Mutual Respect / Fernando Damaso

The reestablishment of diplomatic relations between the governments of Cuba and the United States has been well received by the majority of Cubans both within and outside the island. Although it represents only the first step in solving the dispute between the two governments, it provides the basis for achieving a normal coexistence between close neighbors, both geographically and historically.

During the process of resolving this dispute, it is hoped that steps will also be taken to resolve another dispute: that between Cubans and their government

As expected, there are those who do not agree with this first step, who reject it and will do everything possible to make it fail. These people are found within the governments of both countries, as well as among the internal and external opposition. Some have lived too long under this dispute, and it is too difficult for them to give up what has become a way of life.

I am referring to government figures, who have made careers for themselves taking advantage of the dispute, enjoying the perks, experiencing neither shortages, scarcities, nor the “Special Period,” and also some opponents who, although it has cost them a great deal of work, have benefited from it, through media attention, economic assistance, and the occasional trip abroad.

This is also happened with some Cuban-American politicians, Both Democrats and Republicans. It is a well-known reality and cannot be ignored.

Those of us who are committed to change and have as our main objective the well-being of Cuba and all Cubans, without any kinds of differences or exclusions, I call on to fight to overcome the obstacles that undoubtedly will appear, and to advance this process.

It is noteworthy that, in recent days, in the press and in the Government-supported blogosphere, there have appeared some articles which, instead of promoting understanding and good relations, try to fan the flames of discord, recalling difficult times in recent history, where the only culprit, with or without evidence, continues to be the American government, while Cuba continues to play the role of innocent victim: they appear to be stuck in the story of Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf

If we really want to have good relations with our neighbor, and so the language of the barricade and of the ignorant, used for so many years, should begin to vary: respect, to be effective, must be mutual.

18 January 2015