Somos+, Richard Shirrman, 27 January 2019 — This January 26 we watched as thousands of Cuban citizens and lovers of liberty and democracy came together with one voice demanding our rights, it was more than one march or protest against that dictatorship that robs us all alike of our liberty, that subjugates, and that represses our people and dissidents who protest peacefully. It was a unanimous cry of NO!! Of Enough already! Not one year more!
All those of us who do not forget our country, we feel proud of each Cuban who raised his voice. It set a standard in the fight for the freedom of Cuba, and it said to the ruling regime on our Island what we Cubans have carried guarded in our hearts for 60 years. This 26th of January history was made, we managed to gather thousands of Cubans in the world and it was shown that united, we can do anything.
But this doesn’t end here! We will keep working with all our brothers and sisters who want with all their hearts to see our Mother Country free and prosperous, this rebellion is the beginning of the path to follow, because when a people lets itself be defeated by tyrants, any dream and longing for liberty will perish, let us not allow ourselves to be intimidated by lack of faith in ourselves and by external agitators, it’s necessary that every Cuban who loves his Mother fight for the liberty, democracy, and prosperity of our nation.
That is why we ask for the union and cooperation of all for the good of all and to fight until the end of the dictatorship that robs us of our most elemental rights and the peaceful coexistence between our different ideologies, creeds, and positions on life.
The enemy is only one, my friends, it is that criminal and murderous regime that has killed our dreams, our future, and our human dignity. There are never words to persuade when one is fighting for a just and true cause. Let us all unite as children of the same mother! Because if we don’t do it, the dictators and politicians will do whatever they feel like with us.
Cubans, brothers and sisters, José Martí fought in exile for many years until achieving the objective that was always the light in his thoughts, an inheritance that leaves us the path toward liberty, that thought and path that the murderers and vile, ambitious men of power have covered up so that we do not see it, and have placed stones in our path so that today the people of Cuba lives without decency and human dignity.
And today on the eve of the birthday of our greatest Cuban of all time, I dedicate to all those Cubans who protested against the vile and cruel dictatorship that has oppressed us for more than 60 years. And quoting José Martí:
…Thus we want the children of America to be: men who say what they think, and say it well; eloquent and sincere men.
…A man who hides what he thinks, or doesn’t dare to say what he thinks, is not an honorable man. A man who obeys a bad government, without working for the government to be good, is not an honorable man. A man who complies with unjust laws, and permits men who mistreat the country where he was born to tread its soil, is not an honorable man.
…There are men who live content although they live without decency. There are others who suffer as in agony when they see that men live without decency around them. In the world it is necessary to have a certain quantity of decency, as one must have a certain quantity of light. When there are many men without decency, there are always others who have within themselves the decency of many men. Those are the ones who rise up with terrible force against those who rob the people of their liberty, which is to rob men of their decency. In those men go thousands of men, goes an entire people, goes human dignity. Those men are sacred.
Long live free Cuba!
José Julián Martí y Pérez
National Hero of the Republic of Cuba
God, Homeland, and Liberty!
Translated by: Sheilagh Carey