Hypocrisy, Fear…Both Things
Pablo Pacheco Avila, Translator: Raul G.
I walk for the freedom of Cuba. Cuba Democracy NOW!
I have lost count of the times I have heard the phrase "I am not
interested in politics". Often, it is young Cubans who say it.
It's legitimate that we may not be interested in politics, especially if
one has lived most of their life under a totalitarian system where even
the flight of a pigeon is linked to politics.
Those of us who were born after 1959 were practically converted into
robots. Our capacity of thought was reduced to "Pioneers for communism,
we will be like Che" or "Country or Death, we will Win". In sum, it was
a bunch of slogans which bordered dementia.
I respect young Cubans who come from the island and are not interested
in politics, it is their right.
But, I feel that it is something completely hypocritical to see those
same people who are not interested in politics form a scandal when some
US congressman or woman proposes a law to restrict something that has to
do with Cuba, or when they want to modify the discredited "Cuban
Adjustment Act", a law which so many Hispanics and people of other
ethnic groups long for.
The majority of those who take shelter in the "Cuban Adjustment Act"
leave the island because of economic problems and not because they stood
up against the ruthless regime which enslaves the country. In fact, upon
obtaining US residency, one of the first things many Cubans think of is
in returning to their homeland to take a look over the shoulders of
their own country. Those who act in such a manner are the oddest
political refugees which humanity has ever seen.
In the last 9 months, Cuba has lost two important figures of the
peaceful opposition. Their deaths have left lots of doubts up in the
air. They were both recipients of the "Sakharov" Award. First Laura
Pollan, leader of the Ladies in White, in a case of "dengue" and a few
weeks ago the president of Christian Liberation Movement, Oswaldo Paya
Sardinas, after a suspicious "car accident".
Those who have confronted the dictatorship know of what those who are at
the service of the intelligence apparatus are capable of doing when any
person who wants change for Cuba and who wants to destroy their
totalitarian power stands in their way.
I feel shame when I hear Cubans who live in freedom say: "I am not
interested in politics", and it is not even because of the phrase
itself, really, but instead it is because of the hypocrisy which hangs
on those words. It is true that many are not interested in talking bad
about the regime, about condemning its crimes, denouncing every violent
act against the people, yet they do say things about the politicians of
the country which has given us refuge whenever they try to pass some law
against the dictatorship and, in one way or another, affect their interests.
It is possible that Cuba will change very soon. It is also possible that
everything will continue the same, or worse, especially for those who
confront the power of the Communist machinery from the inside. But every
Cuban has the responsibility of taking action for the destiny of our nation.
There is no such thing as good or bad hypocrisy, just like there is no
such thing as good or bad fear. It has been proven: every country which
has chosen hypocrisy and fear as their shield has ended in ruins or in
shackles. It is time to put an end to harmful fear and subtle hypocrisy.
Translated by Raul G.
19 September 2012