And this is where it gets really good! My search wove me through the
literature with ease. In a lecture by Valladares, I found “One school of
thought some years ago was that a dialogue with Fidel Castro would
somehow move the old dictator and give way to democracy. I believe
that any solution that puts in Castro's hands the illusion of a change
toward freedom is just that, an illusion. It would be like putting in
Hitler's hands a solution that would be respectful and humanitarian for
the Jewish people, or putting in the hands of racial extremists the life of
African Americans, or in the hands of Pol Pot and Ian Sari the
democratization of Cambodia.” The people of Cuba along with many,
many other Latin American peoples living under dictatorships or
military states were screaming for freedom from their rooftops.
Or what about in Murakami’s After Dark? Where the main character is
stifled by cultural expectations, her future predetermined by her
parents. A different cry for freedom, but no less present and powerful!
Realizing that my idea might be right, I looked into the Russian
literature. I again found political oppression in Everyday Stalinism,
“Soviet citizens attempting to live ordinary lives were continually
running up against the state  in one of its multifarious aspects. Their
lives were tossed around by Communist policies; their tempers were
tried on a daily basis by incompetent and arbitrary officials, clerks, and
salespeople, all working for the state. This was the omnipresent context
of Soviet everyday life; there was no way to live without it.” Controlling
entire lives? Not just one person’s future, but all people.
Finally, looking into the Middle East and Africa with Nelson Mandela’s
Nobel Speech, I found, “When that moment comes, we shall, together,
rejoice in a common victory over racism, apartheid and white minority
rule. That triumph will finally bring to a close a history of five hundred
years of African colonization that began with the establishment of the
Portuguese empire.” Colonialism, Racism, Segregation… such ugly
words, so present in the history and present.