Noviembre 7, 2009 at 14:36 · Clasificados en Sin Evasión
A regular reader from Spain (as evidenced in the way he hollers and other spins of the language), who signs his comments as “Deivi” says we don’t understand –referring to Cubans- when we criticize Moratinos’s undertakings during his recent visit to Cuba. It is interesting, however, that, in order to substantiate his assertion he resorts to (as if he were one of those Cubans who don’t understand) extreme and opposing positions.
For starters, it seemed positive to me –to call it “great” would be an exaggeration- that Juanes came to Havana, because the event provoked extensive discussions about Cuba, the conditions in which we live, and the Island’s future. But comparing Juanes and Moratinos is, at least, unfortunate: the artist is not a diplomat representing a foreign government, so we could not pretend that his presence here might mean a change in policy. Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s. Nevertheless, I have sufficient ground to be sure that Juanes did want to have contact with representatives of the independent civil society, but the stranglehold of the political police, who followed his every step, prevented it.
Following the order of the concerns of our dear reader, criticism of the use of diplomacy on the part of the Spanish government toward the Cuban dictatorship does not necessarily imply that the other options are “turning a blind eye” or “waging a war”. I think a skilled diplomat should have enough munitions to find a third option: to put pressure in order to take steps to respect human rights (which he touts to defend) while maintaining a flow of communication and official exchange with the government. In any case, Moratinos can’t claim that his visit —driven primarily by his country’s economic interests- constitutes a breakthrough in political matters or the possibility of a democratic begining in Cuba: this is completely hypocritical and deceitful.
Neither does it seem respectful to me the view that “those who write here” have “all their basic necessities covered” and don’t care about the rest of the unfortunate people who suffer in Cuba. We must learn to disagree without offending. I will let this reader know that, at least in my humble opinion, freedom is a basic, unquestionable need that none of us here have “covered” and that I have devoted myself to systematically denounce all the evils that afflict Cuba, though they may not affect me directly. Since I do not embrace a herd spirit, I do not consider that having enough to eat, dress or a place to live are the limits of human aspirations: tens of thousands of years separate us from cavemen, whether we live in Cuba or in any other point in the planet.
And, following his impassioned speech, what exactly is “the isolation” of Cuba? Perhaps our friend overlooks that not isolating the Cuban government does not prevent in any way that the Cuban people live in absolute isolation. Does he think, for instance, that Cubans have ever benefited from the government’s dealings and its agreements with foreign businessmen? I am sure that his sensitivity ignores that many foreign companies (Spanish too, yes sir), profit unscrupulously from the exploitation of many of the Island’s Cubans, who make up one of the cheapest work forces in the world.
Comparing the actual conditions in Cuba, under the longest dictatorship known in the western world, with the dictatorship that Spain experienced is not effective either. The reader himself states it: Spain pulled out of the economic crisis brought about by its civil war through the “development of the 60’s”, and he adds that “this was accomplished because Spain’s integration into international organizations gained became acceptable”. He doesn’t understand –he cannot understand it, it is clear- that Franco’s dictatorship never meant the abolition of [private] property, much less the imposition of a communist regime, where all individual initiatives and capabilities are eliminated as a function of a false collectivism that allows the Government-Party-State to dispose, in a totalitarian manner, not only of all the income and riches, but also of the country’s human capital. Without wishing to elevate either one, the difference between Franco’s and Castro’s dictatorship is abysmal, beyond the time in which each one has existed.
No foreign agreement or flirtation has led us Cubans to “better food supply” or a “decent life”, with all respect. I do not believe, therefore, that it is important that European governments include us in their agendas in the manner they include us. That is, I would be happy if Cuba were included in those illustrious agendas in such an intelligent and well-intentioned manner in order to force the government to at least comply with the commitments it has signed about Human Rights, something that has not happened until now because, of course, us Cubans are not the priority of any government (starting with ours) and because it is not the people or good intentions that devise politics.
I want to make this very clear to our mistaken friend (who should be helped so he may understand) that it is not up to us Cubans to demand the repayment of their Spanish debt from the Castros. We have been neither party to nor beneficiaries of such affairs. If Spanish entrepreneurs chose to do business with the olive green bandits, including seeking immoral advantage over a population both hungry and full of hardships, it is the job of those companies and of the Spanish government to demand what is owed to them. Perhaps the penance of the Spanish lies in these Cuban defaults, which ultimately is the thing between bandits.
Finally, let me make a disclaimer: far from encouraging negative feelings for the good Spaniards, I feel a deep affection and friendliness for them. All my paternal ancestors are from Spain. They were hard-working, simple and honest people whose main family legacy has been precisely those values. From my father, the son of a Basque man and Navarre woman, I learned the love for truth and a sense of justice. To set the record straight, that is not the exclusive legacy of the Spanish. I’d like to think that our referenced reader may also be driven by a sincere concern and solidarity with Cuba, and it is appreciated, but his effort will never be comparable to the love I feel for Cubans. Please don’t lecture us.
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