Haroldo Dilla Alfonso
HAVANA TIMES – The warning that children shouldn’t play with dangerous objects should be whispered into President Diaz-Canel’s ear because of how he’s been using Twitter. He frequently makes mistakes, like when he wrote, in true biblical style, that “man does not live by bread alone” when Cuba was in the middle of a bread shortage.
Now, he has tweeted that “there are plenty of ill-bred people who were born in Cuba by mistake, who can be worse than the enemy attacking us.”
Of course, anyone can say something like this in a moment of anger. Somebody who has had their rights taken away from them could also say this, as could those who have been banned from traveling to their birth country, who have been imprisoned without due process, separated from their families, etc.
Every one of these people would have reason to say this, but to different target audiences. In this last case, referring to the Castro clan and to the entire post-revolutionary political class, including Diaz-Canel.
However, let’s be clear that there is a difference between what an angry parishioner from Versailles says and what a president says. Being president requires moral and political high ground, and impartiality, which this boring successor of the Castro Clan doesn’t seem to be able to take on.
Diaz-Canel’s unfortunate coarseness reflects an exclusive and anti-national stance that seems to continue under his fragile leadership, criminalizing emigres with the worse insults.
Let’s recall Mariel (boatlift in 1980) and Fidel Castro’s heated speeches that called Cubans who left Cuba, both antisocial and anti-Cuban. Or, thirty years later when the former Foreign Minister Perez Roque spoke about “ex-Cubans”.
Cuban emigres have always been denied their most basic civil rights, including the right to visit and live in their birth country without needing to ask for authorization or being at risk of deportation.
The new Constitution continues to deny them these rights. It continues to ignore the existence of hundreds of thousands of Cubans who live and work outside of Cuba’s borders and help to sustain the island’s declining population with remittances, food and medicines. Anyway, they are just as Cuban as their fellow countrymen who remain on the island.
This is why voting “NO” (in February’s referendum) is the only patriotic and decent thing to do. Because of the above and also because the new Constitution doesn’t allow us to change our president via a direct and plural election, which would allow us to vote in a president that truly understands the complexities of our plural and transnational society. In a nutshell, VOTE NO!