Cuba, Between Sects and Heretics

The fundamentalism of the Castro sect is radicalizing as the crisis of faith in its practitioners increases. (Cubandebate)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Yunior García Aguilera, Madrid, 6 July 2022 — According to the Pan-Hispanic Dictionary of Legal Spanish, a sect is a religious group usually characterized by a charismatic, messianic and dogmatic leader, with a vertical and totalitarian structure, which demands absolute detachment from its members. Any Cuban who reads this definition could agree that, effectively, the Cuban Revolution is a sect. Much more so now that the maximum leader of the doctrine rests on a stone altar, as if he were an Egyptian pharaoh.

The fundamentalism of the Castro sect is radicalizing as the crisis of faith in its practitioners increases. We have seen the high priests of the Politburo cling to the rock with the same devotion of a penitent before the Wailing Wall. “Talk to us, we need you!” murmur the worshipers with beards and uniforms before the rosary of plagues that a country that is so far from God and so close to Miami suffers.

But the new anointed one completely lacks what the Greeks called areté and that could be translated as the virtue that Olympus gives you. No white doves perch on his shoulder, only dyed doves of very bad omen. The only thing that he is capable of multiplying are lines, blackouts and discontent. The prosperous and sustainable paradise that he keeps promising is, in real life, the worst hell imaginable.

And those who dare to dissent are quickly excommunicated, demonized, expelled from the congregation. Whoever writes these lines many years ago was expelled from the Jehovah’s Witnesses and today he is once again a heretic, a wandering Jew, an apostate. That is my karma. But my real crime, my cardinal sin, has been refusing to die on the cross.

I do believe in what they call “anthropological damage,” I have seen it with my own eyes. I have seen how even those who oppose the cult can end up recycling its methods and fanaticism. They are like Thomas, the unbelieving apostle, who after seeing Jesus walk on the water, still needed to put his hand on the wound to be convinced that miracles exist.

Many of those who yesterday wanted to turn anyone into a messiah and pushed him to martyrdom, today claim that the same person is possessed by the demons of State Security. The G2 is more ubiquitous than the Holy Trinity. Many of those who shout the word freedom at the top of their lungs actually prefer their leaders behind bars, so that they become credible. Morbidity is stronger than reason and common sense. Many of those who learned Patria y Vida by heart continue to function with the logic of “fatherland or death.”

Small groups that proclaim themselves the “only true opposition” grow on social networks. There is a whole conspiracy and apocalyptic explosion burning other opponents at the stake of defamation. They have no proof, but they have no doubt either. Everyone is a traitor until proven otherwise. Anyone who does not agree with the new dogma is automatically declared a false prophet. The sects do not understand democracy, only inquisition.

The playwright René Ariza affirmed that we Cubans should be very careful with the Castro that each one carried within. Coca-Cola versions of Fidel are just as bad as the original. Never again should we allow single thinking, blacklisting, or acts of repudiation. The homeland will have to belong to everyone or we will continue, indefinitely, going around in circles. But Cuban civil society could take years to heal the wounds that seven decades of intolerance have caused us.

Although, when it comes to sins, I prefer to be optimistic. It only takes an ounce of lucidity to identify those whose mentality is as authoritarian as the dictatorship itself. They can swear that their ideology is the opposite, they can fill their profiles with anti-communist slogans, but deep down… they are Fidel. They repeat the scheme that excludes those who think differently. They hate the plurality of voices. They only accept their own speech.

As July 11 approaches, each of us should place less emphasis on the speck in the other’s eye. The dictatorship may be about to fall and we may not even be ready to prevent a new cycle of intransigence. Let’s not waste a single minute in slandering the other who is also risking everything. My truth, your truth, are only parts of a larger and more complex truth called Cuba.


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