Obama Replies to Osmel’s Open Letter

Elio Delgado Legón

Barack Obama

HAVANA TIMES — Here is my version of how President Obama might respond to an open letter by Osmel Ramirez published in this publication.

Dear Osmel,

I am very happy to read of your interest in changing Cuba’s political system. As you well know, that has been my country’s intent for more than 50 years, but the method of trying to subjugate the Cuban people through hunger and disease so as to bring about this change hasn’t yielded the hoped-for results, as the Cuban people have shown infinite endurance. We had hoped they would rebel against their government, but the majority has demonstrated, on numerous occasions, that they support their revolution.

I know that, during my visit, I will be shown the Cuban government’s and people’s greatest achievements over the past 57 years, such as some of the numerous research centers (including the Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Center), the Latin American School of Medicine, a grade school with smiling, happy children, as you write in your letter. I should however mention I have visited many countries and know many others from the information we receive from our embassies, and that no other country in Latin America could show me the kind of facilities you mention in your letter, or the ones you don’t mention whose existence I am aware of.

In your letter, you ask that we establish the holding of a referendum aimed at changing Cuba’s political system as a condition for the lifting of the blockade, but that would entail meddling in your country’s internal affairs and we know, thanks to intelligence, that Cuba’s political, economic and social system is supported by the immense majority of the population, as demonstrated by the approval of the 1976 Constitution, whose Article 3, Chapter 1, establishes the irrevocable nature of the system. This document approved through a direct and secret vote by 97 percent of voters, ratified every two and a half years through municipal elections and every five years with provincial and parliamentary ones, seeing a voter turnout of over 90 percent – something we don’t see in any other country in the Americas, not even my own, where, sometimes, only 25 percent of the electorate votes.

To be frank, I can’t look on my country’s democracy as an example to follow, for it has more weaknesses than Cuba’s. As to whether there is or there isn’t democracy in Cuba is subject to interpretation, for there isn’t a single democratic model and not one of these is perfect. As far as I know, Cubans participate in their country’s politics more than the citizens of other countries, including the United States, where those who vote have no additional participation in politics, and the decisions of Congress aren’t always those that benefit the population, but those that benefit the capitalists who paid for their campaigns.

I write this so that you won’t get any ideas we can actually do anything to produce changes in Cuba’s political system in the short or middle term. That is our final objective, to avoid that a country with a successful socialist system can offer the rest of America an example, but that is a long-term strategy, and it will succeed if we can have an impact on the new generations, who didn’t experience Cuba’s capitalist past, pushing them to adopt a consumer society like ours. I confess I don’t harbor much hope we will reach this objective.

Lastly, I want to thank you for your good intentions and your determination to help us reestablish capitalism on your beautiful island.

Sincerely,

B.H.O.

Elio Delgado Legon

Elio Delgado-Legon: I am a Cuban who has lived for 80 years, therefore I know full well how life was before the revolution, having experienced it directly and indirectly. As a result, it hurts me to read so many aspersions cast upon a government that fights tooth and nail to provide us a better life. If it hasn’t fully been able to do so, this is because of the many obstacles that have been put in its way.


7 thoughts on “Obama Replies to Osmel’s Open Letter

  • March 8, 2016 at 9:19 am
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    What are Cubans thinking? I am far from an expert on that. I do wonder if Cubans are like Americans. Clearly, many Americans do not feel that their government represents them. But they are unlikely to welcome outside criticism and outside pressure.

  • March 7, 2016 at 8:37 pm
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    Is Elio suggesting Raul writes Obama’s letters & speeches?

    So Cuba is “a country with a successful socialist system” …???

    LOL! Elio, your Obama sure has a wicked sense of humour!

  • March 6, 2016 at 3:44 pm
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    Are you under the misguided belief that the Cuban people have the opportunity to decide for themselves?

  • March 6, 2016 at 12:01 am
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    I agree. Unfortunately the Cuban people have no say in their government. So now what?

  • March 5, 2016 at 7:08 pm
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    We are all fully aware that the objective of capitalist America is to subvert the Socialist system of Cuba and the world. Those of us who do not subscribe to the Capitalist propaganda spewed out by the oligarch owned media, would be thoroughly educated to impart the knowledge that capitalism breeds slavery, degradation, poverty, illiteracy, ignorance and disease. We, the working class of the world have to be grateful for the 1917 Workers Revolution in Russia, which liberated little children from working in mines, introduced universal education, brought respect tp women and gave them rights they never enjoyed under the capitalist system, introduced Social Security, Pensions for Workers when they retired, Holiday with Pay, Eight (8) hour working day from the sunset to sunrise hours they used to work, ensured that workers celebrated a DAY for themselves and in recognition for the contribution they have made to the DEVELOPMENT of their country

  • March 5, 2016 at 5:29 pm
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    Hahaha! Elio, you are a laugh riot! Cubans are compelled to vote. Not voting can impact your job and college prospects for your family. Not so long ago, when Cubans had to ask permission to travel abroad, a non-verbal was guaranteed to receive a NO. So, your 97% turnout statistic is a joke. That whole thing about voting for the “irrevocable socialist nature” of the government is also misleading. IT WAS THE ONLY CHOICE. By the way, while the US is far from perfect, our system is open and accessible. Anybody, even a Donald Trump, can succeed at it. Doesn’t it seem the least bit weird to you that in 57 years only two brothers have been in charge? Finally, and I could go on, after reading this last part, I laughed so hard that I think that I peed myself a little bit, you write “a country with a successful socialist system can offer the rest of America an example”. Really? Like Venezuela or Brazil or Ecuador or do you really mean like Cuba? You are ridiculously funny Elio. But mostly ridiculous.

  • March 5, 2016 at 4:45 pm
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    I am not a big fan of Obama. However, on Cuba I am 100% in favor of his initiative.
    If the government in Cuba should be changed — that is for the Cuban people to decide — And i don’t mean the Cuban dissidents in Miami.

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