Destaque Internacional - No. 110 - Coordinator: Javier González. Buenos Aires, Sept. 12, 2003.-

Latin America: "Post-Communism" and Lessons from the European East

In the Czech Republic, the "post-communists," after a long decade of systematic work in the trenches, have managed to recover power, as in the epoch of the Soviet empire. Now they act in a more subtle way, although they continue with their homogeneous objective of controlling not only the political sphere, but any sector of public life, however insignificant it might be.

The man who has just denounced this disconcerting reality, little known in Latin America and the United States, is the Czech political scientist Petr Vancura, director of the Institute for National Security, with headquarters in Prague, when he participated in the International Co-Industrial Congress in Caracas.

How could this unpleasant backward movement be produced? Vancura explains that in 1989, in the former Czechoslovakia, when the Soviet empire collapsed, many thought, ingenuously, that the Communists would be swept away naturally from the panorama of the rising democracy. Nevertheless, immediately and in a disguised manner, they began to implement strategies to retain power, quickly freeing themselves of their credentials as members of the Communist Party and mimicking as civilian groups or companies that continued under the control of networks of influence organized by members of the former regime.

Induced chaos, manipulative propaganda through the control of important communications media, as well as the economic influence acquired through the purchase of former state businesses, have been the main instruments of the so-called "post-Communists" to discredit, destabilize and marginalize the followers of order and liberty. Symptomatically, the same ones who yesterday were openly subject to Moscow, today continue maintaining financial and political bonds with powerful revolutionary political forces of the Russian metropolis.

Finally, the Czech political scientist observes that the crimes of Communism have remained with total impunity and that many of their victims lie in misery and abandonment.

Similar situations exist in other nations of Eastern Europe, in various Eurasian countries and in Russia itself, as was shown in the annual conference of the Institute for National Security in Prague, in which among the participants was the former Russian dissident Vladimir Bukovsky; the Ukrainian political scientist Mykola Melnychenko; the journalist Neil Barnett, correspondent of the magazine "Jane's Defense" for Eastern Europe; the Bulgarian Ognyan Minchev, director of the Regional and International Institute of Studies, of Sofia, and other specialists, among whom Vancura himself, who acted as the moderator.

On the delicate situation in Russia, one must emphasize a recent and almost unknown letter of warning sent to President Bush by Vladimir Bukovsky and Elena Bonner, wife of the deceased former Russian dissident and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Andrei Sakharov. In it, they warn that Russia, "contrary to what is believed in the West, is not walking on the road of democracy and the free market"; and they mention, among others examples, the fact of the last presidential elections in which the Russian electorate was given the false alternative of "choosing between a Communist leader and a colonel of the KGB."

On the Latin American scene, what occurs in the Czech Republic of today serves as a warning for an eventual fraud that officials of the Cuban regime are plotting for "post-Castroism" in Cuba.

But the lessons of Eastern Europe perhaps go a great deal further. In fact, save for the obvious differences in political situations, it would not be difficult to establish analogies between the strategies of the Czech "post-Communists" and of various Eurasian countries, with those of "post-leftists" of Latin America. A variety of these have outlined new revolutionary strategies, having affinity with those of the Czech "post-Communists," in the course of the three sessions of the World Social Forum of Porto Alegre. Its main Latin American figure is the current president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who, paradoxically, has received compliments and unusual manifestations of confidence from the American ambassador in Brasilia, Donna Hrinak, from the recently appointed undersecretary of State for Affairs of the Western Hemisphere, Roger Noriega, and from President Bush himself.

All the preceding facts should be serenely reflected upon, with a view of devising the adequate doctrinal antidotes and propaganda, on the part of those who in the three Americas were opposed yesterday to the old revolutionary tactics, and today distrust the new ones.

Please note: We recommend the reading of the documents of Bukovsky, Vancura, Bonner and other authors mentioned in this Editorial, which will be sent by e-mail, free of charge, to those who are interested. It suffices to click in Editorial:Documents The texts are in English.