Despite bad times, we should enjoy life’s pleasant things whenever they happen. So I want to share with my readers my joy when, a few days ago I received, via DHL, a heavy box containing twenty books. The books are Memories of the Sixth Contest of Essays Caminos de la Libertad, corresponding to the 2011 edition of this event held every year by the Grupo Salinas (Mexico), which I entered and –though I did not win- I did get an honorable mention, so my essay “Cuba: Tres Tiempos de Libertad Truncada” [Cuba: Freedom Truncated Three Times] is published in this volume, alongside works of prestigious personalities of this Hemisphere, of much greater intellectual scope than this impudent writer, which makes me even happier. In fact, the special award by the Group in the category A Life for Freedom was given to no less than one of the writers I most admire and respect: Mario Vargas Llosa. I am as happy as a kid with a new toy.
Since, nonetheless, the book’s superb quality is an indicator of the significance and professionalism which it encompasses, I will put aside my self-satisfaction and summarize my own essay –as publicity- so those interested in the subject can look it up on the web at http://www.caminosdelalibertad.com/concurso_ensayos/general.php.
This is an analysis of the pursuit of freedom in three particular moments in the history of Cuba: The First War of Independence or the Ten Years War (1868-1878), the Second War of Independence or War of ‘95 (1895 -1898) and the guerrilla war (December 1956-January 1959), and how that aspiration was truncated in each case by multiple factors set forth in the essay.
Simultaneously, it is demonstrated how, in each case of armed, destructive and violent revolutionary processes, freedom has not been attained in Cuba. The work includes and analysis of historical, economic, political and cultural components at each scenario and juncture, related to events, up to their convergence in the incidence they have played upon the Island’s current state of affairs.
I warn my lazy readers that this reading is somewhat dense and quite extensive, but I’d love for a lot of you, especially Cubans, to read it and, if it’s not too much to ask, to send me your comments, since this is about the roots of our common history; a work I wrote with lots of interest and enthusiasm. Hopefully it will be of some use. A hug to everyone.
December 21 2012