Yesterday, all that mattered was democracy in Cuba and fundamental human rights that were being trampled on. Today, none of that matters, only that “which unites us” does (i.e. business opportunities). I am put off by all extremes, I prefer a balanced and just position.
Though defined as the revolutionary vanguard of Cuban society, the Cuban Communist Party (PCC) has never played such a role. For decades, Fidel Castro was the main obstacle to the normal functioning of the PCC. When he had no choice but to hand power over to his brother, there was the possibility that Raul Castro would choose to change this situation, albeit gradually and without endangering the country’s power structure through such changes.
Cuba’s opposition seems tragically destined to cling to the skirts of the United States, in the hopes the latter’s strength will legitimate them in the eyes of their compatriots. It is a poor strategy that has earned them isolation at home, something even Washington has acknowledged.
For many years, the dance-like maneuvers of Fidel and Raul Castro’s international politics were studied as closely as the works of Machiavelli. This is not unfounded in the case of Raul, who gets much more for far less, having given others lessons in pragmatism since his days at the helm of Cuba’s Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR).
“El Pueblo,” part five of the web documentary “Rafael” from an extensive interview conducted with Cuban poet Rafael Alcides on numerous topics. Director: Miguel Coyula (2015). English Subtitles
On the night of Friday, January 29, Cuba’s Educational Channel aired an episode of the police series Tras la huella (“Chasing Clues”) titled “Tarara.” Not two minutes had gone by before my mother and I realized it was a dramatization of an incident that shook the country in 1992.
As a citizen of the United States and a resident of metropolitan New Orleans, Louisiana, I am excited about the easement of restrictions and the thawing of relations between the U.S. and Cuba, two estranged neighbors. New Orleans has several Cuban restaurants and many Havana-styled cigar bars, as both cities are sister-cities in that they share busy seaports, grow sugarcane, have humid weather, endure mosquitos, and are regularly threatened by hurricanes in the Caribbean. (8 photos)
If Jose Marti was here now turning 63 instead of 163 years old, there is no doubt that he would be fighting for this new Cuba. Not as a communist, nor as an exiled extremist Cuban, but as a fighter for tolerance. Like Mandela, like Gandhi, like Juárez.
“Once Upon a Time in Biran,” part four of the web documentary “Rafael” from an extensive interview conducted with Cuban poet Rafael Alcides on numerous topics. Director: Miguel Coyula (2016).
Until the end of the 1980s, the words “business person” were akin to an obscenity in Cuba. Working for the State was the norm and even farmers who hadn’t handed over their lands to a cooperative were suspect. The communist ethos had imposed its rules on the population.