Fidel Has Died but Castroism Has Not / Somos+, Joanna Columbié
Somos+, Joanna Columbié, 2 December 2016 — It has been announced on any
number of occasions — much anticipated by many and feared by others —
but the death of Fidel Castro is now a reality. Nothing can delay it and
nothing can stop it.
However, there is something that lives on after his death which is a
greater evil, the one that should have died: Castroism. It is that
compulsive obsession that demands homage and submission to the ideas of
a human being named Castro, whose legacy to this nation cannot easily be
reconciled by history.
Fidel left behind separated families, weeping mothers, children lost in
the Florida Straits, young migrants traversing mountains and towns
throughout the world, political and ideological division, persecution,
prisons, death, hypocrisy and a country that is plunging ever deeper
into material and spiritual poverty.
Fidel intoxicated those who were hoping for a better future for Latin
America, infecting them with "his communism." He tried to pass on to
posterity his totalitarian legacy of always trying to hold onto power.
His struggle against "Yankee imperialism" left an open wound which even
now remains impossible to close. He spoke of people's rights when his
own people have long lived without those rights.
All this is indisputable, but what then do you do with this experience?
Where to look? Backwards or forward? Will we simply stand still, frozen
in time in the present?
Fidel Castro has died, but Castroism has not. The Cuban people cannot
live forever subject to his ideas, to his doctrines, to his opinions, to
his image and his symbols. They have divided our nation for too long. We
are living in the midst of a societal breakdown but he is no longer here
to define the goals or to point way to reaching them.
As Fr. José Conrado said some time ago, "our people are languishing in
the middle of a desert whose scarcest water is that of hope. We are at
the edge of a spiritual precipice much more serious and profound than
the material deprivations that overwhelm and oppress us daily. The
vision of society that has been promoted as the panacea to all our
problems, as a solution to our vices and the fulfillment of our dreams,
has led us to this dead end, to this sad condition."
This is a decisive juncture; let us not allow the opportunity to pass
by. It is the moment for reconciliation and hope. Enough with hate and
separation, enough with forgetting our identity as a nation, as Cubans,
as brothers. We must reconcile our differences, listen to proposals and
discover the value of dialogue as a source of those proposals. This is
necessary if a new dawn is to rise among us. We must be ready to find
solutions for the future of a homeland that belongs to us and that
demands it of us.
If you would like to comment on this post from within Cuba [ed. note:
and do not have sufficient internet access to enables you to do so in
real time, online], write to email@example.com. Your
comments will be included in the blog.
Source: Fidel Has Died but Castroism Has Not / Somos+, Joanna Columbié –
Translating Cuba -