LESSONS FROM HISTORY.
Rogelio Madrazo Serra
Many years ago when we, Cubans, Cuban Americans, Americans of Cuban descent, were still considered "cute" by the media I read a joke in Newsweek magazine that went something like this. God was taking a break from creating the world, and was seated at a beach doodling in the sand. An angel approached and asked, what are you doing? I am figuring out how to make Cuba he answered, the angel was captivated by the beauty of what God was drawing in the sand, he said, my Lord the rest of the world will be envious of your creation. God looked up and said do not worry, to make it even I will put the Cubans in there.
Today of course, since we are no longer cute, we are called names that hurt and are demonized by the media, and those responsible for our presence in this shores and of the immense suffering of our Island compatriots are often portrayed as possessing some justification to explain their actions in the creation of a society where the Newsweek joke becomes reality.
Here I am not going to repeat the long list of crimes that have been committed against the Cuban nation because it is useless as nobody cares, we humans are capable of absorbing the worst of news and continue with our daily routines, but let anyone do or say something that interferes with the routine and we become fanatical in the elimination of the disturbance.
That is human nature, even if by some magic or miracle we could arouse the ire of the masses to raise in unison at the spectacle of a Nation destroyed, the world governments will ignore it unless the outcry was synchronized with a need to achieve a political or economic advantage. There is no miracle that could move governments to act on principle.
My wife keeps a scrap book of my ramblings and in it there is a newsletter from a Rotary Club in Southern California, which in 1960 had the bad luck to invite me to be their lunch guest speaker. I gave what I thought was a wonderful speech, they seemed happy and in a few weeks I received in the mail a copy of their newsletter in it, said that the guess speaker asked for "Moral support in the Liberation of the island Nation".
I failed to understand at that time that the responsibility for losing the right to live in our homeland was not only ours for having made a mess of the Republic that for so long and so hard our ancestors fought to liberate from the Spanish Nation. I was feeling so guilty with the slogan of the betrayed revolution, that failed to see that we had been invaded by a ruthless, godless system and that the fact that there were familiar names in the direction of the country did not make it less of a conquest than what had been done all over Europe and Asia.
Moral support my foot, we needed the might of the swords of our allies if we were going to be free, but the necessary intervention had to have the Cuban interests as equal partners and the democratic institutions preserved in the post communist era.
I recently found an open letter by a prominent Cuban political figure of the pre-Castro Cuba, his name Dr. Juan Antonio Rubio Padilla, this letter was published ten days after the Bay of Pigs landing. Dr. Rubio was making public the objections he had had at the way the North American policy against the communist take over of Cuba was conducted. It is a lesson in how the relation between nations ought to be conducted. I quote
" In May of 1960 after long discussions with the Northamerican persons involved in these matters, I refused to be part of F.R.D. My objections stemmed from a fundamental criteria maintained by me all along: The necessary aid from the United States to Cuba in the struggle against Communism was not an act of generosity or charity that has to be unilaterally imposed upon the Cubans by the United States. The need to defeat Communism in Cuba is equally important to Cuba and the United States".
This important prophetic document in another section says: " If from the common future facing Cuba and the United States emerges a free Cuba with order and prosperous, the United States will have once and for all defeated the prejudices and reservations of an entire continent and opened the hearts, good will, and brains of 190 million Latin Americans to be friends and toil together."
Continues, " And it is not only the numbers that that are added to our cause that is important, the numbers that are deducted from the cause of Communism and Russia are equally important, as things stand now, because the Cuban revolution the Continent shows a hostile attitude towards the United States, playing the Soviet Union card."
We have seen the consequences and the cost to the United States and to Latin America of having failed to defeat Communism, from Allende in Chile, to Chavez in Venezuela, from the Colombian guerrilla's supported initially by Cuba and now with drug money, to the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, from the urban guerrillas in Argentina to the war in El Salvador, for 42 years the American Continents have paid the price for the failure.
What is the relevance of all this history in 2001, when the parties responsible are dead or dying on both sides of the Florida Straight, and the demise of the Soviet empire simple: There will always be an enemy power that will benefit from the conditions created by the Cuban tyrant, and the poor Cuban has but one hope and that is to leave the country. I have learnt of a new subterfuge used to expedite the exit. It is to join one of the many dissident groups, in the hope to be jailed and after serving the prescribed time acquire priority to leave as an ex-political prisoner. Hoping for the nightmare that a Cuban prison is, as a means to escape!
When there is a moral crisis of the magnitude that plagues Cuba, when a country falls to the abysm of hopelessness that exists, every day that the conditions that creates it persist, makes for a longer and more expensive recovery. There is urgency to this problem. It is in the best interest of the Americas.
Cuba deserves to be FREE!