Fernando Gonzalez, one of the Cuban 5, reviews the book of Arnold August Cuba and Its Neighbours: Democacy in Motion.
“Arnold August’s Cuba and Its Neighbours: Democracy in Motion is an exceptional work that will succeed in the objective of educating its audience. It will assist toward broadening the outlook of all those who read it.
The chapter on democracy in the United States is among the best critical analyses I have read of the American nation’s formation, ideology and political system. The documents linked to the book in the website www.democracyintheus.com have struck me as being very interesting and educational. The commentaries are brief but they go to the very essence of each of the themes, clarifying the reasons for which the political elite in this country operate the way that they do. Everything related to the Puritans and their thought, as well as other idiosyncrasies of the ideology that gave birth to the genesis of this nation, is of great interest, seeing that throughout history they are reflected in domestic and international policy.
The analysis of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, their limitations and their class origins is very revealing. The case study of the current president [Barack Obama] is part of the evaluation that I am making. The section on the U.S. presidential elections in 2008 and 2012, the significance of the existent president and how the electoral system functions in this country seem to me among the best that I have read on this theme.
The analysis of both the potential and the limitations of the Occupy Movement was very interesting for me. In fact, I learned only a couple of weeks ago [March 2013] while watching the TV channel Russia Today (RT) about the report that was divulged as a result of the Freedom of Information Act in which the FBI admitted having monitored this movement, among even worse acts than this. The U.S. press did not in any way reflect these events, at least not The New York Times that I read.
However, it was not solely this section of the book that impressed me. With regards to the absence of elections and democracy in Cuba, the publication contributes to undoing once and for all the myths imbued into the minds of consumers of information that is manipulated by the mass media, which is controlled by major economic interests, following the policy established by the political elites in this country.
The book’s description and analysis of the Cuban democratic and electoral system is excellent. It is undoubtedly the best that I have seen written on this theme. There are elements of the democratic functioning of Cuban society that even I myself had not noticed . The publication provides the key to recognizing unity and development of consensus as guides to the entire democratic process. The critical observations are perceptive, very intelligent and placed in their contexts.
I have begun to recommend the book to all those who are interested in the subject of Cuba. I sincerely believe that it has made a significant contribution to the elucidation of the democratic reality in Cuba. The book is being converted into a very valuable and essential instrument in the struggle in the field of ideas.”
— Fernando Gonzalez Llort, one of the Cuban 5 imprisoned in the U.S., graduated with a summa cum laude in International Political Relations from the Higher Institute of International Relations University in 1987, Reg #58733-004, Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Safford, Arizona, U.S.A.