The Times Call For A United Dissent / Angel Santiesteban
Posted on December 27, 2013
The 10th of December 2013 was the most striking example of how alone the
Cuban opposition is. But I do not mean that external solitude, but the
internal one, the separation that exists within the dissidence itself.
We are our own worst enemies, and I recognize it with infinite pain.
As we walk separated we make the work of the dictatorship's henchmen, to
beat and isolate us, easier. The day we decide to put aside personal
aims and, instead, focus on the roads together, channeling our energy in
unity, then our cry for freedom will be more international in scope.
Shamefully we must recognize that personal ambition, the need to be
recognized as individuals, and even the posture of those who are behind
the economic aid sent by different routes to the opposition, through
which they try to trip up one side, are guilty of the structural
earthquake in the revolutionary block that seeks a democratic opening
and impedes a broader reach for the cause of freedom.
There is a case of a prisoner before he entered prison whom Amnesty
International recognized by phone who was part of the list of political
prisoners whom they monitor in different countries; someone inside Cuba
felt ignored and torpedoed this recognition and managed to get his name
off the list. This is the extreme zeal shown by the opposition.
Another case is that of someone imprisoned for political activities who
was linked to a dissidence group who was cut off by adverse opinions of
another group in charge of legal matters which was representing him
legally and before international Human Rights groups; he was thrown
overboard. They felt he was no longer their problem. And in the midst of
the crossfire, without any of the parties even asking him what he
thought about it all. The truth is that they forgot their words of
solidarity and promises to stand by his side in bad times to come for
These leaders and groups of the dissidence itself are saving State
Security a lot of work as they busy themselves torpedoing the
initiatives that didn't come from them. Differences of opinions cause
them to become alienated when, on the contrary, it's healthy to think
differently about how to achieve the same ends.
While these differences occur, we don't need the repressors to do the
work of rejection, to weaken the forces and ideas, as if all we all not
all working toward the same ideal. We ourselves are doing that work.
Hopefully we will manage to repress our impulses for personal
recognition and understand that the truth and the way to achieve freedom
is shared among all; and understand that it is more difficult, if not
impossible, to achieve it separately.
When we are capable of working through these human miseries that hinder
unity and clearly alienate and make the road to democracy rougher, then
we will be capable of forcing the government to sit down to talk, and
the world will see is and accept us as the political force we long to
be. The nation's founding fathers, with José Martí in mind, demand this
concession. When we achieve this, we will then feel ourselves to be
better human beings and better Cubans.
Lawton prison settlement. December 2013
Source: "The Times Call For A United Dissent / Angel Santiesteban |
Translating Cuba" -