TODAY CUBA – Despite that Cuba has said goodbye to Fidel Castro, paying tributes for an entire week with millions showing their remorse for the fallen leader of the island, some experts say the sadness is not so widespread.
According to political scientist Armando Chaguaceda, those who are really mourning are a small minority of older citizens, though an important group nonetheless.
“It always happens that people mourn when a charismatic leader is lost,” he said. “Even in the decline of his life and work.”
The political scientist also explained that the Cuban government will try to take advantage of the dictator’s death to consolidate further power on the island, as happened when Hugo Chavez died in Venezuela in 2013.
“The intention to create a metaphysical cult to prevail for the regime in power was a strategy for Chavismo in 2013 when Venezuela used the slogan, ‘I am Chavez,’ a slogan that is now repeated with Fidel’s name.”
Those that don’t feel that mourning are fragmented and hidden,” Chaguaceda said. “But there are surely more of them.”
Member of the opposition Joanna Columbié said mobilizations have been as expected.
“One part attends to fulfill an obligation and the other does it out of respect and solidarity.”
“In the long run Fidel is a very controversial politician who leaves a multifaceted legacy with errors as well as achievements,” said Pavel Gómez, a member of the group Cuba Possible. “At the time of his death I think that many people try not to forget the social transformation that he produced in Cuba and the advances on this front. He is a symbol for many Cubans, despite his failures.”
Opposition organizations like the Patriotic Union of Cuba have already denounced attacks by extremists acting out against those who have refused to pay tribute to the dictator.
“A lot of people have been living their entire lives in a state of confront,” said human rights activist Claudio Fuentes. “There is a gratitude in the masses as a kind of conformity — a kind of stockholm syndrome at its worst.”
Source: La Nación.