Good Reason / Eugenio Leal


On the morning of Saturday, October 16 , a meeting was held in the Supreme Council Degree 33 for the Republic of Cuba, located at No.164 Jovellar Street between San Francisco and Espada, in the Centro Habana municipality. It was convened to promote a process to judge and expel from Masonry Gustavo Pardo Valdes and another seven brother Masons.

It should be noted that in this activity only 11 of the 31 members that make up the Masonic body were present. It is pertinent to note that these attendees are recognized for their commitment to the Sovereign Grand Commander of the Jesús Armada Pena Supreme Council of Degree 33 in the Republic of Cuba.

The background to this event is because the Masons now on trial asked, in writing, for the Grand Master of the José Ramón González Díaz Grand Lodge of Cuba to address, as set out in Masonic Law, violations of the bylaws of the fraternity that Armada Pena had incurred, visiting irregular lodges in the United States.

Gustavo Valdés Pardo is a former political prisoner, now President of the Cuban Academy of Masonic Studies and former Chancellor of the Supreme Council of Degree 33. In addition, he works as a freelance journalist, is a Blogger Academy graduate and on the digital portal he has the blog La Colmena (The Beehive).

Apparently, behind this maneuver are the political interests of the state, because Pardo Valdés is working in the emerging civil society. They want to avoid that a prominent opinion leader, with recognized expertise in the Masonic Institution, would be elected Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Cuba in 2012, and would lead the campaign promoted in various lodges in the country with the motto: Renewal and Fraternity.

They are trying to get him permanently removed from the institution. This was already shown in that previously, on August 2, 2007, Caridad Diego, Chief of the Office of Religious Matters of the Cuban Communist Party Central Committee, opposed Pardo Valdés’ election as director of the Supreme Council, in which he occupied the post of secretary.

What happened then, was that approval was given for the re-election of Armada Pena, who is now 85 and has been in office for more than two decades. This is the typical process the government uses to maintain, at the head of the Fraternal Association on the Island, its own followers or those who will at least stay silent in the face of the widespread disaster in our society.

There is no lack of those who claim that it is an unfounded assumption to think that there are State interests in these matters. In reality, one must always leave a margin for possible paranoia among those who are repressed and harassed for long periods. But, in the case of totalitarian systems, when we suspect evil, we have good reason.

November 4, 2010