14ymedio, Frank Calzón, Miami, August 25, 2023 — The only hope is to get out. This phrase, on the lips of many of those who wait under the tropical sun for the water pipe that does not arrive, for the electricity interrupted hours ago or in line with the ration card in hand is repeated in conversations on the Island, in newspapers, and in exile radio and television programs.
But it’s not true.
It’s not true that the only hope is to leave. The idea that the only option is to emigrate to escape hunger and repression is promoted by the regime itself to maintain its control, and is repeated by thousands of desperate people who have been suffering from ignominy and discouragement for six decades. It’s an idea that ignores the terminal phase in which the regime finds itself, its lack of responses to the national crisis, its discredit before international public opinion and its own people, who once believed in its promises and risked their lives to achieve them.
Hope is before our eyes, because, as in Eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the once acclaimed Revolution is in its terminal phase.
The regime needs the opposition to leave, when those who should be the ones leaving are the leaders, who are responsible for the deaths of thousands of Cubans and the disaster that is today’s Cuba.
State Security also wants to convince us that there is no viable opposition in Cuba, that the exiles are mercenaries, that the future is the continuity of what exists and that the streets belong to the revolutionaries.
But no one believes them anymore.
On the island there are leaders such as José Daniel Ferrer, who was offered release when he was serving four and a half years in prison, on the condition of going into exile with his family, permanent exile, without the right to return.
In 2020, under international pressure, he was placed under house arrest and remained in Cuba leading the Cuban Patriotic Union (UNPACU).
During the massive protests of July 2021, he was again arrested and sentenced in a trial without the slightest procedural guarantees, to four years in prison, for his non-violent opposition to the arbitrariness that occurs in the country, and for believing in the ideas of peaceful resistance of Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi and Vaclav Havel. And, like Martí, he believes in working for a Cuba with all and for the good of all.
But continuity barely exists in the world, and all those who bet on paralysis and inequity always end up on the garbage heap of history.
The more than a thousand political prisoners and the demonstrations of discontent that continue are proof of that “subterranean force” of which Marti spoke, in response to those who proclaimed that Cuba would continue to be Spanish and that separatism no longer had the strength to win.
State Security also says that we are alone, that no one is interested in Cubans. That’s not true either.
There are international organizations, democratic governments and press media around the world that demand the freedom of prisoners, denounce human rights violations in Cuba and look for ways to put pressure on the regime. In the European Union, some deputies denounce the fact that Havana has not fulfilled its commitments and ask for the suspension of the agreement that represents billions of dollars annually.
But the most important hope, which will liberate the Island, is within Cuba. Political prisoners must be the first priority of Cubans with honor, and we must help them.
There is hope is in the miracle of a generation that was born and grew up under Castroism and that, despite censorship and indoctrination, rejects it, protests in the streets, suffers in prison, refuses to participate in any project promoted by the Government and does not leave or shut up.
Political prisoners, their families and the activists who support them are our heroes. The exile community will never turn its back on them. They deserve to be free, like all Cubans.
There is also hope in the rebirth of the Church and in the courage of the parish priests who oppose one Cuban raising his hand against another Cuban, and in the organizations and leaders of exile that in Miami, Brussels, Madrid, Geneva, Warsaw, Washington and in other capitals work tirelessly for the United Nations to expel the regime from the Human Rights Council, as they did with Putin, despite the strong opposition of China, Iran and Cuba; and for the United States to fulfill President Joe Biden’s promise to give free Internet to the Cuban people and to put conditions on remittances so they don’t end up in the pockets of “the oppressors.”
The Biden Administration has responded negatively to Havana’s the campaign and its lobbyists in Washington to remove Cuba from the list of countries that don’t cooperate against terrorism, unless the regime hands over to the United States the terrorists who live on the Island and who murdered Americans and are wanted by the FBI. The United States has also condemned the sending of Cuban mercenaries to fight under Putin’s orders in his criminal aggression against Ukraine.
The hope should not be to “leave Cuba.” Those who must leave are the criminals who misgovern the Island.
Widespread pessimism and distrust among opponents are part of the regime’s strategy. Ours is to live in the truth and maintain solidarity with the the opposition forces and the rest of the Cubans, to advocate for a non-violent struggle and non-participation in the regime’s initiatives. We are all the resistance, and the night will not be eternal. Patria y Vida. Homeland and Life.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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