The Clan in Power / Rosa María Rodríguez Torrado

From: “”

Delfi is an almost obsolete computer programming language, and in reverse almost a man’s name I don’t care to mention, although in this writing I allude to one who still governs or influences the destiny of Cuba and who reappears in public on occasion talking about the end of the world. This would-be Messiah of the olive-green mentality, who became a “peaceful guerrilla” in pursuit of a Nobel Prize, took the world to the brink of World War III. Among his political priorities have been his own image, remaining at the head of Cuba and of the model he founded and built, the export of his ideological pretext — including logistical support to friends and guerrillas — to come to power, or to perpetuate himself in it, the constant criticism of the rich countries, particularly the United States. He has worn out Cuba socially, politically and economically, and he still meddles in the problems of others offering them his theories in exchange for support, even if it is just propaganda and patronage. Venezuela is the economic exception that replaced the former Soviet empire in this line.

But I refuse to attribute all national problems to him, because he is a symbol, an icon: the caudillo of a team of people who have conspired with him to keep him, for decades, in the seat where they have habitually committed the dishonor of violating the rights of a whole nation. So they insist on the illogic of the single-party system and maintain the closed circle of the clan, where there is no room for questions, only obedience.

To this working group he always gives privileges and perks in exchange for the worship of his person and he made them stewards of the current problems of Cuba and those to come. This practice is still maintained because in him is the survival of the failed, but stubbornly defended political model and the continuation of the well-being of his “friends in the cause” and family members.

I know that Delfi enjoys this widespread cult of personality that has captured headlines and he still appears in the international press with his name and surname — keeping in mind that the dauphin and current president is his brother — but it’s not enough. The Castro clan and the “Castro dynasty” continues castrating the fundamental rights of Cubans, postponing our legitimate aspirations and needs for political pluralism, and deifying the image of the dictator with appearances, historical images of the guerrillas, constant references to his person in the national media, and presentations to foreign audiences along with the local elite.

It’s not that I would like to “play with the monkey and the chain,”* the facts are the evidence that he is still there, with his group of accommodating sculptors of the myth, preventing the current Head of State from having too much prominence, or ruining it all with openings or reforms, this political monotheism and cult of his personality for which he and his stalwarts have worked for more than fifty years.

Many think it is best to ignore him, but in doing so, I feel I’m missing a fundamental part of our history, restricting my freedom of speech, and going along with those who harass us, and that is not intellectually honest.

*Translator’s note: From a popular Cuban saying: “Play with the chain but not the monkey.”

May 16 2012