a world which is disappearing or at least, it is in an accelerated phase of disappearance. People are bored with the ‘political correctness’, with the greater protection of minorities from the majority. People is afraid about losing their identity, about the disappearance of ‘the known’, facing the risk of the unknown. The Populism promises certainty, even if it is misleading, and the citizens want to punish the establishment right now, even if in the end those promises were not accomplished.

The victory of Donald Trump, the ‘Brexit’, the rise of populism in Europe, … gives the impression that the world goes against the tide. However, Francis Bacon said, “As far as government is concerned, every change is suspicious, even to improve.”

Left and right is no longer an adequate categorization of political difference: it is a trophy of political stability handed over from the industrial age, where it made sense, to the postindustrial age, where it doesn’t. It is no accident that political movements which defy this categorization are winning. A paradigm shift has started.

Presidential election results: Change of the political paradigm?

 

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The election show finally ended: all the intrigues, alleged conspiracies, sex, verbal violence, is something definitely to forget. The world is shocked by the result, Trump’s victory, although not many of the Americans are so much. In the race towards the White House, above the election pyrotechnics, there are some objective factors which are usually pointing the winner. In this case, many analysts, including myself, have misjudged in finding that factors such as money, campaigning and political experience, the media’ support and ethnic minorities unequivocally pointed to Hillary as the winner. The media have also been defeated, which did not anticipate Trump’s victory and neither capture the deep discontent of all the American who voted for him. Also the polling companies, which once again have patently mistaken and until the last moment gave a comfortable victory to Hillary Clinton.

The outcome has been different, and we have to wonder why the Americans have voted for Donald Trump, a candidate with no political experience whatsoever. One answer might be that citizens are tired of politicians who have nothing done more than being in politics, who are part of the status quo, who support the corporations’ interests, who do not make any decisions, who speak out innocuous messages which nobody understands and, who are very comfortable living and speaking in the TV’ shows.

Trump has done all he could do: summoning the silent majority against the ‘corrupt establishment’. He was alone in front of everyone. Trump’s message has stalled because the Americans have seen someone who speaks their own language, regardless of whether he was made up of exaggerations, lies, misogyny, racism and xenophobia … perhaps because they share these principles or at least, do not bother them as they should. Trump’s  basic principles are the right of everyone to do whatever they want, their claim to masculinity, and their rejection of immigration. His only foundations are the defence of the inalienable right of each one to do what he/she desires. It is the new ‘alternative right’ who found in the new Elect-President their ‘dream candidate’. And he saw in them a mobilized group with a great mastery of social networks. Another component of this stream is the frontal rejection of ‘political correctness’. The phrase which Trump repeats “we cannot continue being politically correct” sounds heavenly to the ‘alternative right’. The program includes closing borders, ending positive discrimination, and something very marked in this group: the defence of the masculinity.

Trump also claimed the ‘good old days’, the Wasp order. 70% of Americans believe that the country is headed in the wrong direction. Trump and his strategists have had the vision to worry and focus on those vulnerable middle classes because of the effects of the globalization and the trade openness. The brightest part of his victory is precisely this: he has won by saying what he thinks, without following the dictates of the political correctness: ignoring the feminists, questioning the environmentalist belief, and ridiculing the multiculturalism with eloquent and unequivocal speeches, perhaps raucous, but genuine. He has not feared to appear as an outsider or almost “against” his party, with his very ‘personal’ candidacy. Through Trump, America seems to reconciled with the American individualism. And his voters want Trump to make the changes he promised. We’ll see if it’s possible.

