Osmel Ramirez Alvarez
HAVANA TIMES – The Fidelista concept of “revolution” is very well-known here as it has been widely spread. I especially like some aspects. However, it’s more of a poetic discourse rather than a concept in itself, which is fiction in Cuba’s case because it wasn’t applied, isn’t being applied and there are currently no signs that it will be applied in the future. In this article, I will only refer to one of its claims: “Revolution is never lying or violating ethical values…”
This verse (because it is a kind of epic poem) talks about pure and unyielding values and principles that a populist revolutionary must have. Because anyone from any social class and conduct can be a revolutionary, but it refers to politics that focus on society in this specific case.
The most recent diplomatic events that involved our country at the UN Human Rights Commission, reminded me of this verse from Fidel’s concept of revolution. Following acts of indiscipline and rabbling headed by the Cuban representative at this important organization (who is sadly famous for this, Anayansi Rodriguez), Bruno Rodriguez declared, in the Government’s name, that “there hasn’t been a single political prisoner in Cuba since 1959.”
This statement gives us plenty to discuss, looking at different examples, but I will only refer to the rude claim, which is false and insulting. Insulting because it ignores or tries to cover up the unjust suffering of thousands of political prisoners who have passed through our prisons in the past six decades and those who are still suffering because of their ideas, because Cuba’s political opposition is criminalized, as well as independent journalism or society’s struggle for human rights.
Everybody knows that the Cuban Revolution turned to unjustifiable methods, ethically-speaking, in order to hold onto power. All of the revolutionaries who took part in the struggle against Batista in some way or another and then disagreed with the country steering onto a Communist path, ended up in jail if they weren’t killed or sent packing into exile first. Were they really common criminals? Wasn’t Huber Matos a political prisoner? Weren’t the 75 people arrested during the Black Spring (2003) also political prisoners? Isn’t Eduardo Cardet a political prisoner?
There are just too many lies, too much nerve and a complete lack of respect. We don’t need any other evidence to prove that these revolutionaries (?) are lying. If there aren’t any political prisoners in Cuba, why are they refusing an inspection by the special rapporteur from the UN’s human rights organization? If this is all made-up by alleged “mercenaries”, why didn’t they take videos of relatives and prisoners disproving this allegation? It’s impossible because the truth can’t be hidden in today’s world.
Lacking a defense based on truth, they turn to violence, chaos and rabbling. It already happened at the Summits of the Americas in Panama and Lima and now it has happened at the UN. We could deduce that they are delimiting a signature “New School of Cuban Diplomacy”: flip-flop diplomacy.
Referring to the Chilean plunder of Bolivia’s harbor on the Pacific Ocean, Marti said in “Our America”, words that seem to be aimed at diplomats of Fidel’s revolution: “When you go beyond reason to defend something, that’s because you haven’t found a way to defend it using reason.” It couldn’t be any clearer.
It’s far too much cheek on behalf of Bruno Rodriguez and anyone else who dares to say that there aren’t any political prisoners in Cuba, just because they shamelessly order them to be tried under the cloak of made-up crimes or they give political, journalistic or human rights defense activities another name.
For example, they write in police and court records: “mercenary working for an enemy power”, “traitor to the Homeland” or “usurpation of journalists’ legal capacity”. Or they simply invent contempt or an attack against the authorities or apply the incredible crime of pre-criminal social danger.
It doesn’t matter whether you have your own ideas or whether you are defending an honest political agenda. It doesn’t matter whether you have a knack for journalism and readers like your work just like many pro-government journalists (who haven’t studied journalism either); it doesn’t matter that the people who really come out of face-offs with the authorities, with black eyes and other physical injuries, are the ones who are locked up. Luckily, there is enough documented evidence of this thanks to modern recording equipment.
Even though I have never been beaten and a crime still hasn’t been invented to take me to trial, I have been threatened with this during my arbitrary arrests, and they made that crystal clear. And they always tell me that I should walk along the straight and narrow because everything is a crime here and any day-to-day activity is illegal, which would take me straight to court. This is how due process, constitutional guarantees and Rule of Law work in socialist Cuba.
I remember that artist Luis Manuel Otero was arrested for quite a few days because he had two or three bags of cement in his home that his aunt had lent him and Jose Daniel Ferrer was almost sentenced to a long time in prison because an officer ran in front of his car. These are just two examples out of the hundreds that exist.
We can make out the true nature of Cuba’s political system with these lies alone, which is called “the truth in Cuba” amazingly enough. My ethical principles don’t allow me to support a government like this and I watch in horror how the international community upholds it.
I am a democratic socialist and I wish for a better Cuba, with social justice, a prosperous and free Cuba. This is why I am promoting political change because this system is the antithesis of nearly everything I want for my country. If only they were the ones to take action and push for change themselves, they would recover an important part of the respect that they were stripped of a long time ago because of their innocence.
But, I don’t believe in miracles. That’s why, as a socialist who disagrees on important points with Cuban liberal democrats (who are more extreme than the founders of the Chicago School for good reason), I feel closer to them than I do to the Government because we agree on the most crucial point: the first thing we need to do is build a democracy.