By Pedro Pablo Morejón
HAVANA TIMES – All of us here know that there is a song that came out recently, released by well-known Cuban artists, that went viral on social media. The music video already has several million of views on YouTube.
The song is called Patria y Vida, and the lyrics have riled up the Cuban government to the point that they have made hostile comments in state-led media trying to contain its impact.
But the government hasn’t just stopped at making comments. Nope. It has also used its pawns to release another song with a tasteless melody and lyrics, which they called “Patria o muerte por la vida”, which is quite ridiculous really if we take into account the thousands of thumbs down it got, making it the worse song in 2021 so far, according to Google.
The result? A moral blow for the Casto leadership.
However, there is some truth in its lyrics. It’s the phrase by singer-songwriter Raul Torres when he says that the “Revolution” still has 62 thousand millenia ahead.
This is because there are plenty of starry-eyed Cubans who believe that a song can overturn the Cuban dictatorship. However, Patria y Vida is just this: a viral song that embodies the dream of a significant number of Cubans living both in and outside the island.
The sad reality, which many people don’t want to accept and that hammers us down more and more with what happens every day, is that the PCC’s totalitarianism will continue to exist here in Cuba for a very long time.
No songs, nor economic sanctions, nor dialogues will bring about the changes we long for. Words can’t stop a thug. This is precisely what the dictatorship is: a thug that demands we think, speak and behave like we should, unless we want to be beaten. Thugs are violent and they can only be defeated using violence.
Obviously, Cuba isn’t the USA. In Cuba, only the military, police officers and those related to the government, the ones that make up the State’s apparatus of repression, reserve the right to carry arms.
Our neighbor in the North won’t lift a single finger in a military plan to bring democracy to Cuba. They didn’t do this in 1961, when the 2506 Brigade landed at the Bay of Pigs. Likewise, when thousands of farmers and men from the city – most of whom ex-members of the July 26th Movement and the Revolutionary Directorate – raised their voices against Communism in Cuba’s mountains, especially in El Escambray.
Not even a peaceful but mass protest would see the government come toppling down. Tiananmen Square in China in mid-1989, when thousands were massacred for demanding democracy for their country, or more recently, protests in Venezuela or Nicaragua, attest to this.
So, what will be left for our suffering country where so many people are hesitant to lose faith in the system? Living within the city’s walls, I can testify that when I go outside, I see a considerable group of Cubans supporting what they make us call “Revolution”. The polarization of Cuban society is at its highest peak right now, in decades.
Those who support the State, out of wickedness, privileges, opportunism or ignorance, are victims of state propagranda.
When I think about some of them, people close to me, with good hearts, a quote from Paul the Apostle recorded in the Christian Bible comes to mind: “Instructing his opponents with gentleness, perhaps God will grant them repentance leading them to the truth, then they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.” Meanwhile, they are a bastion to defend their own chains.
Others are betting on better times once the COVID-19 pandemic comes to an end; the Embargo is lifted and the economy supposedly gets back on its feet. They aren’t interested in being free, they just want their shackles to be a little looser. The Castros’ folk singer is right. The dictatorship will be around for a long time.
The opposition is doing everything it can so that years later, after suffering abuse, slander, prison and threats, they choose to go into exile because we are all human beings at the end of the day and life is way too short to spend it suffering. Others raise then torch for a while, and the cycle repeats itself in a loop of pain and frustration.
Maybe change will come when this historic generation, that has imposed itself with blood and keeps hold of the puppet’s strings, leaves this world. When some patriotic reformist puts the people before their own privileges.
Until that day comes and they continue on this Earth, I will defend my personal freedom, and I will try to survive with my head held high like those lotus flowers that grow in marshes.