Thursday, December 6, 2012

Our Great Challenge

Our Great Challenge / Antonio Rodiles #Cuba
Antonio Rodiles, Translator: Boston College CASA

The arbitrary arrest of the lawyer Yaremis Flores on November 7 was
followed by two waves, one repressive, taken to the extreme by the
regime against numerous activists of civil society, and the other,
impressive and appreciated by us, of solidarity with the victims.
Personally, what happened reaffirmed my vision of the fundamental
challenge that we face as a country: the articulation of all of its
parts in order to transition into a democracy in which the entire nation

Visualizing and working in support of a transition towards democracy in
the convoluted scenario in which we live is a process that implies,
above all, political and intellectual maturity, honesty, and a high
level of civic awareness. We need to understand that such dynamics would
not involve just one axis, just one angle. It is impossible to imagine a
transition that does not take into account Cubans in Cuba today who hold
different points of view. And a transition without full participation of
those Cubans outside the Island, who constitute an essential part of our
nation, is also inconceivable. It is not possible to outline a
transition without the workers, intellectuals, professionals and
entrepreneurs both inside and outside the country.

To think that change in our country will happen magically, that in the
blink of an eye we will generate a modern society, a state of rights, is
too simple and deceitful a fantasy. We, the totalitarian regime's
opposition, have the duty and responsibility to show all segments of
society the nature of the plural and inclusive country we are advocating
and what we expect of democracy.

The strategy of the regime has always been the same. It has
systematically tried to prevent by all possible means the growth of a
civil society. Intimidation, repression, imprisonment, bleeding the
country, generating mistrust within the opposition, creating internal
conflict to undermine our work, "distracting" us so as to leave us
little time to effectively advocate in society, is a strategy that has
always borne fruit and should be dismantled now. We have to fix our
ethics, our suppositions, our rhythm.

To responsibly work on a transition implies a true knowledge of the
scenario confronting us in which are manifested the particularities of
groups and individuals from a global perspective. To guarantee this
range of interests and visions it is necessary they every Cuban enjoy
his or her fundamental rights, thus the importance of the campaign "For
Another Cuba" and our request for support from all Cubans and
international public opinion.

Facing this peaceful citizen initiative, the government has responded by
intensifying the repression and excessive use of violence, slamming the
door on yet another civic proposal. Nevertheless, this violent scenario
begins to profile factions in society; on the one hand there are those
who, although inside the system, believe a prosperous nation is
possible, one where political and ideological differences are part of
everyday life, where respect and decency are paramount; on the other
there is a rarefied segment, formed by mixed interests, cynicism, and
low ethical morals, which tries, with its irresponsible and arrogant
acts, to lead us down a bruised path at the hands of violence and
brutality. It is time for Cubans to decide which side we are on, from
which perspective we wish to advocate and act.

Translated by: Boston College CASA

December 5 2012

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