For ordinary mortals in Cuba who are informed about what happens in the world through the newspaper Granma, the Roundtable TV show and the Television News, it appears that in Spain capitalism is facing its imminent demise. For many, even the ghost of the Fifth Regiment seems about to rise from the Republican ashes. The signs that were raised in the Puerta del Sol left no room for doubt, the images were worth more than words: the cameras took pains to focus on the youngest people and, I say it without shame, the most lovely, those who danced most beautifully and chanted the slogans of the Madrid May.

But this morning we learned that in the local and regional elections the Popular Party (those rightists!) had wiped the floor with the Socialist Party (PSOE) and that the Spanish electorate, for whom the exercise of democracy is no longer a novelty, had gone to the polls if not massively at least in a higher proportion than five years ago.

Adding to the confusion for Cuban readers of the official newspapers and television viewers, they warned us that the anti-system popular rallies had been called using social networks that rely on the new technologies of Twitter and Facebook, the same ones, as they have explained to us, that imperialism used to try to overthrow the regime in Iran and to oust the Egyptian president.

Now, those who won the elections hope to definitively liquidate Zapatero and his team, invoking, among other arguments, the demonstrations that from an irate left demand, in public plazas, the end of the government. I can can assure you that our commentators classify this demand as political opportunism or something similar.

Something is missing in the explanation that allows us to fully understand what happened. Will Spaniards suffer the same kind of confusion about what is happening in Cuba?

23 May 2011