Where There's Smoke / Fernando Damaso
Posted on November 21, 2014
For months Cuban authorities have been waging an intense campaign to end
the blockade (or embargo) imposed by the US government against the Cuban
government. Among Cuba's demands are the release of three spies now
serving time in US jails and removal of the country from the list of
states that sponsor terrorism.
All this is in the context of an "invitation to the government of the
United States to a mutually respectful relationship based on
reciprocity, sovereign equality, the principles of international law and
the United Nations Charter," in the wording of a speech by the Cuban
foreign minister at the sixty-ninth session of the UN General Assembly
in New York on October 28, 2014.
Moreover, in recent weeks the New York Times has published several
editorials in support of the same position, which have been reproduced
verbatim by Cuba's government-run press — something never seen before —
which has added its own severe criticism of civil society, accusing it
among other things of corruption.
The convergence of opinion among Cuban authorities, the New York Times
and some political, business and social figures of the United States is
striking. It is no secret, though the parties involved refrain from
confirming it, that something has long been cooking behind the backs or
with the participation of only some members of Cuba's civil society.
At the end of the 19th century the governments of the United States and
Spain signed the Treaty of Paris, which ended hostilities in Cuba as
well as Spanish control over the island. Neither the Cubans who had
launched the initial revolt nor their political representatives took
part in the treaty negotiations. This weighed heavily on Cuban-American
relations during the era of the Cuban Republic and was considered by
many responsible Cubans to be a politic mistake on the part of our
neighbor to the north.
Trying to resolve the dispute between the governments of the United
States and Cuba today, well into the 21st century, without the
participation of Cubans who are neither part of the government nor in
agreement with it would be making the same mistake twice.
The desires of Cuba's current leaders to prolong the life of their
failed system — albeit with surface embellishments and new faces — and
the interests of certain American political figures cannot take
precedence over the interests of the majority of the Cuban people who,
unable to truly exercise their democratic rights, are hoping and
fighting for real change.
12 November 2014
Source: Where There's Smoke / Fernando Damaso | Translating Cuba -