Paying the Political Price / Fernando Dámaso

Fernando Damaso, 5 June 2016 — For several days “the five heroes by decree” have been dusted off again and put to work, apparently leaving behind the only thing they have done since they were released: traveling at the expense of the Cuban people, living the story and talking nonsense.

After visiting Moscow, invited by the minority and inconsequential Communist Party of Russia, where, as important people in world anti-terrorism believe (trying to forget their work as spies), they were presented as the greatest pacifists of the “dove of peace,” three have been given positions: once as the vice-rector of the Higher Institute of International Relations (ISRI), another as vice president of the Jose Marti Cultural Society and the third as Vice President of the National Association of Economists and Accountants (ANEC).

In this latter case, he was appointed Vice President (17 May 2016) before being admitted as a member of the Association (28 May 2016), which, like the others, coincidentally, is also presented as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO).

Previously, one had already been appointed as Vice President of the Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), coincidentally also an NGO. Subtract one to be officially located, although he has long styled himself as a poet and artist, so his fate will be in the culture sector.

These characters, to be in sync with the moment and not lose their privileges, lash out regularly against “the empire,” energetically repeating with the neighborhood tough guys, some of the absurd demands of the Cuban authorities to the United States government, and instead of approaching them they distance themselves from the possible solutions.

As if that weren’t enough, they put these demands into the mouths of the Cuban people, presenting themselves as their spokespeople as if anyone here had ever asked the citizens, democratically and responsibly, what they think about this and other issues. To speak in the name of all the Cuban people is an illegal appropriation by the authorities that, like a genetic defect, is repeated by all the functionaries. To expect anything different from them would be naive: they only do what they are ordered to do.

It is convenient to remember that these “characters of the great national comic theater,” while serving their sentences, “enjoyed” first world living conditions — hygienic, ventilated, well-lit and modern cells, as well as good food, medical attention, playing sports, access to the internet, on-line conferences, and even visits from movie stars, as well as regular visits from their families — all very different from the difficult conditions in which prisoners serve their sentences in Cuba.

Since their return, they have simply dedicated themselves to paying the political price.