Monday, September 19, 2011

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

Your Money, My Money, The Money… / Miriam Celaya
Miriam Celaya, Translator: Norma Whiting

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

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