Sovereignty and Independence / Fernando Dámaso

To defend the sovereignty and independence of the nation, has been turned into the basis of all the arbitrary and absurd bans that have oppressed the Cuban people for more than half a century. We forget that, for a country to be sovereign and independent, first each of its citizens must be so. José Martí raised this in the nineteenth century, although it was muted and, as with many of his approaches, somewhat uncomfortable for the national reality.

The current stagnation also relies on the same basis and attempts to frighten us with the loss of something that we really haven’t had for a long time. Allied for over thirty years to the former USSR (a fact endorsed in the original Socialist Constitution), bartering our sovereignty and independence for large subsidies, which allowed the survival of an inefficient and unproductive model. Then there was talk of brotherhood and social solidarity. Today, funded by Venezuela, history is repeating itself, now with Bolivarian and Latin American solidarity.

In a world always in transition, at a time when words meant something, and even were the cause of bloody wars, they have lost effect since the second half of the Twentieth Century. Now integration and globalization (despite their problems), generate the drawing together of countries and not their confinement behind old walls. The revolutionary is to get in tune with it and not cling to the outdated and already overcome by humanity.

To change attitudes, sedimented by years of inertia, is not easy. It takes will and a clear mind and being open to challenges and disappointments and being willing to sacrifice, and even to be misunderstood by many, but it is an inescapable necessity.

Today, at the beginning of the 21st Century, much has changed in the world, both materially and spiritually. I don’t consider it for the worse, as some doomsayers and sacrificers proclaim to the point of exhaustion. In our case, after losing so many years we, once and for all, just joined the countries marching in front, and have proven in practice, the correctness of its truths.

Translated by RST

May 5 2011