Moderates in Cuba Under Fire

If in Cuba, “university is for the revolutionaries,” then in Miami does it have to be for the “counter-revolutionaries”?

By Alejandro Armengol  (Cubaencuentro)

Humberto Diaz Arguelles, president of the Association of Veterans of the 2506 Brigade.

HAVANA TIMES — Iroel Sanchez, a Communist Party blogger, has launched an attack against those who are looking for a “third path” between socialism and capitalism in Cuba, or those who hold a central or neutral political stance. He isn’t the only one. Sometimes, some fellow traveler” pops up here and there.

But in the end, and from both the Cuban exile and island resident lens, there is something ridiculous – and even pathetic – in this Torquemada (the first Inquisitor-General of Spain in the 15th century) attitude at the wrong time. It’s an eagerness to try and wear this pious shirt and hold fastly onto the hands of the Cuban clock, to keep them moving backwards.

Because behind the anti-moderate rage dwells an eagerness to courageously come out on top, when in reality there is cowardice in its origins and its results. It’s an old ruse which has been dressed up, both in Cuba and among the exile community, as intransigence, patriotism, fighting spirit, anti-imperialism, anti-Castroism and whatever word is on hand to undermine its meaning.

Praising this intransigence not as a moral value, an emotional resource and personal rational, but as a political asset, has ended up being disastrous for the future of Cuba on many occasions. This mistake has served both as a suicidal calling for some foolish people, as it has to feed the tricks of many demagogues.

But Iroel Sanchez isn’t alone. The battle against moderates, being neutral, the return to revolutionary glorification, or counter-revolutionary glorification, has its followers in Miami.

For a long time now, it seems there’s a tacit agreement for entrenchment on both shores, as if both extremes are plotting together, to restore an out-dated model again and again, and to continue moving backwards.

The Brigade 2506 Veterans’ Association of the Bay of Pigs has expressed their concern about the future of the Institute of Cuban and Cuban-American studies (ICCAS) at Miami University. And what these veterans are really worried about is that “Cuba’s real history be kept intact.”

Well, up until now, we have got used to figures who are committed, relentness, in persecuting bongo players, a painter here and there and some lecturer more or less. But, historians?

That’s really something that has been unheard of. So this new and old academy will need to be documented, which the candidature and then Donald Trump’s administration have put under the spotlight of not being important.

However, this isn’t the only thing to learn. It’s just that in Miami, one reads that a political organization is sending a “statement” where it communicates that “there can’t be a temporary director or future leaders which keep ties with companies who continue to trade with the Castro regime, or with academic centers in Cuba, as the ICCAS by definition, cannot be under the influence… of the authoritarian regime in Havana.”

Even in this city, it’s hard to find so much vocation for the grotesque. Not only does this call from the “Assembly of the Cuban Resistance” interfere in a purely academic matter, but it relives echoes from Havana in Miami.

If in Cuba, “university is only for the revolutionaries,” then in Miami does it have to be for the “counter-revolutionaries”? A small call to good sense: we are talking about an academic institurion which isn’t in the Cuba of yesterday, today, or tomorrow, but in another country: The United States. Do we need to hand out maps?

However, if the resolution is to convert Miami’s universities into institutions for the “counter-revolutionaries”, it’s doubtful that after a process of rigorous registration that the Assembly of the Cuban Resistance members themselves will pass.

Although a second glance at extremism in Cuba and Miami allows me to confirm that the issue does not answer to a plot between the two extremes. It is rather the seduction of the old authoritarian sin that is reborn everyday, while the exorcist’s job remains vacant.

16 thoughts on “Moderates in Cuba Under Fire

  • I Circles would regret you editing Herr Mattner’s comment, for it reflects the thinking of neo-nazis. The evil concept of dictatorship whether it is of the ‘left’ or the ‘right’ has to be openly opposed. Herr Mattner seeks National Socialism – and it appears, approves its history. He endeavors to hide his support for National Socialism by calling it “Christian Socialism”.

