HAVANA TIMES — About ten years ago, I had a bunch of friends who were “burnouts” (as we used to call them) because of conditions of life here, though I didn’t choose them because of that condition.
Most of them did nothing more than whine in private about things, but the boldest became associated with political parties that emerged back then, mostly the “sui generis” pro-capitalists ones.
The political education of typical neighborhood kids was terrible. They had no idea of the mess they were getting into; they didn’t even know what the hell “liberalism” was. To them it sounded like freedom and capitalism – which to them were synonymous.
They had good times in the activities of their parties – channeling their angst, meeting cool people who “opened their eyes”… and at the same time filled their bellies.
They weren’t afraid, and in the middle of 2003 it seemed like the regime was retreating and reluctantly tolerating an emboldened opposition.
Naïve, they were being given more and more rope to hang themselves, but at the decisive moment the stool was kicked out from under them. State Security agents permeated these groups and directed them into the arms of the US government, which at that time had begun to openly financing dissidents and non-violent subversive groups.
One of the leaders of this “heroic deed” was Aleida Godinez (Agent Vilma). It’s amazing to hear from her very own mouth how she, as an opposition leader, requested logistical support and money from our generous neighbors to the north.
In the way that Godinez tells her story to US journalist Tracey Eaton, I would say that she’s even proud of her achievements.
The worst sentiments come out in me listening to such a person who deliberately embroiled the lives of so many people and crushed a process of political reform (not just pro-capitalist), which perhaps at this point would now be bearing fruit.
But the discomfort aside, I recommend the interviews conducted by Eaton to (Cuban) political activists of various currents and human rights defenders. They are excellent documents to understanding the political drama of today’s Cuba.
Intervew by Tracey Eaton with Aleida Godinez
part 1: http://vimeo.com/23452713
part 2: http://vimeo.com/23564442
Text version (Spanish)