The Reforms That Suit Our Body Politic / Wilfredo Vallin Almeida

Jose Marti -- variously known as "The Master" and "The Apostle" in Cuba

It has never been a good practice to carbon copy what has been done in other countries, particularly in the political, economic and social areas, to apply it in one’s own reality.

It has been said time and time again that every people, with its own reality, idiosyncrasies and history, is unique unto itself and that, for the most part, an implementation of its dynamics somewhere else, almost always results in failure.

We have seen that in our own country; they wanted to faithfully introduce the Soviet model to our problems, and here are the results: you only have to look around.

And, disgracefully, the most visionary of all of us warned of this danger a long time ago:

Each people is healed according to its own nature, which requires different dosages and even different medicines depending on the presence of this or that symptom in their illness. We need neither Saint‑Simon, nor Karl Marx, nor Marlo, nor Bakunin, but the reforms that suit our body politic.

But we must be careful. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel.

Exploring other realities, analyzing the solutions, clarifying how complex issues were addressed by other administrations, governments or peoples can be useful when we are facing our own problems.

The Master — Jose Marti — did not ignore this other reality when he added, to the phrase quoted above:

To assimilate what is useful is as wise as it is foolish to imitate blindly.

And this is precisely what happens when we study the history of development of individual rights in the world, full of beautiful and magnificent examples through the centuries; beginning in ancient England, passing through the 13 colonies in North America and arriving in the restless nineteenth century France.

Moreover, there we have what, in my opinion, is the greatest genius on the issue of rights of all time: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Covenants derived from it.

In these days is repeated with insistence in Cuba, to the delight of some and the disbelief of others, that this is a time of change in the life of the nation.

Perhaps, then, we start by analyzing which — in the judgment of attorneys for the Cuban Law Association — are the reforms that suit our body politic.

22 May 2012