Resistance, the Cuban Way

Exile leaders and former Cuban political prisoners during a press conference in Miami, on February 15, 2023. (EFE)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Pedro Corzo, Miami, 23 September 2023 — The everlasting will of the Cuban exiles to overthrow totalitarianism is as proverbial as the solidarity shown by those same exiles with their relatives on the Island, despite the intense propaganda deployed by the Castro authorities and, in particular, by the Cuban Government’s fellow travelers residing abroad, who try to show that the opposition, in order to end the dictatorship, is willing to sink the country where they were born.

The Cuban exile has shown a very unique perseverance and dedication for his country. Just as inside Cuba there has never been a lack of freedom fighters, abroad there have also been men and women ready to take the risks required to participate in the return of citizens’ rights to the Island.

The darkest decades of the opposition in Cuba, I dare to say, was in the period from 1960 to 1980, illuminated by the resistance of political prisoners and the creation of the Comité Cubano Pro-Derechos Humanos [Cuban Committee for Human Rights], inspired by Ricardo Bofill.

It was also one of the periods in which the banishment was most active, as shown by the constitution, among others, of the Cuban Patriotic Junta, by Manuel Enrique de Varona, and the Cuban American National Foundation, by Jorge Mas Canosa, as well as by the constitution of Independent and Democratic Cuba, led by Commander Huber Matos and many other former political prisoners like Ángel de Fana and Reinaldo Aquit Manrique, whom  prison hardened in their already firm convictions.

Signs of that tenacity and drive are not often found in History. I affirm that the opponents abroad are vibrant and as committed to overthrowing the dictatorship as they were when this struggle began more than 60 years ago.

“I affirm that the opponents abroad are vibrant and as committed to overthrowing the dictatorship as they were when this fight began more than 60 years ago”

This gives cause for us to feel proud, because the evidence of that resistance and dedication to a more-than-just cause exists in the young and old, as shown by the Assembly of the Cuban Resistance, founded in 2009. In my opinion, because of the efficient work it does, under the coordination of Orlando Gutiérrez, it has managed to motivate not only Cubans, but also numerous politicians from different countries who work hard to bring democracy to Castro’s hell.

It’s important to note that the commitment is still present in those who left Cuba to study in the so-called socialist countries, as shown by the intense activity they carry out in Europe against totalitarianism. There are groups such as Miscellaneous of Cuba, Cuban Observatory of Human Rights and Prisoners Defenders, in addition to personalities such as Zoé Valdés and Alejandro González Raga.

These former students are among the most tenacious and active enemies of the regime. There are groups in Europe that develop an intense activity in favor of democracy in Cuba, also in other regions of Latin America such as Puerto Rico, where there is a personality like Gerardo Morera, 88 years old, who does not stop promoting the fight for democracy in Cuba, while working intensively to preserve our traditions, supporting and managing the patriotic Casa Cuba de San Juan.

Of course, there are several states in the U.S. where the main foci of resistance are located, with South Florida, particularly Miami-Dade County, being the vital nucleus for most Cuban organizations. They use different strategies to fight Castroism. Some, such as Alpha 66, directed by Ernesto Rodríguez, have been doing so for more than six decades.

Those of us who are already approaching eight decades of life, or the 90s, such as Roberto Perdomo – 28 years in prison in Cuba, 23 of them in underpants for rejecting the common prisoner’s uniform – must be very proud, because young people born in the United States, such as Daniel Pedreira, have made a firm commitment to everything that has to do with democracy in Cuba. Others, such as the aforementioned Orlando Gutiérrez, who left Cuba before adolescence, are examples of dedication and sacrifice as were their elders, who were executed or served decades in Castro prisons.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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