The Renegades of Castroism

Daniel Alejandro Gutiérrez Cruz, former Sector Chief for the National Revolutionary Police (PNR) in Corralillo, Villa Clara, Cuba, is accused of using dogs to chase rafters who were trying to leave the country illegally. (FHRC)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Pedro Corzo, Miami, 25 February 2023 — Political rivalry and enmity should not lead to the victimization of the adversary, as happen with the Castro regime and its peers such as Marxism and Nazi fascism, all inspired by ideas that conceive government management as divine acts that cannot be questioned.

Supporters of these regimes act as if they were members of a confraternity. They invoke the word of their lord with devotion and if they are ordered to slaughter their victims, they have no qualms about executing them. However, despite the evil they show, there are people who may have doubts about victimizing these victimizers when they deny the faith for which they were willing to end the lives and rights of others.

Victimizers should not be turned into victims. However, it is necessary, for moral and physical health, that their faults be recognized. Forgetting, forgiveness and punishment is optional for those who were abused, but society has the right to demand an act of contrition from those who used evil as a way of life. There should be no crime without punishment.

Castroism, like its sequels in Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia, plus other rulers prone to the “totalitarian temptation” described by the French philosopher, journalist and author Jean-François Revel, are generators of victimizers of varied criminal intensity. Nevertheless, in all these mandates without exception, they have produced desertions of predators of the trade who, on occasions, transform from renegades to opportunists, capable of imposing the ’New Word’ with blood and fire if given the opportunity.

Through the years I have met and shared with some renegades. Good people who admit to having been wrong and had the courage to rectify their course by confronting whatever risk was necessary, including jail, the motivation for their probable injustices. I confess that I admire these people, although not as much as those who never allowed themselves to be dazzled by utopia. They deserve respect for their rectification, but above all, for their decision to fight those who turned them into an instrument of hate.

I recently appreciated the validity of this issue at a conference sponsored by the Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba, directed by Tony Costa, skillfully led by the journalist Maite Luna, who showed the high number of subjects who, in their complicity with totalitarianism, acted with extreme cruelty and insanity, against people who were only exercising their citizen rights.

The investigator Luis Domínguez and the journalist Rolando Cartaya presented an extensive report on some twenty henchmen of the Castro tyranny who, after their harmful actions, sought refuge in the United States. Some even have documents that legalize their stay, despite having been widely known repressors.

Luna explained that the repressive acts have no justification, that the famous ’due obedience’ does not exempt the predator from his guilt, as is the case of the subject Daniel Alejandro Gutiérrez Cruz, nicknamed El Perrero [‘the dog guy’] for chasing potential rafters with dogs.

Gutiérrez Cruz, like other renegades who served as predators, must confront his victims, acknowledge his guilt and ask for forgiveness, as Nelson Mandela demanded at the end of apartheid, which does not exempt him from taking responsibility, before the Cuban people, for other possible transgressions.

Those who serve ruthless dictatorships such as those promoted by Castrochavism — Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Bolivia — are complicit in the actions of the regime they support, whether or not they have engaged in abuses, so those who are guilty must be willing to admit their faults, for their own redemption.

Many years ago in the Radio Martí newsroom [in the United States], I met a man who had held high positions in the Castro regime economic sector in the 1960s and 1970s. He boasted of his adventures in his own actions in his position and as there was no shortage of people who laughed, I said, “I don’t understand you. You are in exile. You always praise capitalism and now you boast about having served the man who destroyed your country and drove you away from your land.” At first he was upset, then he said, you’re right that has always been rubbish.

José Martí, although I do not doubt that someone would describe the phrase as macho, wrote it and said very clearly, “Only the truth will wear the manly toga.” Let us claim our truths even if censorship claims the streets.


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