All these longings have been politically funnelled by Donald Trump as well as other conservative populist leaders such as Nigel Farage, interim UKIP leader and Brexit’ leader who has publicly supported Trump and demonstrated his great joy at his triumph. Also Marine Le Pen in France or Geert Wilders in the Netherlands, populist politicians leading the polls in their respective countries and who share many of the political principles which have led to Trump to be President elect: boredom of the politically correctness; being fed up with the politicians’ language who do not understand and, that of the traditional bureaucracy. Traditional politicians who are more concerned about the minorities (African Americans, LGTB, Latinos, Muslims…) than for the majority of citizens, even if they are unprotected; Fed up with massive immigration which is not integrating, creates insecurity and is erasing their own identity; Tired of their industry being outplaced which is leaving the citizens without jobs. I have seen Putin’ happiness and satisfaction about Trumps’ victory, who has finally recognized the contacts with Trump and his team. But that is another story.

Trump has faced a candidate with few roots in the hearts of voters. If the blond dyed millionaire was somewhat rude and very aggressive candidate, Hillary Clinton is a cold, distant, controversial woman whose political career had been flanked by scandals, money and sex. Hillary failed to mobilize the ethnic minorities aggrieved by the President-elect, such as the Hispanics. Neither did her arouse the massive interest of women, despite being a woman and her opponent, a declared misogynist. And on the other hand, Trump swept among the wasp’ majority of all social classes and inside the rural North America. Trump has swept to Clinton among the whites of the middle west of the US, and among those members of the Christian community, the most traditional identified with the Republican Party.

It seems that the political paradigm is changing in the world. We have to pay attention to it, which means that if Brexit was the first referendum on the free movement of people, capital and goods, the US elections have been the second plebiscite on globalization and immigration. Those traditional politicians should take note of the true and profound causes of these changes, otherwise they might be wiped off the political spectrum. The should stop worrying about less important minorities issues and start looking after the most people and their issues. And solve them, because that’s what they are for, not for being politically correct, and certainly not to create more problems.

With regards to Mr. Trump and perhaps to ease myself, I tend to think that the yesterday’s enraged, bigot and aggressives will be the moderates of today and tomorrow, as soon as they receive the power. Hopefully.

The point of view of a European Outsider

 

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If there is any good news on the coming week is the end of the presidential campaign in the United States. The insults, scandals, conspiracy theories, personal clashes, partisan journalism, are never strangers in the longest and most spectacular in the world electoral process, but this particular campaign it has been increased in the most unusual, unpleasant and poor in arguments US presidential campaign which anybody recalls.

Next week concludes a campaign characterized by the most rejected candidates in the recent history, between an ‘outsider’ in politics with too many allegations of harassment and sexual abuse, and the Democratic candidate’ arrogance, with the climax of the use of her private email server for classified issues. It has also had elements of the Cold War with unexpected computer hacks which have drove mad to the secret services; with the dripping WikiLeaks posts, seeking for Clinton’s defeat, and finally, with Trump’s call to Putin to hack Hillary Clinton’s.

In Europe we are amazed about many circumstances in this election. Personally and in my role as politics analyst, defending the women after the Trump’ alleged attacks in an article, I was described as being an extremist far left, something real far from my nature. We have a real confusion in Europe about what each of the two major parties represent: The Republican Party or GOP (Grand Old Party), is no more conservative than the Democratic Party, it is just more individualistic.

Its main philosophy is to avoid tax payment so that of there is “less state”, so much that it is not improper for a billionaire candidate to publicly state his blatant waiver to pay taxes for many years, something which is extremely serious, and it have no special value for their voters. The fact of the “less state” implies the monopoly of violence does not belong to the state, to their army and security forces, but also the citizens might take justice into their own hands.

This is one of the GOP key totems, the Second Amendment, ‘A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.’ Some of these principles were explicitly mentioned in some of the ancient States’ constitutions; as an example, the 1776 Constitution of Pennsylvania, stated, “People have the right to bear arms in defence of themselves and the state.

It had an explanation at the time when it was set up and ratified, in 1776, at the time of the pioneer’s expansion westward. Today it does not have at all, neither explanation nor sense. Accessing freely to weapons portraits the US as a sort of Wild wild west, a total anachronism which leads only to teenagers’ killings and other atrocities, as we see every so often in the news.

