Cowardice or Violence?


I’m appalled at the sadness of those who — for any change in society or their environment — resort to violence or speak out in favor of it.

On other occasions I have spoken against the proliferation of weapons, no matter if there in the hands of those in power, or those who confront them, or whether people use these arms to defend themselves or to attack.

Up until now they have only shown that no type of weapon or violence resolves any of the problems that have burdened us for centuries and that in most cases we ourselves have created.

I’m not going to ramble on, again, about violence or how it’s intrinsic to human beings that, up until now, we have supposed ourselves to be.

Among its many forms, what terrifies me is mob violence.

Over the past few several months, the television networks have broadcast, unsparingly, numerous demonstrations throughout the world.

I’m not referring to those protests organized by the “indignants” in various countries, but those rebellions in which people have taken to the streets with intention of overthrowing cruel or autocratic governments. I have in mind those in which demonstrators and the police face each other intensely and aggressively.

You would have to be in these people’s places, in their lives, to understand them. But understanding their positions doesn’t mean accepting their actions as alternatives to follow.

Even with all the problems that weigh on us, even with the lack of hope that makes many Cubans feel alienated, I feel relatively relieved that there hasn’t emerged any expression of violence here at the level I’ve seen on the news.

Yes, I know that many people who live outside the island will call me as many offensive words as can be imagined, because many of them are of the mindset of ??”overthrowing” the government by whatever means.

Many are of the opinion that Cubans are “sheep” and that only we are to blame for the failure of our economy, for the irrationality of many of our laws (there’s no need to expand the list we already know).

But I live here, and I wouldn’t want to see streets of Havana — already potholed and lined with buildings about to collapse — to be filled with hundreds or thousands of people (civilians or soldiers, in civilian clothes or not) beating each other, letting out their frustrations and hating each other.

I don’t believe in those therapies of irrational relief through violence.

In the end, hatred will only increase; they’ll only be further destabilization.  And if anything, a new group of people will end up in charge, ones who in the short term or long will also wind up abusing their power.

There are many ways to show that one is not afraid of power. There are many ways to express oneself. There are many ways to affect change without spilling blood, without the need to continue fueling the rage we carry within.



One thought on “Cowardice or Violence?

  • “There are many ways to affect change without spilling blood….” You are absolutely right! Violence is never a good solution. One of my cubano friends once told me there are “no Ghandis sleeping here.” I think he’s wrong.

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