Letter to Fernando Rojas, Cuba’s Vice-Minister of Culture

The first group of artists to plant themselves in front of the Ministry of Culture on November 27. (Reynier Leyva Novo)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Ines Casal, Havana, December 7, 2020 — Fernando: If you find it disrespectful for me to address a letter to you in this way, I ask your pardon. And I assure you, I do it this way because I have no other way to communicate with you. Who knows if you won’t read this thing I write, either, but “just because my message might never be received doesn’t mean it’s not worth sending.”

I also apologize for addressing you informally as “Tú”, but this “letter” is addressed to the human being I met years ago (although maybe you don’t remember me), and not the official you are today. And I have a hard time treating you as a “you” [the more formal “Usted”], when I met you as Fernandito, as your parents called you. I trust you don’t see it badly either.

I know the lineage from where you come. Your parents were my co-workers, my bosses and my friends for a long time at the University of Havana. Your father, Fernando Rojas, Rector of the UH for several years, was an upright and honest man, who dedicated his whole life to his country and his Revolution, who educated, together with sweet Fefa, four children with a sense of truth and honesty, first and foremost. Although some wretched people (there always are) may have criticized him and even charged him for some “human weaknesses,” but never of being corrupt or opportunistic. continue reading

But since as I know your family well, you may have forgotten where he comes from and who my son Julius César Llópiz Casal is.

My son also comes from upright, honest parents who gave all their strength, all their energies, all their knowledge, all their revolutionary dreams to the UH and to their country. And they also educated their two children to respect truth and decorum, which is what people have when they don’t hide what they think.

I know what the duties of a post or a party are. I was a militant of the PCC [Partido Comunista de Cuba, the Communist Party of Cuba] for almost 30 years, and I was conscientious, because I believed in the Revolution, from the heart. Although for years I have felt betrayed in my purest dreams. But no office, no party position made me lie or betray my conscience. Luckily, I was always surrounded by colleagues who were able to discuss what we didn’t understand. When I felt betrayed by the Revolution (because it wasn’t me who did the betraying), I just stopped believing in it.

My son, Fernando, is not a terrorist, and you know it.

My son, Fernando, doesn’t seek to destabilize the system, let alone incite a popular uprising, and you know it.

My son, Fernando, is not manipulated, managed, paid for by any foreign government, by any organization, by any means of the press, and you know it.

My son, Fernando, is not a criminal, he is a Cuban artist who also works by Cuba and for Cuba, and you know it.

My son, Fernando, says what he thinks, anywhere and under any circumstance, and you know it.

My son, Fernando, is a good man, and you know it.

That is why, from the bottom of my heart, I ask you to try, now from your duty as an official, in time to put a stop to a defamatory and cowardly campaign that has broken out in the official media against peaceful people who have only wanted to be heard. This media circus can have unimaginable and terrible consequences.

And that, Fernando, you also know.

With all my respect and consideration, Inés Casal Enríquez.

Ed. note: This letter was originally published in the social network Facebook.

Translated by: Hombre de Paz

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