  • I remember only too well in 1941/42, children arriving in school with funny names and accents. Two boys in my class will serve as examples. Peter was born in Berlin, and along with his parents and maternal grandmother, got out in 1938. Being German, they were interned in the Isle of Man for one year. We became life long friends and he became a member of the Church of England, but I had the joy of attending his mariage to an Irish Catholic. His younger brother born in England, won the Harrogate Musical Festival (piano) at age 11, he became a Methodist and married one.
    George was born in Vienna and he and his parents arrived eventually in the UK having travelled far. George lost 26 relatives in the gas chambers. Although I am very critical of Netanyahu in Israel, I cannot tolerate the views of people like Herr Mattner.
    Now Nick, we can get back to disagreeing about other things!

  • Appreciate your comment.
    Jews have historically been ‘blamed’ for both communism and capitalism. Influential thinkers from both ends of the spectrum have been from Jewish backgrounds (Karl Marx, Milton Friedman etc).
    But to equate Jewishness (or any other race) with the aspect of politics one disagrees with is as unacceptable as it is factually incorrect.

  • I mean as written, the Bay of Pigs fiasco. The revolution was over.

  • Quite right Nick! Herr Mattner reflects an ugly aspect.

  • Who do you Raphael Stephen-Pons think that you are to declare that Cubans who agree with you as a member of the Communist Party of the USA are patriots, and those Cubans who are opposed to dictatorship and communist repression and seek freedom and liberty are traitors?
    Your conceit is beyond belief! Cubans including my own family, don’t need your advice, they have suffered enough from communism.
    Why don’t you pursue your beliefs with action? Move to Cuba, forego the comforts you currently enjoy! Go and exist on $20 dollars a month, forego hot dinners at the University of Pennsylvania.
    Just because Beatrize has to comply with your blabber, it doesn’t mean that others have to
    accept it.

  • Good I am glad that the capitalist traitors are being fought against. We have seen what happens in Vietnam and China. Economic slavery to other countries, and horrible sweatshop conditions. If capitalism is established yes our good healthcare, our good education will be compromised. Capitalists will get into government and want to destroy all of those things to make a profit, you are an idealist if you think once you let capital out you can keep it in a bubble, it wants to expand and eventually take over the cuban people. Any patriot of Cuba would fight against the return of capitalism.

  • Nick you are right on this and the comment by Christian is going to be edited.

  • The seekers of Capitalism in the West or only looking at greed and control over property and things, and nothing else. These Capitalist only care about themselves and whom has the means, monies, or funds to co-exist alongside. As the world knows that all CAPITALISM does not work, and they would need a lot of industrial workers to exist. The PAWNS.
    Let us not be lied about the Great Depression, evidence of people that actually seen and witness the deaths and suicides because of CAPITAL, people that had material things that could not be held because of the great depression. A Social Democracy, is a more equal system of private and government. Because by now we all know that the Capitalist “do not care” about the poor and disadvantage people, nor the sick, and unable to work. They would only take from the Needy and give it to the Greedy!
    Why should the United Nations be here?
    All they want to do is INFLUENCE other countries in the world to be RULED by the way the U.S. sees it in their interest under influence and undermining their motives. The west should not be able to control the WORLD, and better yet, since they do not accept any more immigrants from any country in the World the United Nations should not be in the U.S. anymore, it should be in the Europe or Canada.
    U.S. influence based on capitalism should not control all nations through the U.N. It should not interfere with Sovereign Nations that does not want U.S. influence or undermining rules or regulations.

  • Not quite sure what you mean by US/Jewish Capitalism?
    There are probably many dark corners of the internet where the voicing of anti-Semitic sounding comments is acceptable.
    This comments forum should not be one of those dark corners.

  • State socialism has failed, so it is either a softer liberal democratic path or lighter version of capitalism. But a return to Soviet era economy is for soft minded thinkers.

  • You mean the war that was won by Fidel and the People of Cuba? The Revolution triumphed.

  • Clever article.
    There are indeed, many who are far too entrenched in their views one way or another.
    There are those who just get stuck in the past and stuck in their own blunt refusal to move on.

  • The third path–so I believe –is Christian Socialism combined with my thesis of ‘Religious Economy’
    Try it –its more succesfull and moral as an alternative Stalinism or US Capitalism.
    The Revolution is continuing –Viva la Revolucion

  • Free elections with multiple parties. Ir a simple referendum to say no to the Castro’s family kingdom. That is what the ppl needs

  • Why not describe the Bay of Pigs fiasco historically as ‘The three day war’ ?

Comments are closed.