If in Cuba, “university is for the revolutionaries,” then in Miami does it have to be for the “counter-revolutionaries”?
By Alejandro Armengol (Cubaencuentro)
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.