By Alberto N Jones
HAVANA TIMES, Feb. 28 — For the past weeks, a constant call went out of Radio Mambi 710 AM to all Cuban-Americans and people from all nations living in south Florida.
The message was to gather in mass on Calle 8 on February 24th, not to celebrate the defining event that took place in Baire in 1895 under the guidance of Jose Marti, but rather, to send a clear message to the island, that this vibrant, partisan, anti-Castro community, was ready to take command of Cuba.
In order to energize its followers, boost the attendance and raise the level of hatred against their country of birth, a transmission between the Cuban Air Force pilots and their control tower before, during and after the downing of two planes belonging to Brothers to the Rescue on February 24th, 1996, was played non-stop for weeks.
Leading this march and concentration, was the best and brightest of Unidad Cubana, Cuban American National Foundation, Liberty Council, The New White Rose, FIU Cuban Research Institute, Municipalities in Exile, CID, Presidio Politico, Alpha 66, Assault Brigade 2506, Command L, UMAP, Brothers to the Rescue and many others.
A smiling photo-op on Univision Home Page of Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balart, Ileana Ros-Lethinen, Perez-Roura and others, symbolizes the human material that was present at this gathering, which the Miami Herald and others have placed on or around 3,000 out of a community of over 800,000 Cuban-Americans or a shameful participation of 0.3%
Not even resorting to the lowest human denominator was sufficient to change the embarrassing outcome of this tragic-comedy gathering.
This included using over and over the tragic death of the four pilots, who had been warned repeatedly by the US and Cuban authorities about the hazards associated with their hostile incursions into the Cuban airspace and the first anniversary of the death of hunger striker Orlando Zapata Tamayo, suddenly turned into a martyr.
Equally puzzling, is the non-response of the policy makers of the governments of the US and Cuba, who refuse to recognize that this tiny, reactionary, right-wing community is on life support in intensive care, suffering from a terminally ill pathology, whose confrontational and frequently aggressive behavior in Cuba and the US, should have no impact on how other Cuban-Americans are perceived and treated, on both sides of this artificial divide.
After fifty years of Cuba being forced to defend itself from real or imaginary aggressions coming out of the US and having lived to see an impossible dream come true with an Afro-American becoming president of the United States, what can possibly hinder both sides from coming together and solving the minor issue of improved relations between our nations?
No well-wishing, peace-loving humanist, should sit silent in these trying moments of massive world upheaval and not demand from both governments, our inalienable right to live in peace; by putting away false pride, arrogance and grudges, by focusing on the enormous, mutually beneficial advantages that are readily available for both neighbors, if peace, justice, respect and friendship could prevail.