Thursday, November 22, 2012

Lessons and Elections

Lessons and Elections / Rafael Leon Rodriguez
Rafael Leon Rodriguez, Translator: Unstated

A few days before the elections in the United States, on November 2, the
newspaper Granma published a statement by Cuba's Ministry of Foreign
Relations, where it again castigated the United States Interest Section
— SINA — in Havana, accusing it of interference, for offering support to
civil society and the Cuban peaceful opposition.

The issue of access to the Internet and providing free information at
the embassy, which goes against the exclusionary policies of the
totalitarian authorities of the archipelago, returns to the public
arena. The invalidation of the Cuban opposition, by calling it
mercenary, is repeated. The rejection of the proposal by President Raul
Castro to hold talks with the U.S. government is put forward as a
practice of the past Cold War.

And finally, the threat: "The Foreign Ministry denounces the illegal,
meddling, offensive and provocative activities of the United States
Interests Section and demands an end to its permanent incitement to
carry out actions aimed at subverting the constitutional order that the
Cuban people have chosen in a legitimate and sovereign way. The Foreign
Ministry confirms that Cuba will not give ground to interference and
will use every legal means at its disposal to defend the sovereignty won
and to enforce respect for the Cuban people and the country's laws."

In Tuesday's U.S. elections, on November 6, the Democratic Party
candidate Barack Obama was reelected for a second term. The current
Cuban leaders appear to take a deep breath following the results of
these elections. Now it is not about apologizing to the free world,
perfectible democracy and the American dream.

It is about asking ourselves, beyond any other consideration, how it
would have been it we could not count on the solidarity and support of
the people of the United States as represented by their leaders.

We must remember that, after furtively imposing a totalitarian system,
alien to our culture, our traditions and the most legitimate interests
of the Cuban nation, the totalitarian authorities could not care less
about the fate of those not communing with their purposes. "We don't
want them, we don't need them."

Under this core belief of the Castro regime, more than two million
compatriots were forced to emigrate, the majority to the United States,
which welcomed them and where today the Cuban-American community is
among the most significant.

And the emigration continues, even supported by the continuous
requirements of the Cuban rulers to U.S. authorities, from whom they
demand compliance with the immigration agreements and the granting of
twenty thousand visas annually.

Ah! Because currently those who emigrate are classified by the
authoritarian government of the islands as… economic migrants.

Some elderly say that to protect is one of the first responsibilities of
a leader. Now, when we review the letters exchanged between Fidel Castro
and Nikita Kruschev during the October Crisis of 1962 — five decades ago
— published in Granma, with the same paper and the same ink as the
declaration of earlier times, we understand how close we were to that
improvised nuclear holocaust.

The Soviet premier said, in his letter of October 30, 1962:

"We have experienced the most serious moment, in which we could have
triggered a world thermonuclear war. Clearly, in a such a case, the U.S.
would have suffered enormous losses, but the Soviet Union and the entire
socialist camp would also have suffered greatly. With regards to Cuba,
it's difficult even to say to the Cuban people that this could have been
the end for them. The first flames of war would have incinerated Cuba."

It seems a temperature overtook our environment during those days that
still has not cooled after fifty years. And with reason. The United
States government renews its government team every 4 or 8 years. In Cuba
it remains the same and the exact same for over half a century.

The Cuban authorities propose talks with the Americans, when they have
not been able to recognize, much less carry out, a dialogue with their
own peaceful national opposition.

Raul Castro's government already has a fiber optic submarine cable from
Venezuela, which multiplies the internet capability. Yet Cuba remains
among the countries with the lowest connectivity on the planet. And so
the list of abuses of authority goes beyond reason.

We hope that the rulers of the archipelago take into consideration all
that we lack here at home, in order to create reliable bridges to the

It is useful to repeat that the ratification and implementation of the
United Nations Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and on Economic,
Social and Cultural Rights is the unobjectionable starting point for the
necessary and urgent changes for the Cuban nation. Hopefully these
free, democratic and pluralistic elections held in the United States
will serve as a useful lesson.

November 15 2012

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