By Pedro Pablo Morejon
HAVANA TIMES – News began to spread among the Cuban opposition of Yunior Garcia Aguilera’s disappearance, after he was unable to be reached by his companions since Monday November 15th. Garcia Aguilera is the main promoter of the civil protest that was called on this day, and who had suffered a large hate rally outside his apartment, on Sunday.
On November 17th, doubts soon began to vanish when the opposition leader posted on his Facebook page that he had arrived in Spain.
“Thanks to all of the friends who have been worried about us. We are in Spain, alive, healthy and with our ideas intact. We must thank all of the people who have made this journey possible. I’ve been cut off for several days and I need to be updated about the situation of other Archipielago members. I will tell you about the odyssey soon. A big hug!”
However, some members of the Archipielago platform still believed that this might be a cover-up for his disappearance.
This was cleared up that very same day when different international media outlets confirmed Yunior’s arrival in Madrid, who later made some statements:
“There are some things that I will never know about my departure from Cuba. If they let me travel to Spain, it’s because the regime believes this to be a victory. The strategy was to keep me incommunicado to keep me quiet, and my voice is the only thing I have. I couldn’t remain quiet. That’s why I decided to leave Cuba.”
“I want to go back to the island, it’s not my intention to request asylum in Spain. If I stayed in Cuba, they were going to put me in a critical state. I had to heal this rage again so I can pick back up the struggle and when my and my wife’s lives are no longer in danger in Cuba. If they take away my voice, they win; I escaped a death in life. If they sentenced me, I would have been converted into a symbol. They needed to void me as a person and they almost managed to do this.”
“I know that me leaving Cuba has come as a blow […]. This in no way means that I am renouncing my beliefs, my principles, or the desire to build a better country. I’m not going to renounce this […]. I’m thinking of going back.”
There have been many different reactions within the opposition movement to this news, ranging from understanding to slander attacks against the playwright, some people even accusing him of being a State Security agent.
On the other hand, the regime has used what’s happened to mock Yunior and his followers. To give you an example, the Con Filo show on Cubavision TV channel dedicated all of its airtime joking about what happened, once again proving just how shabby and short these megaphones of the Dictatorship are of professionalism, in their attempt to discredit those who raise their voices to condemn their owners.
But beyond this, my analysis leads me to believe that Yunior Garcia Aguilera’s departure represents not only a lapse in his leadership, but also a huge blow to the struggle for democracy in Cuba.
History is hellbent on showing us, yet again, that Messianisms end up failing, but unfortunately, Cubans don’t learn this lesson, just like many other Latin American countries.
Lots of people are very disappointed right now, they are even judging him, but we must accept that most of us break, except for a very few honorable exceptions. It’s very hard to stand up to the slander campaigns opposition members suffer. If we add to this the threats, harassment, arrests, beatings, time in prison, death…
Very few people could take all these tests in their stride. Human beings are designed to seek wellbeing and being happy is a legitimate right. We can’t blame Yunior. He fought in the belly of the beast to where his bravery could take him, or he allowed himself to protect himself and survive.
This isn’t the time for sentences, especially when many of those judging him weren’t there, on the frontlines to defend him.
We need to accept, once and for all, that the struggle to be free is every human’s duty, not just the work of a single leader.