John Lennon and Cuban Freemasonry: Symbols of Freedom

By Repatriado

HAVANA TIMES – Cuban nationals and foreigners go to the park on 17th and 8th streets to see a beautiful statue of John Lennon which was inaugurated by Fidel Castro. When bathing in this public stunt, putting the man from Liverpool in the Revolution’s book of saints, I guess Fidel left out mentioning that his government had banned the Beatles when they were the most popular band in the world.

There’s no doubt that dedicating a statue to John Lennon is the government’s symbolic recognition of their failure in the fight for unanimity and the artificial construction of a population that share the same ideology.

Coincidentally, there is another statue in this same park, the statue of Freemason Fernando Suarez Nunez. Now alone and forgotten, he was once the object of Masonic pilgrimages until any public march was banned if it wasn’t a pro-government march.

Today, very few people approach this solitary statue of the dignified Freemason, and less people know that he was the creator of a para-masonic sect which was wiped out at the beginning of the Revolution as part of the government’s ambition to interfere in people’s minds, which is so typical of any dictatorship.

They not only censored the Beatles to do this (God knows why!), but they also tried to corner any organization which had its own message. Religious, fraternal, professional, union, management organizations all fell against the Revolution’s offense with the implicit or explicit approval of the masses who they promised paradise to. In post-1959 Cuba, there was only space for one message and one God.

Freemasonry suffered this harassment, membership fell to less than half in a few years, policemen infiltrated their ranks reaching the extreme case of doctor Collera Vento, former Grand Master of Cuba’s Lodge who was expelled from freemasonry after being judged as the culprit of poor management within the institution, who then came out in the national press as a State Security undercover agent, after his expulsion.

One of the greatest concessions Freemasonry had to make in the face of government harassment, was closing down Fernando Suarez Nunez’ project, the Association of Young Fraternal Hope, AJEF. An international organization today, it was conceived and founded by Suarez in Cuba for young people aged between 14 and 21 years old.

Tomb in Colon Cemetery.

Taking Marti and Juarez’s thoughts as a basis, he wanted to give them, and I quote: “to learn as much about and without any kind of inclination everything which that you can take from the different paths human thought has known and young people learning to self-determine themselves using this as a basis, becoming owners of their own will so they can choose the path that they are individually susceptible to.” How was the Cuban government going to allow something like that?

Time has passed since then, the Government’s ideology is becoming more and more hollow and unfeasible, and it diverges from the reality we Cubans live greatly. Their cyclopean attempt to control society has been reduced to ugly billboards with Fidelista phrases on the sides of avenues full of pot holes and traveled by people who have no idea or care about what socialism actually is.

On the other side of the tombstone.

Even though Cuban Freemasonry suffered, its high social recognition allowed it to survive the worst decades and then regroup. Winning back the space that had been usurped from them, some Lodges have gone back to creating their own AJEF workshops, not so young people can learn about loyalty to the Homeland/State/Party, but to learn about humanist, universal and democratic values which are something we urgently need.

Fernando Suarez Nunez’s statue, like that of his famous Rock’n’Roll neighbor, then becomes another symbol of the demise of the party/government’s interference in the lives of Cubans, and seeing the civil disaster the State’s ideological monopoly has put us in, let’s pray it isn’t too late.

So, if you pass by 17th and 8th streets and you go to the park to see the short-sighted statue of Lennon, don’t forget that a few meters on, Fernando Suarez is smiling on his pedestal, go and say hello.

8 thoughts on “John Lennon and Cuban Freemasonry: Symbols of Freedom

  • In what way is Freemasonry elitist? Membership is open to (there are Lodges for men, men and women and women only) to any one of any creed, colour, faith etc.

  • In the plaza beside the railway station in Old Havana, there is a similar ‘statue’ of Chopin.
    Fidel was quick to criticize and censor the Beatles because they represented freedom of thought and action which runs counter to the creation of a proletariat. Later he realized that he was out of step and endeavored to climb aboard the bandwagon, hence the Lennon statue.
    The view was expressed many years go that: “If you can’t whistle it, it ain’t music.” To the great credit of the Beatles, many of us still love and whistle their music.

  • Thanks for the enthusiasm ¡¡¡

  • I am reading for the very first time that the Beatles were partially censored in their homeland and in the US, public health and Christians, Robespierre and Luther still live in human intolerance.

    Sorry if I used a tough tone in my last writing, I understood badly the meaning of your comment.

    I actually would be charmed if I amuse Lennon.

    I disagree with you about Cuban government feelings, I don’t think government could feel embarrassed at all, and by government I mean Fidel, he did a political movement, that was the more convenience thing to do for himself in that moment, he was not sorry about anything, maybe he was sorry he couldn´t use science to extend his life indefinitely, but for sure he was not sorry for how he banned Beatles in Cuba.

  • Hi,
    Please note that I do not mean ‘joke article’ in a negative way.
    Perhaps it was not the best choice of words.
    The joke is that I do think John Lennon would find it very amusing to be linked in any way to Freemasonry.
    It is also worth mentioning that The Beatles were censored in various countries.
    Certain songs were not allowed to be played here in the UK because of their lyrics relating to drug use.
    Other songs were not played in the USA because they were thought to be anti-religion (or more specifically anti-Christian).
    Of course Lennon once joked that The Beatles were bigger than God.
    This caused yet more people in the USA to call for a ban.
    Obviously the Cuban government became embarrassed about the previous ban which is why they commisioned the statue by the renowned Cuban sculptor, José Villa Soberón. It was unveiled on the 20th anniversary of John Lennon’s murder outside his apartment in NYC.
    It is good when people can admit that they were wrong.

  • Si, Repatriado!!!!

  • Hi Nick, hope my joke article was hilarious for you, sense of humour is a very serious thing.

    I guess you know little about both, Lennon and freemasonry, but first and more important to me, I never tried to jump together Lennon and freemasonry, as far as I know they are not related, that do not means that they cannot share symbolism in an specific aspect, for example, Hugo Chavez and Trump are not related, but they can easily symbolize demagoguery, Bruce Lee and Ferrari are not linked, but they can symbolized beauty in forms and movement.

    Any way, if you read carefully you will find that what I appoint as symbol of freedom, is the “treatment” received by the figure of John Lennon and by the masonic organization during a previous moment in the Cuban revolution and the treatment they are receiving now.

    I could also talk about Lennon and catholic church or religion in general, or about Lennon and the emigration policy before and now in Cuba.

    About Lennon and secretive societies is up to you if you want to know more.

    About freemasonry, it is not an uniform organization that labours equally in every country, even inside every country there are different kinds of masonic organization, it also your call if you want to learn more about this.

  • I am sure the author of this article wants to make a political point.
    And it is a fact that these two statues are in the same park.
    But trying to lump John Lennon and Freemasonry together as joint symbols of freedom is a bit of a wild one.
    I wonder what John Lennon would make of associations being made between him and the secretive and elitist society of Freemasonry.
    He was renowned for his sense of humour so I would like to think he would perhaps see the irony of this joke article.

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