‘He who loses his honor loses everything.” So states one of the propaganda posters, featuring quotations from Fidel Castro, that are ubiquitous in Cuba. How ironic, then, that Castro’s policies are directly responsible for the daily humiliations suffered by the Cuban people, the supposed beneficiaries of Cuban socialism.
One aspect of this humiliation is the lack of basic human rights, not least the systematic violation of freedom of conscience. The suffocating repression of dissent and pluralism is not immediately visible: A tourist may well enjoy the charming architecture of Old Havana, the cheap rum and cigars, the fabulous weather, the salsa clubs, and the white beaches without encountering any signs of the police state; indeed, European tourists, especially those predisposed by a romantic anti-American admiration for Castro, often come away with positive impressions.
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