Without dialogue and reconciliation, Cuba will go from bad to worse
Without dialogue and reconciliation, Cuba will go from bad to worse /
14ymedio, Pedro Campos
Posted on April 15, 2015
Does the fact that Raul Castro has met and shaken hands with Obama and
that both of their governments have engaged in a year and a half of
secret conversations commit the general-president to the aggressive
policies of the US government?
The Cuban government received billions of rubles in support and arms of
every kind from the former Soviet Union and supported it through
guerrilla and military actions in other countries. Does this make the
Cuban government the mercenary of the USSR?
Fidel Castro received from the former president Carlos Prio, the most
anti-Communist of all the presidents of the first half-century of the
Republic, $50,000 to buy the yacht Granma [on which he sailed to Cuba
from Mexico to start the Revolution]. Does this mean that Fidel
responded to the interest of Prio and was his mercenary?
The US government suspended its military cooperation with the Batista
dictatorship and that contributed to its fall. Did this make the
government of United States a mercenary of Fidel Castro’s 26th of July
movement and a Castro agent, or vice versa?
The 26th of July movement and the guerrillas of the Sierra Maestra
received wide economic support from the national bourgeoisie and the
oligarchy. Did that make the leaders of the Sierra mercenaries of the
oligarchy and the national bourgeoisie?
Several governments of the continent gave military aid to the “bearded
ones” of the Sierra Maestra in their struggle against the Batista
tyranny. Did that make the anti-Batista movement the mercenary of those
Several reports from that time assert that CIA officials were supporting
in some ways the revolutionary movement against Batista. Among them is
the testimony of Liman Kirkpatrick, Inspector General of the CIA who
visited Havana in 1958, in his book The Real CIA. Could one, therefore,
accuse CIA mercenaries of being Cuban revolutionary fighters?
The US consulate in Santiago de Cuba Santiago widely collaborated with
revolutionaries who fought the dictatorship. Did that make those
revolutionaries mercenaries of Washington?
It is true that more than a few opponents and government officials have
lived for years off the business of confrontation. But most of them have
done it for their ideals
Does the fact that the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) has sent
economic aid to Cuban dissidents who fight peacefully for democracy in
Cuba make them mercenaries of the US? Does Coco Fariñas appearing in a
photo with Posada Carriles make him a terrorist?
It is true that Brigade 2506 that starred in the Bay of Pigs invasion
was trained, armed, supported and transported by the US government and
its intelligence agencies to overthrow the revolutionary government in
1961. But does that negate that the vast majority of the members of that
brigade had participated in these events to free their homeland from
Castro-Communism? Were they mercenaries of United States who came to
fight because of the money they were paid?
It is also true that more than a few of the opponents and the officials
of the Cuban government have lived for years on the business of
confrontation. But it is not true that most of them have defended their
positions, including with weapons in hand, for money or personal
benefits. Most of them have simply done it for their ideals. Neither one
nor the other can be classified as mercenaries.
Could the Government of the Castro regime label as mercenaries all of
the journalist, party functionaries, and officials of the Armed Forces
and State Security who defend that government and what it considers its
revolution and from which they receive high salaries and some perks? Absurd.
With biased, simplistic, and one-sided analysis of human history and its
realities, without taking into account the interests of other affected
parties and ignoring the most progressive values corresponding to each
era, it is not possible to reach an understanding.
“Justice must be served for the literacy teachers murdered, for those
dead in attacks on boats, economic facilities and official missions, for
the crime of the plane crash carried out in the Barbados, and an endless
list,” say some.
“We must have justice for the hundreds killed in the fight against the
Revolution in the Escambray, for the thousands dead in the sea trying to
escape communism, for the children and women on the 13 de Marzo tugboat,
for the Brothers to the Rescue and the three young men who hijacked a
boat,” say others.
I am not asking anyone to forget, but I believe that without
transparency of information, without truth, without integrity in
historical analysis, and without forgiveness, there will be no possible
reconciliation. At least until the disappearance of the generations
involved in Cuba’s political struggles of the last decades.
