Free the Five or Free the Four? / Fernando Damaso

clip_image0023Recently the campaign for the release of the Five has heated up, with presentation of Comrade Alarcon’s report, as an obligatory menu item, with regards to the event held in Cuba, whether national or international, plus the continuous manipulation of young people to demand that we never abandon the Five, and the Five for the Five, dedicating this day to them every month. In addition, it’s a part of the recently opened International Book Fair. One can say the Five are everywhere.

In fact, the campaign should be for the Four, as one has already for some time been wandering around Miami, without anyone paying him any mind (and he’s even visited his family in Cuba), constituting a categorical denial to the claim that his life is in jeopardy, if he stayed in U.S. territory, while waiting for the fulfillment of the three years of supervised release, something established in the U.S. for anyone who serves for over ten years, in order to facilitate their progressive social inclusion, and not a particular extra punishment, as their families and our authorities constantly repeat.

It is human, and the noble sentiments deserve respect, when a family member is in trouble, but it is unacceptable to lend oneself to political manipulation and be prominent part of it, as if they enjoy it. I would like to be wrong, but this is the conclusion that, adding up the facts, I’ve come to. Contrite faces, an occasional furtive tear, speeches and endless calls to the point of exhaustion, make me think more about the desire for a political-social role (and what this represents in travel, clothing, tours, events, celebrations, etc.), in real feelings.

In short, the four remaining prisoners serving their sentences, after their guilt was proven: violated laws and are paying for it. This childish excuse of “coming to save our neighbor and ourselves in the neighbor’s house” isn’t believed by anyone with half a brain. It’s just one more political campaign (it’s not the only one), to keep the majority of the people entertained, trying to divert their attention from the real and important problems. Many ordinary Cubans now enjoy the conditions enjoyed by these prisoners of the empire.

It seems that those of the Five who remain, plus it sounds better to say Free the Five than Free the Four, because our authorities are quite slow to introduce changes (even their photographs are obsolete, having been taken over twelve years ago), but these are necessary and reality demands them.

15 February 2013