HAVANA TIMES — An old American science fiction film (with the same name as the title of this post) tells the story of two galactic fighter-pilots — one earthling, the other alien — who after a fierce battle end up stranded on a hostile planet.
There, the imponderables of survival force them to collaborate in their mutual interests of staying alive. Forced to cooperate in the face of common adversities, their relationship reaches the point that bonds of respect, affection and solidarity are forge between these mortal enemies.
On November 8, activist Antonio Rodiles was allegedly roughed up and arrested by both Cuban police and plain clothes security agents.
The leader of the organization Estado de SATS(an important forum for analysis, discussion and social activism), Rodiles is a worthy representative of contemporary “liberal thought on the island” (advocating democratic freedoms and a reduced State role in the economy), whose ideas he has defended — as proposals for the future Cuban economic and political order — in successive video exchanges with members of the other streams of thought (libertarian, socialist, Catholic, etc..) that form the plural landscape of activism and national ideologies.
For someone identified with a democratic socialist perspective, as is my case, his views are those of a worthy ideological adversary, ones which can and must be confronted without concessions or unnecessary disqualifications within the settings and discourses of our precarious public sphere.
Likewise, Antonio has helped, through his efforts, to defend and expand such free exchanges of ideas and opinions.
For that reason, after one week of his unjust and brutal arrest, and amid the thunderous (and unfortunate) silence of a sector of the Cuban left (my ideological comrades), I join my voice with those demanding his immediate release.
What is now urgently needed is to defend, “with all and for the good of all,” the well-being of Antonio Rodiles, a Cuban who has chosen — with courage, creativity and public-spiritedness — to defend our right to a better country.