HAVANA TIMES, Jan 15 — Many people asked that question. I even received two calls asking me to protest his visit. One was late because the Iranian president was already leaving Cuban soil. The other person felt regrets later on, saying that it wouldn’t have been worth it and would have only raised suspicions about us.
To me — someone who doesn’t like attention, and who’s easily scared — I wasn’t encouraged about the thought of marching through the streets with signs, but at the same time I didn’t like the idea of the visit of one of the presidents with the most prisoners of conscience and death sentence executions in his country.
I’m trying to be tolerant, and I understand that there are protocols to meet, especially between governments – but then to give him an award? That’s something I really don’t understand.
Ahmadinejad arrived in Cuba making the “V” for victory gesture and smiling. Maybe he was pleased about having so many political prisoners, or condemning to hanging or stoning of so many homosexuals, converts to Christianity, and thousands of women for even been accused of infidelity.
I know we live in different cultures, and this is why we shouldn’t judge him, not for the better or for the worse.
However, the Cuban government opened the door by granting him an honorary doctorate degree in political science and also allowing him to speak in public.
Consequently, we had to listen to his ironic words about a “new world order based on justice and respect for all human beings.”
I don’t know if it’s true that Iran produces 20 percent depleted uranium. Nor do I know if the Iranian people approve of the nuclear program in their country.
I would have liked to learn more about the reasons for his visit, but the Cuban press only said that he was an anti-imperialist who thinks that the capitalist system is in decline.
I’m trying to figure out what he came here to do, in a country where — fortunately — it’s been years since anyone has been executed.
But I still don’t understand how the Cuban government is advocating changes in people’s mentality here (supposedly to advance, prosper, improve the country), when it welcomes a man with a policy as retrograde, anti-feminist, homophobic, warmongering and anti-environmental as his.
I don’t understand. I think I’m missing something and I don’t know if I’ll ever find out what it is.