It is an old and sad custom in Latin America. It’s to protect the dictator, the killer, the one who should be in prison but remains in power through sheer force, fraud and abuses.
It’s odd, how politicians who praise and reward dictatorships do not live there, were never detained or tortured in their jails and can leave and return to their own countries without a problem. That’s the case of the president of Mexico and the vice president of Colombia when it comes to Cuba.
After so many years of the brutal and criminal dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro, there is a possible path to democracy for Venezuela. What is it? Free and internationally supervised elections in 2024. But the path has many land mines.
Singing in Cuba is dangerous. And so is posting something on your social networks that the dicatorship does not like. About 700 Cubans remain in prison from the July 11 protests last year.
The president of Mexico was happy. “Today we’ll listen to cumbia music,” said Andrés Manuel López Obrador, “because of the victory of Gustavo Petro” in Colombia’s presidential election. “I cannot hide it. I am very happy.”
It’s easy to define the right side of history. It’s always on the side of democracy, justice, freedom and the defense of human rights. To coddle dictators – like the ones in Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua – is not part of it.
It is always dangerous to negotiate with a dictator, because his only goal is to remain in power. And he will do everything to do that. Everything.
THE FIRST WOMAN PRESIDENT OF COLOMBIA? Ingrid Betancourt once told me that she was going to be president of Colombia and would then invite me to the Casa de Nariño for one of her first interviews.
As president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador has defended the Cuban dictatorship so much that Cuban author Wendy Guerra posted a challenge on his Facebook page: “15 days in Cuba living like an ordinary Cuban.”
Independent journalist Abraham Jiménez was on the roof of his Havana home, trying to connect for a video interview on his cell phone. The signal is better up there than in his room.