There are lessons for Cuba in “Reflections on Unfinished Revolutions,” a report by the Institute for Democracy in Eastern Europe, which examines the state of democracy in Eastern Europe 25 years after the 1989-91 revolutions, notes analyst Jose Azel:
The authors of the study place much of the responsibility for their countries’ failed opportunities to achieve democratic governance on their own citizens — a citizenry who was unprepared to meet the challenges of overcoming the communist legacy and “did not act with sufficient decisiveness in getting rid of the old system.”
The report also noted that Western countries have a limited vision for expanding freedom and often fail to back democratic movements. Instead, Western governments underinvest in supporting the values of freedom and side with governments of an anti-democratic character. One result has been that many political parties in post-communist countries view the state, not the people, as “their base or their constituency.” These parties become the instruments of authoritarian leaders. When societies fail to deal with their communist past, they inhibit the development of genuine democratic institutions.
Many Cubans and Americans alike welcomed the promise that the Obama administration’s outreach to the Castro regime would create political space for the Cuban people. Tragically, two months after President Obama’s visit there, the Cuban regime continues to arbitrarily imprison dissidents, violently suppress peaceful protests, and systematically deprive Cubans of their most basic rights.
AEI welcomes Antonio Rodiles, one of Cuba’s most prominent pro-democracy voices and a leading figure within the country’s opposition movement, to offer an on-the-ground perspective of current conditions on the island and to share his thoughts on whether to expect any liberalization out of Havana and how US policy could best help the Cuban people.
Wednesday, May 18, 2016 | 2:30 – 4:00 PM
AEI, Twelfth Floor | 1150 Seventeenth Street, NW | Washington, DC 20036
Join the conversation on social media with #RodilesatAEI.
Roger F. Noriega, AEI
Antonio Rodiles, Cuban political activist
RSVP to attend this event.