Turning the Page / Fernando Dámaso

Fernando Damaso, 4 April 2016 — Given President Barack Obama’s intelligent proposal to leave the past behind, turn the page, and together build a better present, some Cuban fossils have cried to the heavens, or to hell, go figure.

After the Revolutionary War, Cubans and Spaniards, who had fought a bloody war, with real fighting and not mere skirmishes, shook hands, agreed on mutual forgiveness and dedicated themselves to building a Republic “with all and for the good of all.” This was possible because José Martí’s ideas prevailed, a man who always proclaimed love over hatred and rancor.

Today, unfortunately, the situation is otherwise, because for too many years hatred and bitterness have prevailed over love. The problem is that Martí is unrepeatable. Changing this retrograde and suicidal mentality is very difficult, and will only disappear with the physical disappearance of its defenders.

However, if they acted intelligently and with some sense, they should be concerned because, more than anyone, Cubans also need to turn the page on all the arbitrary acts; division of families; absurd prohibitions; political, economic, social, cultural, religious and sexual repression; the thousands of deaths in the Florida Straits of people seeking freedom and the realization of their life projects; repudiation rallies; beatings; executions; violations of citizens rights; interventions in foreign countries and trying to change governments; and the many other barbarities committed. The blame for Cubans’ misfortunes and miseries  was not only on the other side, but also on this side. The real and supposed lights are not enough to hide their many shades.

These extemporaneous “tantrums” do not help anyone and, much less, those who participate in them. Now is the time to start thinking and acting with the responsibility of adults, setting aside voluntarism and so much accumulated hatred and bitterness, which should not be passed on to the new generations as a supposed “historic commitment.” Let us forget the false and broken prophets and once again put José Martí in the forefront, the real Martí and not the manipulated one.