By Carlos Sánchez Berzain*

The crisis in Venezuela has exposed many things: Maduro's dictatorship, the struggle of the Venezuelan people to regain their freedom and democracy, the heroism of the Venezuelan youth, the depth of the Cuban intervention in Nations of the so called Socialism of the XXI Century, the decision to keep dictators in power by any means, the violation of Human Rights as a State policy, and now there is no doubt that what is disputed in Venezuela is the survival of the Cuban dictatorship. The continuity of the Castro regime after 55 years of dictatorship, is the central political issue of the Venezuelan conflict. 

A few days ago, Moody's decided to downgrade Cuba after assessing the vulnerability of the country to external and domestic conflicts, relative to countries with similar rating. Moody's is a credit rating agency that works in international financial research and analysis on commercial and government entities; is a provider of credit ratings, research and risk analysis covering about 115 countries, 11,000 corporate issuers and 21,000 private issuers.

The risks rating rating agency has found that in terms of external conflicts, Cuba depends on Venezuela for oil which imports on favorable financing terms through the Petrocaribe agreement. The credit rating of Cuba has been lowered from Caa1 to Caa2 which are titles of low solvency at risk of default, the Cuban dictatorship has fallen to the worst grade. 

It is remarkable thing that Moody's warns of a possible "financial collapse of Venezuela from which Cuba depends in great measure", stating that with "the growing data and unsustainable macroeconomic imbalances in Venezuela and the high risk of economic and financial collapse, the future of this agreement is uncertain, which leaves Cuba vulnerable to a sharp adjustment in the cost of energy imports ". 

What the rating agency just reminded us from an economic stand point is something that is still trying to be avoided, covered and manipulate in politics. Venezuela's crisis is the crisis of Cuba, so if Maduro falls in Venezuela the government of Castro in Cuba does not hold a chance of survival. The Castro dictatorship has to defend the political power in Venezuela because they are playing with its survival. A democratic government in Venezuela that would suspend the export (gift, from the viewpoint of the Venezuelan opposition) of oil to Cuba, would put an end to the  dictatorial government of the island.

Strategically, one cannot make the mistake of not defining and knowing who the adversary is. If it is not exactly identified who one is fighting against, there is a serious risk of losing and perish. Those who think that the enemy of freedom and democracy in Venezuela is just the dictator Maduro, run the risk of confusing the "operator" with the "enemy", the executor of errands with who gives the orders. Venezuela's enemies are the current owners: the Castro dictators. The same happens in Ecuador, Bolivia and Nicaragua where dictatorships have been instituted in the XXI century. 

To recognize Venezuela as the puppet government of Cuba in the interest of their own Cuban dictatorship survival, would greatly help to defeat the practice and strategy of "eternal survival" used by the Castro dictatorship which has lasted until today. 

The end of the dictatorship in Venezuela would originate the end of the dictatorship in Cuba and in the countries occupied by the neo-communism, now called Socialism of the XXI Century. The survival of the Cuban dictatorship is decided in Venezuela, and the Castros are fighting it with its agents, its repressive forces, intelligence and news services, and all its agencies. For this reason the recovery of democracy is hard, but it's closer than it appears. 

* Lawyer and Political Scientist. Director of the Interamerican Institute of Democracy.