Heads and Tails of the Same Coin

Obama coward!


By Martin Guevara

HAVANA TIMES – Joy and sadness are circumstantial, fickle, chemical and alternating states of being. However, today something really managed to get me down.

Somebody I know on social media, who I got on really well with once we found out each other’s stories and our similar points of view about the Cuban dictatorship, wrote to me today to tell me that she would delete me from her friends’ list because she doesn’t want stories appearing in her feed from friends who appreciate former US president Barack Obama.

I was sad twice over, first because she had met me in person at Casa Bacardi when I was presenting a book with a close friend (an emphatic Cuban politican who many people who fight for freedom in Cuba have a soft spot for) and we talked, she took away my book and, as far I was concerned, I thought we had clicked but that was just me being naive as always.

However, I am really sorry this happened because I thought that we were in the same boat against any form of intolerance (which the Cuban Revolution represented at the time of our meeting), but the same thing has been happening recently with a lot of people I know.

I discover that they aren’t in favor of democracy and civil spirit, and against authoritarianism and monolithic thought like they said they were. Instead, they are exactly the same, identical to those who dressed up their intransigence with the word “Communist” on the island, 60 years ago. They harbor the same kind of hatred, just from the opposite end of the spectrum, without realizing that by doing this all they are doing is perpetuating this game. 

However, they don’t hate the Revolution’s leaders anymore (which we could understand), but a president of the country that took them in, that gave them shelter and the opportunities that nobody else gave them, and they consider anyone who sympathizes with this president an enemy too (which I’m afraid to tell them are most US citizens).

Ever since the current US president came into the White House, I have had the misfortune to confirm that this isn’t an isolated case; that Fidel Castro inoculated hatred among Cubans or the need to develop as a person based on directing hatred at your neighbor, the impossibility of living together, in perpetuating intolerance and the fight against harmony.

I won’t name this person because, first of all, it isn’t my style, plus I consider her to be a valuable person (she really disappointed me), but the truth doesn’t start or end where I say it does, so I will respect her point of view even though she hasn’t respected mine.

But, I do want to point one thing out. Ever since I was a young boy, I ran into problems with my family and the Cuban authorities who looked after me because of my tendency to admire progressive aspects of the US, England and France, such as rock music, the hippy movement, blue jeans, personal freedom, art, jazz, blues music, freedom of expression, living together.

When I was 16 years old, a permanent stain marked my Cumulative Record at school: “Ideological diversionist”, because of this commitment to Freedom and I’m surprised to find that these are the values that these individuals hate in the United States, converted into an unshaped mass.

The Cuban people have proven that they are immune to democracy, even after living 10, 20, 30 or even half a century in such a system. 

They have learned very little about living with the diversity needed to build a new society.

P.S. New?… better yet, return to our never-ending vicious cycle.The easiest thing for me to do would be to ask everyone who identifies with this person to delete me from their contacts, that way I can develop as a person taking hostility as my basis. However, I would instead ask them to try and keep their own prejudice in check, like I myself have to do every day. Prejudice which dates way back and takes many forms, but isn’t infinite or eternal…

2 thoughts on “Heads and Tails of the Same Coin

  • I have discovered more than a few Miami Cubans who feel the same way Martin’s unnamed friend feels. ALL of them are WHITE Cubans. To be clear, I agree with Martin that many Cubans who have personally suffered under the tyranny of the Castro dictatorship seem to have come away from the experience missing their “democracy” chip on their internal hard drive. But I would add that a surprising number of them are blatant racists as well. It is hypocrisy at its worst. If these Cubans were to indulge themselves in the current “23 and Me” DNA testing craze, they would undoubtedly discover that there sub-Saharan African ancestry is significant. Nonetheless, the anti-democracy stain these Cubans bear is usually matched with the stench of racism.

  • How nice to hear again from Martin Guevara. I can only sympathize with his view, as obviously the lady concerned has a restricted mind. At least here on Havana Times, where those who contribute, represent a wide spread of views, from ardent supporters of the repressive Castro communist regime, through to those who detest dictatorship whether of the right or left, but still manage to tolerate each other.
    Where confusion arises is when US citizens in particular find it necessary to drag in commentary about the problems that they either experience or more commonly perceive within their own country. If only they could experience being Cuban, where such similar critical comment of the Cuban government is a criminal offence.
    One has to agree that the US currently has political problems, illustrated for example by the Congress adding additional sanctions upon Putin’s Russia despite the “great meeting” between their President and Putin and a singular lack of support by the President for the action. But the current US President followed up by putting additional sanctions upon a fellow member of NATO – how Putin must have enjoyed that!
    Barack Obama in contrast, held out an olive branch to Cuba only to be rebuffed initially (and supposedly) by Fidel Castro and the following day by Bruno Rodriguez – undoubtedly representing Raul Castro.
    Martin indicates the importance of free speech.
    Although I understand your view Martin about the Cuban people who “have proven that they are immune to democracy”, I disagree. I personally know far too many Cubans who long for the freedom of the democratic countries, but are powerless to act under the ruthless iron grip of a callous totalitarian regime with the CDR lurking on every block. Cuba has the fourth highest rate of incarceration in the world, although the crime as such is relatively uncommon – so who is it that is in jail? Should those who left for the democratic capitalist societies have remained, or would all two million (an approximation) have also been jailed?

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