“Less state or government” also explains the public works’ obsolescence in the US, with the current state of old and undignified infrastructures, lacking an adequate local transports networks or interstate public transportation. Finally, the GOP appeals to those who are less fortunate, who have no health insurance or lacking any social services, situation according to them might be perhaps they deserve it, because they had not fought in life as they should, or because they didn’t have what it takes to succeed, as stated by Max Weber in his work “The Protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism“, where the concept of disillusioned and dehumanized individualism is strengthened. Interestingly, the proponents of this particular concept of the social support, are those who consider themselves the most religious.

Inside the US, the Democratic Party is called “liberal” and sometimes even considered Marxist from the GOP. Something, which if it was not too serious, it causes hilarity. The Democratic Party is ideologically like most European conservative parties, or those liberal-conservative. Definitely far from the Left and completely at the other side of Marxism. Certainly, they support the existence of a welfare state for those less fortunate, such as universal health and education, as well as regular investments in national infrastructures. To accomplish it, the main idea is “those who have more, should to pay more”, which I think is reasonable and ethical. For the most part, the Democrats support the abolition of the second amendment, or at least restricting it to the maximum, so that of weapons acquisition was very complicated and restricted, ending the counter to anyone. So that would actually make the US safer.

The Democratic Party believes in equal opportunity and social equality. The Liberals typically believe that government is necessary to protect individuals from being harmed by others; but they also recognize that government itself can pose a threat to liberty. According to modern liberalism, the chief task of government is to remove obstacles that prevent individuals from living freely or from fully realizing their potential. Such obstacles include poverty, diseases, and ignorance.

The ideological confusion among American voters, the attempt to destruction of the opponent, rival or even enemy, also of those who think differently, or the foreigner which dares to say an opinion, has been an excess in this presidential campaign, something to forget on both sides. Questioning the fairness of elections, will leave a large wound on American democracy. With regards to the American media, campaigning for one or another candidate based on certain disclosures in key moments, will have suffered a mortal wound on its credibility, which will cost much getting it back.

I feel sorry for those desperate voters at a time when more than ever, the Americans are shocked and embarrassed with their two major options. Also my concern by the implications in the world’ future which this choice might have, because today the US remains being the Hegemon. For that we have a right at least to say a word, even if we are not Americans!

From Communism to Populism and the tolerance of the intellectuals

 

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Over the past years an increasing number of countries around the world, populist leaders, political parties and movements have gained prominence and influence, either by electoral successes on their own or by influencing other political parties and the national political discourse. It is widely acknowledged that the media and the role of communication more broadly are key to understanding the rise and success of populist leaders, parties and movements. There is however very little research on populist political and how it has evolved from the old communist parties to the current populist ones.

Their common framework is based on a meaningful emptiness’ ideology in which to store items from the left or right political spectrum, in dependence of the party or its leader’ convenience. But more important than the doctrinaire body or the charismatic leader it is overall the communication. Populism is defined as “A communication framework which identify and appeals to the People which claims to represent”. It refers to simple messages in a binary ‘good and bad’ code, and it is massively reproduced in the media, especially in “tabloid TV’s” or digital papers. But when analysing deeply its ideology and history, it has a real analogy with the former communist parties.

It portraits an absurd counter bar speech or a university rally, but it recalls one of the most shameful parts of the twentieth-century’ thought: The Western intellectuals’ tolerance to Communism.

