HAVANA TIMES – The piece titled “Another Treaty of Paris” premiered yesterday January 24th at the Hors Pistes Event 2018 | La Nation et ses Fictions, at the Pompidou Center in Paris, France.
Its authors, Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara and Yanelys Nuñez Leyva, recreate through a fiction piece, a supposed political testament found with the last reflections of Fidel Castro about his government, the Revolution and the future of Cuba.
Collaborators: Enrique del Risco, Pedro Ruiz. Commissioned by Hors Pistes and Elegoa Cultural Productions.
Commissioned and produced by the Centro Pompidou and Elegoa Cultural productions. Presented on January 24, 2018.
This being the last time I address you, I feel compelled to speak not only to those who have always accompanied me but to those who, for a mistaken notion of History, have opposed me. I want to address, finally, those who have accompanied me in my rough journey through the History of our country, no matter what side of the trench they were on: the attack on the Moncada barracks, Sierra, Girón, the Missile Crisis, Escambray, the Military Units to Aid Production (UMAPs), in Angola, in Ethiopia, at the Peruvian Embassy, the Mariel exodus, Case Number 1 of 1989 (which was the trial of Arnaldo Ochoa Sanchez), the Maleconazo protest, at the Rafter’s Crisis, at the Sunday parades of the Ladies in White.
In each and every one of those moments, there were always Cubans willing to shed their blood or their fellowman’s blood, whether or not they were right! The task we had in front of us, to build socialism in the very face of the US Empire (or to prevent it, in the case of those who were opposed to the work of the Revolution) was a huge one. Sadly, today we are more capitalist than we were forty years ago, but we cannot say that our effort was in vain.
And it has not been in vain because it has allowed us to reflect on our successes and our mistakes. We have had many successes. And I do not only mean the education system, the health system, the Olympic medals or the great National Ballet. We must take into account the prosperous city that we Cubans have built on the other side of the Florida Strait, a city where compatriots from different generations and ideological and political conceptions of the world live together.
But also, in our effort to build a new society, we have made mistakes and have been guilty of excesses that should force us to reflect in order to avoid repeating them in the future. Because you might say, for instance, that never has any people in Latin America placed so much confidence in their leader and never has that leader betrayed this confidence to such an extent.
It could be said that, in my effort to defend the conquests of Revolution and Socialism, I stopped at nothing: neither the execution of such close collaborators as General Ochoa nor the murder of children, like those in the 13th of March tugboat. Further analysis would be required to determine if it was right to incarcerate, exile or execute so many compatriots or to have abused the people’s desires and efforts in the way that I did, to create a better world for so many.
It should be analyzed whether it was entirely correct and justified to destroy the wealth accumulated by so many generations since the beginnings of our Nation; or to make the new generations believe that our entire history was an endless accumulation of misery and that we could not aspire to anything but misery and underdevelopment.
It could even be said that never in the history of this country have the people been subjected to a government as criminal and arbitrary as mine; and that none of our rulers have possessed as much power as I had or abused that power to such an extent.
In any case, for all the failures, errors, excesses and negative tendencies suffered by this country in the last decades, nobody else can be blamed but me. The responsibility is absolutely mine. Am I going to blame somebody? No! The imperialists? No! I have to blame myself! Because, if my power were absolute, my responsibility should also be absolute in the face of the difficulties I have caused you.
For example, I could be blamed for the murder of over eight thousand people, the incarceration of tens of thousands for the felony of opposing me; and the exile of millions.
I could also be blamed for having destroyed all the best institutions in this country to build new ones at my service; found guilty of destroying the economy and annihilating its main industries; of shattering the best of our cities.
I could be blamed of turning every Cuban into a potential enemy to other Cubans and every Cuban family into a battlefield, infinitely divided. Be found guilty of turning hate and distrust into our official languages. I could be blamed for sending hundreds of thousands of our people to many parts of the world to kill and be killed for the greater glory of the Revolution.
I could be blamed for making this island an inhabitable and hostile place and for making escape from it the only possible hope for Cubans. Found guilty of the deaths of those trying to escape, and of course, the deaths of those executed while trying to escape.
Nonetheless, it was my duty to carry out this historical task and I remained true to it.
I don’t know whether you are willing to forgive me for these facts. I still want to apologize. Apologize to all of those who have been hurt by my actions and decisions. But I also want to apologize to those who obeyed and still continue worshiping me. Forgive me if I have turned you into the worst version of yourselves: into oppressors, informers, into experts in the different variations of human misery. Forgive me if I did not let you find a greater sense to your lives than to serve me and my “bigger than ourselves” projects, like I once said. Forgive me for insisting that you defend a regime in which not even your children can or want to live.
I apologize for slandering the past of this Nation just to praise the present I offered you; I apologize for all the future I could deny you.
I apologize if I twisted the Cuban’s personality, if I nurtured his or her selfishness and meanness; I want to apologize for encouraging flattery and persecuting criticism.
I want to apologize for destroying the meaning of certain words and concepts: for turning the good into bad and the bad into good; for persecuting decency and rewarding abjection; for associating the nation with my regime and making myself synonymous with the country.
I am sorry for making homeland synonymous with death.
I hope that recognizing these mistakes will make us wiser and more tolerant. That is why I invite my compatriots from all over the world to unite for the prosperity of the Nation, no matter what their ideals may be. I also want to warn the new leaders of my country to be very careful with power because power corrupts, as I myself have been able to confirm. And that, in the democratic future of the island, they remember these lessons.
Homeland and life. We will triumph!