The Impenetrable Wall of Fear / Rosa María Rodríguez Torrado

Since I was little I’ve heard countless times the use of the word fear associated with, among other things, the Cuban government. Sometimes, it comes from foreign propaganda to stigmatize the historic leaders still at the helm of Cuba, and their resistance to introducing the changes society needs, in the face of modernity and the systemic crisis that shakes all of us in the archipelago.

It seems to me that the manifestation or leaking of terribly fearful things by the Cuban high command is a recurring method they have used for years to justify the excessive levels of control, repression and coercion. Also to explain to their followers why they dismantled Cuba’s existing democratic structures when they came to power, and why Cuba remains a mobilized and militarized society even today. Their own leaders and relatives may have felt the weight of this total control that restricts, paralyzes and submerges us into helplessness. If we talk about fear, it is the only visible and permanent thing planted by the governing class in Cuban society, ever since the beginning of this process on January 1, 1959.

Actually there is a history of aggression and U.S. plans for Cuba — equally as long as the staying power of the old-fashioned Cuban leaders — to defeat the perpetual government. But these have been produced at different times in history since 1959, and it hasn’t stopped its founding, going forward, doing and growing. I want to emphasize that I am not convinced by the ancient and abused idea of “the government’s fear” before the “belligerent attitude” of the American neighbor; rather it seems to me a “manipulative political crutch” to ensure that nothing changes, to maintain the morale of the entire political military structure and to convince the real power of what must be preserved in such practices.

In short, I suspect that this enemy is a convenient excuse that provides pretexts to the Cuban government hardliners who have spent half a century in mutual verbal assault and defense. I feel that behind such stubbornness manipulation hides. The malevolent fairy of the Cuban government always waved her wand so that nothing would change, to freeze the image of a Cuba that never was. She launched the spell of the oppressor well, “to avoid greater evils,” and “to safeguard the homeland,” when in reality all they wanted was to stay in power without regard for the suffering they caused and the sociopolitical and economic disaster they have brought us. Now that they are exhausted by failure and old age, they want us to take the pill of forgetfulness and nod to these wolves as if we were sheep.

It is painful to see how they impose on us this trashy political novel riddled with partiality and pirated revolutionary melodrama, how they have hijacked the country and frozen its dreams. This is something that must be faced with “resigned courage,” while we focus on what needs to be our first and foremost objective: The democratization of Cuba and the reconciliation of the Cuban nation.

April 20 2011