Lately it has been repeatedly affirmed by leaders and officials that the Cuban people chose the Revolution in 1959 and Socialism in 1961, such that it is no longer necessary to decide anything because it was already done at that time. Accepting that it’s true that in 1959 the majority of the people welcomed the insurrectionist victory, we mustn’t forget that that meant getting rid of a dictator and seven years of dictatorship.
The struggle then was based on restoring the 1940 Constitution and freedom, not about changing the economic, political and social system that had previously existed. In 1961 the declaration of the Socialist character was made at a rally at the corner of 23rd and 12th in El Vedado, before enraged militants holding their rifles high, in response to the air attacks that were the prelude to the Bay of Pigs, where there was a limited number of people who, by and large, did not represent the Cuban population. In reality, it was imposed, taking advantage of the right moment, and later, through propaganda and political pressure, extended to the whole society.
Even accepting these realities, which occurred at a given point in our historical development, and whose responsibility was solely that of the generations active at that time, nothing obliges current generations to accept this decision they had nothing to do with as something unchanging and unchangeable. It is like trying to establish, for life of the nation, a Gordian knot, which can not be undone, on pain of being stigmatized as a traitor.
When these decisions were taken and were implemented, they ignored all of our republican history, as well as the principles established by our forefathers and thinkers who had fought and won independence from Spain, and the creation of a republic with all and for the good of all, based on democratic principles.
Why could all could be changed in 1959 and now it can not be done again? Is it that the generations active in 1959 were more intelligent and wise than those in 1900 and now? Were they considered to be more patriotic?A Nation is not anyone’s personal feud nor their ideas, however important or not a performance was in a given historical moment, and to pretend it is is nonsense. Children do not have to pay for the sins of their parents.
The present generations have the full right to change anything they deem necessary to change. No one can limit them to simply refurbishing a badly constructed social edifice. The present and immediate future belongs to them and their children, rather than to past generations who, at one point may have been revolutionary and progressive, and who played a role, but now have ceased to be. Wanting to keep laws and decrees, that sooner or later will be abolished, is something that has clearly demonstrated its inefficiency and failure and is an attempt to unnecessarily prolong the agony of the nation.
Let us put our feet on earth, as one of the recent government slogans says, and understand once and for all that the process of change in a society is unstoppable and that like it or not, it will happen. In addition, social change does not allow straitjackets. Recent developments in the international arena prove this.
Translated by: Juanita M.
February 7 2011