Cuban opinion

Some political movements and institutions attract an irrational loyalty, they are seen as expressing the triumph of an idea and hence exempt from rational scrutiny. If American conservatism has shown signs of this so has Communism. The ‘Communist’ regimes were rarely judged by rational criteria by their admirers. An interesting recent survey of Cuban opinion from Freedom House:

Cubans still struggle to survive day to day-to feed their families and to find adequate housing. Moreover, recent reforms announced by Raul Castro have generated little enthusiasm or hope for structural change in Cuba. Cubans see little prospect for change, and even the prospect for change seems to give them more anxiety than hope. There is widespread fear that political change will bring crime and insecurity to Cuba…Despite Raul Castro’s launch of the debate critico, inviting open dialogue about the failures of the Revolution, many Cubans doubt that the government will effectively address public concerns. Cubans say they feel incapable of organizing a popular response to government oppression. They are uninformed or misinformed about Cuba’s democracy movement. The Catholic Church provides a small space for some cultural and social activities, but respondents did not see the Church stretching beyond this into a civil or political role. Young Cubans, while particularly disillusioned, are usually apathetic. The most common response to government injustice is to complain and conform. The bleak outlook expressed by respondents has taken root over decades of government intimidation and propaganda. Despite the moribund environment, however, there is an indication that Cubans do desire deeper political freedoms. Respondents frequently named three reforms they say they want most, and two of those three are freedom of movement-not only outside the country but within the country as well-and freedom of expression.

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