To accuse all those who do not share a particular vision of the country
and all those who receive aid from others for their struggle of being
mercenaries, terrorists and assassins is nothing more than a pretext of
the extremes to continue the confrontation and to not enter into
dialogue because of various fears.
The old Cuban Communists were accused of receiving money from Moscow in
order to disqualify and discredit them.
It is not just, nor is it legitimate, nor isn’t constructive for either
side to continue with these absurd accusations against everyone who has
been involved in these struggles from one side or the other.
Why don’t we just recognize once and for all that the era of armed
military confrontation and the language of the Cold War is over and we
are in a time of peaceful democratic political struggles where everyone
can defend his or her ideas freely?
Let’s be serious. How can the opponents of the Cuban government
objectively sustain a peaceful political struggle for their ideals
without any outside help, when everyone knows that we live in a country
where the government controls absolutely everything?
Has the democratic left itself have not been victims of this absolute,
absurd and counterproductive control that ends up leaving people without
life support and eventually turns them against their own operators?
How can we forget that high and medium level government officials of the
Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR) and the Ministry of the Interior
(MININT) suspected of perestroikos and ideological weaknesses were
senten masse to retire and “perform other important missions” to limit
their access to information and decisions between 1989 and 1994?
How can we forget that some compañeros were removed from their posts and
lost their Internet or Intranet accounts because they used them to
spread articles critical of state socialism and to publicly propose ways
forward towards a participatory and democratic socialism after Fidel
Castro himself warned in late 2005 that these Revolutionaries were the
only ones who could destroy the Revolution by corruption and excessive
bureaucracy, and also called for help in this fight?
The attitude of the delegation sent by the Government of Cuba to the
Civil Society Forum of the recent Seventh Summit of the Americas was an
example of that old extremist, intolerant and neo-Stalinist mentality in
the leadership of political and mass organizations and of the Cuban
Communist Party (PCC) that pretends to be the only representative of
Cuban civil society.
Is it possible that the government of Raul Castro could emerge from the
current economic disaster with the collaboration of its historic enemy
without essential changes in the political economic model that starts
from a new national consensus that has the approval of workers, the
self-employed, cooperatives, Cuban entrepreneurs, opponents and dissenters?
Do we really believe the Cuban president that the 97% approval of the
Constitution in 1976 is the same level of approval that the government
and its policies have today? Are we forgetting that in the last election
almost 13% of the voters either did not vote or turned in a blank or
annulled ballot? Does the general president not know that in recent
years over 30,000 Cubans have left Cuba by different routes and does he
not know that perhaps more than one million Cubans would like to leave
Does the four-star general believe that the people don’t know the high
level of nepotism and corruption that corrodes the system that he defends?
If the current government headed by Raúl Castro is unable to control its
extreme wing and enter into a process of dialogue, national
reconciliation and democratization of society, the country can hardly
steer its development in peace and have the professional and financial
aid from all Cubans, which it needs, no matter where they are, along
with external collaboration. In any case, Cuba can go from bad to worse.
It is time to understand that our political and ideological differences,
our sorrows over past events, leave us no choice but to overcome this
stage of confrontation and take on the reunification of the nation with
all its consequences.
Otherwise, we run the risk of turning our country into a failed state,
either because the economy continues to sink into the vacuum of the
inconsistencies of State management, of because of our inability to
dialog, ending up in fratricidal conflict provoked by those who from the
extremes would prefer that Cuba sink into the sea, rather than recognize
errors and sit at the negotiating table.
Those of us who want to solve the problems of Cuba, be we within or
outside of government and within or outside Cuba, need to set ourselves
to seriously working for dialogue and reconciliation in a framework of
democracy and rights, where the extremes are another bad memory of our
Source: Without dialogue and reconciliation, Cuba will go from bad to
worse / 14ymedio, Pedro Campos | Translating Cuba –