By Jose Reyes
"It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. Winston Smith, his chin nuzzled into his breast in an effort to escape the vile wind, slipped quickly through the glass doors of Victory Mansions, though not quickly enough to prevent a swirl of gritty dust from entering along with him. The hallway smelt of boiled cabbage and old rag mats. At one end of it a coloured poster, too large for indoor display, had been tacked to the wall. It depicted simply an enormous face, more than a metre wide: the face of a man of about forty-five, with a heavy black moustache and ruggedly handsome features. Winston made for the stairs. It was no use trying the lift. Even at the best of times it was seldom working, and at present the electric current was cut off during daylight hours. It was part of the economy drive in preparation for Hate Week. The flat was seven flights up, and Winston, who was thirty-nine and had a varicose ulcer above his right ankle, went slowly, resting several times on the way. On each landing, opposite the lift-shaft, the poster with the enormous face gazed from the wall. It was one of those pictures which are so contrived that the eyes follow you about when you move. BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU, the caption beneath it ran."
This is how George Orwell’s book Nineteen Eighty-Four begins and probably where the Castro so-called scholars in charge of reading, classifying and categorizing all the literature in Cuba’s libraries began to realize how “dangerous” it would be for their personal revolution. But then again, Fidel and Raul most likely had read this book already since it was published in 1949. As soon as one begins to read this revealing book the similarities begin to appear, it seems like you are reading about modern day Cuba. And in a weird example-like manner, Fidel and Raul also seemed to adopt the whole philosophy and goal of their system to mirror this particular book.
Total” Totalitarianism is exactly what Orwell was trying to convey and acknowledge with his descriptive observations, yes, how a Communist system would look like when finally reaching its pinnacle, the endpoint, its Utopian Finale. How its victims and followers would be living, was definitely one of the main goals he concentrated on as he typed away this masterpiece. The comparisons are great, the ideology is exact and the reality is clear. The iconic murals are there and the language emphasis is the same. Those brainwashing persuasive reminding words are there and very clear. It seems to be the weapon of choice and the method all communist led establishments always take. It’s those repeated visual reminders that make or break you, to either religiously follow the system or revolt to fugitive status. There are no other choices, especially in the world George Orwell creates in 1984. Just the same, there really isn’t any choice in Cuba, you either accept it by giving up all your aspirations, your individuality and your human rights or you fight the system.
A rusty and aging 50 year old system with many faults and failures constitutes Cuba now. A country with dinosaur 59 Chevy’s roaming the streets and collapsing buildings falling about. A turtle-paced transportation system, a disastrous uncommunicative telecommunication company, a dimming power grid and a dial-up styled Internet connection are all this cynical tyrannical government could offer to its inhabitants. The only thriving business on this beautiful island is the Castro family steered tourism agency, which was established by way of lucrative deals with the very successful European hotel industry. This, of course, only benefits Big Brother, as the Cuban citizens are left holding a worthless Cuban Peso in one hand and a beat up unreliable food ration card on the other.
There you have it, George Orwell’s extraordinary depiction of the human state in a world totally dominated by Marx and Engels philosophical system of Communism. You actually need not even have to finish the first chapter to realize how unbelievably similar life in Cuba is now, in 2009, to the world George Orwell predicted in 1948, if Communism prevailed in society. So if you never been to Cuba and you were fortunate to read Nineteen Eighty Four then you would be able to picture how the Cuban people live and have lived in the last 50 years. This is how you will live your life when you decide to accept and surrender your individuality to your government. The day you purposely refuse to monitor and fail to question your so-called leaders, will be the beginning of the end of your freedom. The day your so-called leaders take your only form of defense, either your opinionated voice or your hand held weapon away from you, will be your first day of slavery. When you give up on your future aspirations and begin to accept that you have been unfairly defeated, then you will be, in turn, surrendering yourself to the one that refused to acknowledge you as a living human being. It’s as simple as that and Cuba is the perfect example. If you feel that I am exaggerating here with my comparisons, then go and live in Cuba for the rest of your life, but live within the Cuban people, within their persecution, within their futile lives. There is no reason for any human being to suffer and to be ripped apart, psychologically or physically, just for disagreeing with a philosophical ideal. This ideal or may I say, concept, which I am speaking of is Communism.
George Orwell considered himself to be a Social-Democrat, who fought all his life against totalitarian governments. He hated Communism with a vengeance because he knew it was the same exact thing but he felt that Socialism would be the perfect system of rule. If he were alive now, he would have written a couple extensive books explaining how wrong he was about Socialism because he would have realized, like many are right now, that Socialism cannot work and eventually turns into a full blown Communism. The more power your so-called leader has over your freedom of choice, the more you lose your human rights. This is exactly what happens in a Socialist system, the Communistic ideal takes over the mindset. This is when that one day comes, when your so-called leader will stand before you and announce that there will not be anymore elections, that will be the end for you. So George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four was not only about Communism and Totalitarianism, it was really a goodwill guide for all human beings to follow, so they would understand the warning signs. The very first sign that there is something fishy is going on is when you begin to see an overabundance of Iconic Posters surfacing in public, this is a big giveaway, which reminds me of our 44th president.
As George Orwell mentions:
Outside, even through the shut window-pane, the world looked cold. Down in the street little eddies of wind were whirling dust and torn paper into spirals, and though the sun was shining and the sky a harsh blue, there seemed to be no colour in anything, except the posters that were plastered everywhere. The blackmoustachio’d face gazed down from every commanding corner. There was one on the house-front immediately opposite. BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU
You can read 1984 online for free and all of his other works of perfection, including Animal Farm here. I also have 1984 in the Spanish online version . I have been able to email many people in Cuba this Spanish translated online version and if you can too, please do because like I mentioned before, this is one of the first of many books that Fidel and Raul banned when they took over Cuba. If you are caught reading this book in Cuba, then you will be imprisoned. I wonder why?
You can purchase 1984 in English
You can purchase 1984 in Spanish
You can purchase 1984 in Italian
You can purchase1984 in French
You can purchase 1984 in German
There are many countries that have not translated this book up to now.