Your Money, My Money, The Money… / Miriam Celaya

Photo from the Internet

Some signs are so “timely” that they cannot be by chance. A few days ago (Tuesday September 13th, 2011, p. 5.) the newspaper Granma published a full page article that justifies that in 1956 the then young revolutionary F. Castro accepted financial assistance — $50,000 US Dollars! — from former Cuban President Carlos Prío to organize the expedition that would bring together the aspiring guerrillas and the yacht Granma.

The writing, which at times seems taken from a comic strip where the exaltation of the hero is what matters the most — the bold main character swimming across the Rio Grande, an incognito voyage, to elude the vigilance of the evil ones, conspiracy, danger — is only a fragment of a book published by the Publications Office of the State Council, which makes me suppose that the whole book would make Tarzan himself turn pale with envy.

However, what is curious is that the largest newspaper in Cuba, the official organ of the PCC, up to now had devoted several lengthy articles accusing the opposition and civil society groups (Damas de Blanco, independent journalists and bloggers, among others) of having received financial support from abroad, but had not felt compelled to remind its readers of the moral purity of the olive green pedigree … despite the dubious origin of its funding. To this day, as far as I can remember, it had not devoted the same dissident-burning space to argue the tremendous sacrifice of the Venerated one, as he felt so forced to bow before those monies at the time, without its donor suspecting that he was helping to make possible the establishment in Cuba of the longest dictatorship in this hemisphere. Never before was it acknowledged that those “ill-gotten” $50,000 were well worth the humiliation of the leader of the Cuban Revolution!

So the official lampoon shows that what determines the morality of money is the cause it supports, not its source. Since it’s so, I don’t see any moral conflict in which dissidents, whether they are opponents, journalists or any other representatives of the broad front of dissatisfied Cubans, receive some monetary support, especially considering that the government does not seem too concerned about the origin of the capital of many foreign investors in Cuba, nor has it shown any squeamishness in appropriating a not-so-insignificant part of family remittances from the enemy empire, without us knowing for sure what these honorable revenues are used for.

Consequently, if what is dignifying about money is the principle underlying the support, and if that principle is endorsed by groups and individuals who advocate democracy, plurality, inclusion, freedom of expression and, finally, the aspiration by Cubans to exercise all their rights and to bring an end a dictatorship, I cannot think, right now, of a better destiny for the highly demonized funding.

Translated by: Norma Whiting

September 16 2011