Transition in the Czech Republic as an Example for Cuba?

The transition in the Czech Republic, prompted by the Velvet Revolution, occurred peacefully and without any confrontation. The reason was that it was a change that everybody wanted and the circumstances were right. As a result, the country achieved true independence, which helped it to move ahead, develop its economy and establish a democratic political system.

On the contrary, all political changes in Cuba before 1959 involved an armed rebellion. The Cuban people can be seen as a nation fighting for democracy, as shown by the many strikes paralysing the whole country as well as public demonstrations against Police repression. After the triumph of the inaptly called “Revolution”, the people are now longing for a change – a change that would bring them some benefit.

Activist Jean Pierre Isla in Terezin / by PIN
Activist Jean Pierre Isla in Terezin / by PIN

After the establishment of the alleged socialism in Cuba by the Castro brothers, the Cuban people have lost their civic spirit and accepted their submission, they have learned to agree with any argument submitted by the leaders of the country. The Cuban civil society has been brought into conformity and is currently showing symptoms of fatigue.

Hopes have been aroused with the restoration of Cuba-US relations, which has been a source of optimism that will be a change and all the modest achievements that have been earned are welcome, regardless of whether they directly benefit the Cuban people as a whole or not. It can be assumed that the reconciliation between the two countries is due to the fact that the United States is losing ground in Latin America and as both Europe and Asia are investing in Cuba, the US is afraid of being left behind. The Cuban government, in turn, has failed in its efforts to build a sustainable economy and the only way of preventing a revolution was to make small concessions on certain economy sectors. Thus, restoration of diplomatic relations with the US was a real godsend with regard to overcoming the crisis that the Cuban government has created. So it seems that the benefit is mutual, but only at the government level. It is quite clear that the improvements will have no impact on the people – at least for the moment.

It’s important not to let them benefit from the suffering of the people, which is the reason why it’s necessary to fight in order to change the current mentality. It’s necessary to work with Cuban civil society, especially with the young people, to help them adapt to the coming change. If we really want to achieve a change in Cuba, confrontation will be inevitable and nobody can predict how it will turn out. Yet, we will strive for a peaceful transition, in spite of the strong belief that it’s difficult to make a change overnight.