14ymedio, José Ramón Bauzá, Brussels, 14 November 2021 — When November begins in Europe, it brings with it the first days of cold, a prelude to a winter that is already looming; but it also brings to the Old Continent the memory of a past that still chills the souls of Europeans.
This week was loaded with symbolism here. We remember the Night of Broken Glass, in which the Nazis unleashed their anti-Semitic and genocidal terror in Europe; and on Armistice Day, at 11am on the 11th of the 11th month, we honor the youth lost in the collective suicide that was the First World War. Along with the memory of horror, we were also able to celebrate the hope brought by the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of decades of communist oppression and division among Europeans.
What we remember this week in Europe as a black chapter in our history is today a very alive and omnipresent reality in Cuba. Why do we close our eyes to her?
The same wall of communism, which one day closed off half of Europe behind a curtain of repression and misery, still stands imposing in front of Cubans, separating families, drowning dreams and hiding the horizon of a future that is denied to the youth of Cuba.
But, like the Berlin wall thirty years ago, the wall of Castroism already shows the cracks that time and the failure of an obsolete model have opened: loopholes through which, as in 1989, the torrential will of a people determined to recover its future will seep down.
The flow of brave Cubans who took to the streets on the now historic July 11 broke the first defense of the regime, fear. That spirit of dignity, which flowed free for a few hours, is the force that now inspires the Civic March on the 15th of November.
Will Europe continue to be blind to Cubans’ desire for change?
The European Parliament has never turned its face from what is happening on the Island. Time and again, the voice of this House representing 440 million Europeans has been clear and constant in its rejection of the regime. And, for the first time this September, the condemnation of the crimes of Castroism transcended political divisions to add deputies from the left, who broke ranks with their Spanish partners and their uncritical support for the regime.
But before this democratic majority, expressed so many times by the European Parliament, the High Representative José Borrell and some countries continue to resist listening to the voice of the citizens, held back by the ideological sectarianism that prevails in the Spanish Government.
In a show of cynicism that is now impossible to hide, the European Union follows the dictates of Pedro Sánchez and the Spanish socialists, treating the Castro dictatorship with a softness that contrasts, to our shame, with the harshness that Brussels shows towards other countries before abuses that pale compared to those committed daily by the Cuban regime.
What millions of Europeans feel at the passivity of our leaders is not only shame, it is also dismay. How can Europe — which suffered in its own flesh the terror of communism — close its eyes to the same oppression that a brother nation suffers today? How has the hand that Brussels extended to the regime improved the lives of Cubans? Where are the sanctions demanded by an overwhelming majority in the European Parliament?
The European Union must urgently change course, and give its unconditional help to those who can build the future of a democratic Cuba: the youth, the fearless opponents — such as my dear friend José Daniel Ferrer — and the incombustible civil society that on the 11th of July took to the streets en masse to give the regime a lesson in courage and decency.
In this endeavor, those of us who believe in the right of Cubans to live in democracy and freedom are fighting daily, and more Europeans are added every day to the numbers of us who do not understand how we tolerate in Cuba a system whose liquidation in Europe we celebrate every year.
The cold passes, the walls collapse, dictatorships fall. And just as we Europeans shook off the yoke of communist oppression from half a continent three decades ago, the courage and determination of Cubans can return, this November, democracy and hope to a people that waited long enough.
In that fight, your friends in Europe will always be by your side.
Editor’s Note: José Ramón Bauzá is a MEP for the Spanish Citizens party and a member of the Foreign Commission of the European Parliament.
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