What can be done to strengthen the civil society of a nation? Part of the answer is a polyphonic chorus among dozens of Cuban human rights activists. As this week begins, the engineer Librado Linares wraps up a course on non-violent leadership which he taught in the form of a workshop in Baracoa, Guantanamo. With daily 5 hour long sessions, the students learned of the different historical stages which non-violent struggle has gone through, both in Cuba and in the world. Some of the most notable examples of society confronting totalitarian regimes come from Serbia and Chile, while emphasis was also made on the teachings of King and Gandhi and the threats against freedom stemming from certain dark forces. It was a brief map of human will.
In a repressive setting such as Eastern Cuba, Librado Linares’ approach reinforces the necessity of proactive activism on the island. It also points out just how important it is for resistance leaders to look ahead and see that the social framework is more complex than what may appear at first glance. Linares, recently released from a 20 year sentence, of which he only served 8 thanks to the pressures exerted on the Castro regime, and also member of the group of the 75, has committed himself to teaching his fellow countrymen to use tools which would implement a strategy leading to the unfolding of a peaceful change in our country. Moving from the symbolic stage we are currently at to the denominated selective resistance and from there towards an exponential scale is the desire of many. Because of this, according to the evaluations of Librado Linares, the grand strategy course should be inclusive and avoid being the contrary. It should also work with international solidarity, through the decisive exile forces, and construct, for once and for all, a civil society that is autonomous and firm.
A chat, a debate enriched by experience, a determination to turn obsession for freedom into definite freedom.
Translated by Raul G.
1 November 2011