You Can’t Just Forget the Past…

Rosa Martinez

HAVANA TIMES — Without the past, there’s neither present nor future. That is why it is important to know where our nations come from, the history of our peoples and families.

The foundations of a nation’s customs, culture and traditions are to be found in its history. Latin Americans shoulder the burden of centuries of exploitation – first under Spanish, Portuguese, English and even French yoke, later before the power of the north, which wrapped its claws around most of our countries.

We owe US governments unpayable debts that forced us to hand over land, industry, material resources, everything. We also owe them thousands of kidnapped and murdered children, massacred during the dictatorships they helped come to power.

No one should forget this sad past of exploitation, murder and terror, nor the humiliation we were subjected to, much less the sacrifices of our heroes and martyrs, but not in order to suffer this history at every moment, but to prevent it from ever repeating itself.

This is why I believe it misguided to constantly remind people how much the United States made our country suffer for nearly 60 years.

No one in Cuba will forget the Bay of Pigs Invasion, or the bombing of the Cuban airliner in Barbados, nor the children who died of hemorrhagic dengue introduced into the country, the sugar plantations burned to the ground, the bombs placed in hotels, the stolen ships, the hundreds of civilians killed in terrorist actions, the Guantanamo Naval Base, anything that has deprived a mother of her child or orphaned that child, nothing that has affected our economy and our lives in general.

But we cannot become fenced in by a past that gnaws away at us, that destroys us and leaves us only with contempt.

It is a time of reconciliation, of understanding, a time to shake hands, to acknowledge our mistakes and to move forward.

Perhaps the US government will never be Cuba’s friend, but that shouldn’t worry people. It suffices for the people of the United States to be our friend, and they have shown this for a long time and in different ways (as the Pastors for Peace group demonstrates), and for them not to meddle in our affairs.

It’s clear Obama’s new posture towards our country doesn’t stem from a change in interests or anything of the sort. The aim of the US president and his administration continues to be the same, but the methods he now chooses to use aren’t bad for our impoverished economy.

It is up to us, and no one else, to make this rapprochement the US government has set in motion, and our government cautiously monitors, the source of impetus for our stagnant country, a boomerang that will activate the transition longed for in Miami and which, apparently, most of us Cubans still don’t want.

2 thoughts on “You Can’t Just Forget the Past…

  • Why don’t you google Banana Republic and Dole (American Corporation) and oh yeah, the CIA before you defend the U.S. Maybe you shouldn’t depend on Wikipedia so much.

  • This is a factually thin essay attempting to advance an argument by emotional pleas in the absence of rational historical arguments.

    No Latin American countries ever owned debts to the US government. They owed debt to international commercial banks based in the US, Europe & Japan.

    A detailed description of the Latin American Debt Crisis of the 1980’s can be read here:

    While crying over the children kidnapped and killed by right-wing dictatorships, which are real crimes, do not forget the thousands of innocents killed by left-wing dictatorships and guerrilla groups in Latin America. In Colombia alone, the Cuban-backed terrorist groups FARC and ELN are responsible for the deaths and tens of thousands, of kidnappings, bombings, the exploitation of child soldiers and the control of an illicit drug trade.

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