A few years ago, I saw on the Spanish TV an interview, which had been recorded while Franco was still alive, to Aleksandr Soltzhenitsyn the Russian author who wrote “The Gulag Archipelago”, which recounted his personal experience in those ‘Soviet re-education institutions’. The Russian writer and Nobel Literature Prize stated, “You have escaped from this experience, maybe forever or perhaps just for the time being. You do not know what communism is about. Your progressist political circles named dictatorship to the existing political regime in Spain. But I took ten days traveling through Spain. I travel anonymously, observing life, looking with my eyes. And I have wondered: Do you really know what is a dictatorship, what is the meaning of that word? Do you understand what a terror dictatorship is? “. And he began to give examples and compare: “Spaniards are not tied to their residence place; the Spaniards are free to travel abroad; I have seen foreign newspapers on newsstands; I saw private business; I saw photocopiers business…”

 The Spanish writer Juan Benet wrote in reaction to that interview: “I firmly believe that as long as people like Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn are around, the concentration camps must endure and will endure. Perhaps they should better be guarded so that of people like Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, while not acquiring a better education, could not go outside. ” And so many intellectuals thought alike at the moment, not so far away in time.

The admired Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, Literature Nobel Prize in 1971, was a lover of the more terrible totalitarianism of the twentieth century. I guess those responsible for granting the Literature Nobel Prize, the same ones who denied the award to Borges because he collected an award in Pinochet’s Chile, should appreciate that qualifying the Soviet Union as the “Mother of the free”, considering the “West as a dump”, and calling on “killing to all those who denounce Bolshevism”, meant some merits at the time of their choice. I guess among the people blessed with the Stalinist peace which Neruda referred were included Korea, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Romania, Bulgaria or Poland.

Stalin, in his quiet way, has entered in the History accompanied by Lenin and the wind. (…) Stalin is the noon, the man and the People’ matureness“. Ode to Stalin, by Pablo Neruda.

As Neruda, I cannot fail to mention to Jean-Paul Sartre, Gunther Grass, Jose Saramago, Simone de Beauvoir, Dario Fo or Rafael Alberti, most of them playing the subterranean role of Stalin’s propaganda agents: Ernest Hemingway, Lillian Hellman, André Malraux, Maxim Gorky, and Andre Gide are among a host of great writers and intellectuals who were agents of Soviet propaganda.

By comparison I would like to mention to Vassili Grossman. Grossman could not write an autobiography with such a pompous title as “I confess that I lived” because, unlike Neruda, his life was an ache: battlefield after battlefield, from death camp to death camp, with its mother disappeared in a Nazi’ massacre in Ukraine and always badly paid when paid.

But Grossman was a conscious man and his last two novels, “Life and Fate” and especially “Forever Flowing” written in the third person, he showed awareness of his own blindness in failing about recognizing the evil. Vassili Grossman in “Forever Flowing” gives a lesson when comparing the crimes committed against the kulaks vs. those crimes of the Nazis, although he was Jewish and the Nazis killed his beloved mother. His memory evokes compassion and pain and I admit that was a guide to not close our eyes to the truth.

The Stalinism’ victory inflicted a great suffering, continued repression and terror in Central, Eastern Europe and the USSR over the following 40 years. At the outbreak of the revolution in 1917, Lenin needed an elite who would support the new state creation. During the early years of the twentieth century, the excited intellectuals launched a powerful propaganda machine. The Soviet state used it until the moment when Stalin ordered to silence any creative whim.

From there, the lives of millions of people were sentenced and mowed under crimes such as ‘enemies of the people, spies, or agents of foreign intelligence’. The intellectuals who supported Stalin took without any awareness the way to their disappearance, such as Boris Pliniak, Boris Pasternak, Mikhail Bulgakov, or Isaak Babel among many others. In the late thirties, Stalin’s purges, the processes that took place in Moscow between 1936 and 1938, left five million prisoners, detained seven million and 5 million deaths. Only during the Ukrainian famine (1936-1938) died more Ukrainians than Jews died in the Nazi camps. The list of Stalin’ victims of terror was too long, 23 million victims. Only Mao Zedong, with 78 million dead, has surpassed him.

Does anyone remember where were those poets or intellectuals who wrote something similar about Hitler or Mussolini? Did they receive tribute and memories or are they the dung heap of the forgotten? This cultural hypocrisy, or this far left’ stupid nostalgia is quite sad and irritant. How is it possible that the Nazi party has been banned in Germany and the Communist party is not yet banned in so many countries? This question should embarrass the world.