By Vicente Morin Aguado
HAVANA TIMES – The president of the leading democracy on our planet of turmoil has decided to implement some economic-opening measures to ease some of the pressure his government has been placing on the longest repressive dictatorship in the history of the Western Hemisphere: the one established in Cuba by Fidel Castro.
This had been on the table for a while because it was the current resident at the White House, Joe Biden’s campaign promise. Just that the unexpected mass and peaceful uprising on July 11th postponed a new opening, maybe because it was too embarassing to immediately benefit a regime that was locking up hundreds of Cubans for demanding freedoms that had been restricted in every possible way since January 1, 1959.
It’s controversial how a part of Cuban society, at the top of the social pyramid, remain as the new kind of oligarchy conceived by the Castro brothers, seizing a big cut from the work sent in the form of remittances by millions of emigres. On the other hand, there’s the vast impoverished and suppressed majority, who are in desperate need of the aid that is being generously sent over.
Cubans, both on and off the island, know that it is their own Government, and not the US, who is the one responsible for the national tragedy, where life is lived day to day, and remittances in its many forms are a sedative, not real treatment, for this pain.
But at the end of the day, disgrace is normally covered up in politics, appealing to the humanity of its objective.
It’s impossible to forget that the founder of the Cuban Communist totalitarian kingdom executed hundreds of opposition members by firing squad, without due process, and locked up thousands of others, driving even more into exile, submerging the country into poverty in both state affairs and people’s everyday lives, all in the name of “a revolution of the poor, by the poor and for the poor.”
Forseeing the expected US executive order, the Cuban Government did credit to its historic stance of not giving an inch of ground to its opposition – be they Cuban citizens, foreign citizens or governments – by imposing a new Penal Code, the scope of which censors the little freedom of speech practiced on social media, in recent years.
The crime of “enemy propaganda” has transmuted into “an attack on the constitutional order”, thereby allowing them to put anyone who questions the current Constitution behind bars, as this document makes the socialist system everlasting, going so far as considering criticism of the Government by its name serious contempt.
The new legal framework also deals with sanctioning individuals or institutions receiving funds from abroad, if the political police – the sinister State Security, – decide that the resources in question constitute a threat to constitutional order in force.
So, what can those of us living in every one of the 72 countries recorded according to their statistics, who make up the vast diaspora community created by Castrismo, do?
Our exile is as old as the struggle for freedom that began in 1868. Jose Marti, our national hero, lived a productive decade in the US, where he was awarded the renowned title of El Maestro. One of his lessons answers the question in this article.
I’ll quote Article 5. of the Platform of the Cuban Revolutionary Party, created by the Apostle on US soil, in early 1892:
The Cuban Revolutionary Party does not plan to take to Cuba a victorious group of people who consider the island their prey and dominion, but to prepare, with all the effective means permitted it by freedom abroad, the war that must be fought for the integrity and welfare of all Cubans, and to give all Cubans a free country.
I’ve underlined the above phrase. One-hundred-and-thirty years have passed since then, and taking technology out of the equation, we are facing the same dilemma Marti, Maceo and Gomez had, leading thousands of Cubans, like today, who had sought refuge in different European and American countries, most of them in the US: we don’t have a homeland; nor do we have a democracy in the land that conceived us.
When it came to escaping tyranny, they made the act honorable, just like it’s our job to do today.
That’s to say, our national hero didn’t focus his political work on crying out for help from governments when he was living in exile. He thought that it was enough, and honorable, to depend on his own efforts, and to take advantage of the productive ability and talent he had developed in free lands.
Among his vast collection of articles he wrote as a journalist, his criticism of US-Spain relations was minimal when it came to the Cuban people’s patriotic struggle.
At the heart of his thinking, and especially his actions, was the crucial unity of patriots, veterans and young people, regardless of race, belief or doctrine, reaffirming that his party would be dissolved as soon as the Republic is founded.
According to Marti’s ethics, an organization created to win back the homeland couldn’t take advantage of alleged merits won in the dispute to take the lead in elections. Autocratic leadership and opportunism were completely out of the question, the homeland is an altar, not a pedestal, he told us.
At this point in time, I can’t see why some defame those who painfully expressed their upset at the White House’s policy shift. However, the focus and real answer should lie in the unity of the exile community – just like in Marti’s time – which is able to join the majority of undecisive compatriots, who are clearly against the regime, to the struggle for freedom.
A coordinated, democratic government, that also represents the diaspora community, would be the objective respected and recognized by many governments, with the right to negotiate issues in Cuba which are only reported and criticized on social media, bringing the international Left’s great conspiracy to a halt, as they continue to become more active, even within the US.
Enemies of the free world, the so-called “international Left” are hellbent on defending what they still don’t hesitate to call the Cuban Revolution, which is the last example they are able to sell with the promise of eternal redemption, of Communism, a kind of failed social experiment in every aspect in modern History.
For the Cuban exile community – which is disperse and vague in its ideas, proposals and actions -, the dilemma over the past 62 years has been unity against the relentless and resolute enemy or to languish in disgrace instead.