Once upon a time there was a very prosperous nation. Where peace, justice, harmony prevailed. Its people were happy. It was a down to earth, friendly country. It was third in this Hemisphere in per capita income. And second in distributed per capita income. It was a country with hard working people. And a large and strong middle class. A country that only after 56 years of achieving its independence had obtained outstanding economic and social achievements.

Once upon a time there was a country where its inhabitants knew how to balance hard work, responsibility, with leisure, good humor. A country of immigrants, not emigrants. A country still in search of a permanent political democratic system. A country still politically immature, but in a continuous search for freedom and justice. But a country with a free enterprise system. A country where the dollar and the peso had a par value. A country with no external debt. With a flourishing tourism. Agricultural and animal husbandry were modern and plentiful. Enough to feed its own people and to export. Light industry was growing. Foreign investment, as well as domestic investment, were large, because there was faith and hope in the future of the country.

Once upon a time there was a country with a telecommunications industry only second in this Continent. Maker of artists. Exporter of music. A brave and brilliant press. Art and culture second to none. Tropical fruits, rum, artifacts, sea, sun, beautiful cities, with soul, with life.

Once upon a time there was a country with Christian values. Traditions. Religious fervor. Education available to everyone. Good quality medicine. And with health plans not even achieved today in this Hemisphere by any other nation. A country of physicians, engineers, architects, dentists, lawyers, physicists, mathematicians, educators, writers, reporters, newsmen, entrepreneurs, businessmen, industrialists, salesmen, workers, farmers, students, but above all, friendly, humane, happy, loyal, merciful.

Once upon a time there was a country friend of all other countries in this Continent. Artists, newsmen, writers, professionals, businessmen from all Latin-American countries, as well as the United States, visited this country. And they all were welcome like brothers. A country that respected the United States, and its people, its system.

This country was Cuba.

And then, 1959 arrived. And Castro took power. An opportunist. A person with a complete lack of values. Absolutely no moral, no ethics. No conscience. An inept and irresponsible person. A very poor administrator. With an absolute quest for total power. And Cuba, as a nation, ended. The friendliness, the good humor, the hard working qualities disappeared. The Cuba where friendship was the norm ceased to exist.

And the Cuba of the "paredones" started. The Cuba of the political prisoners. The Cuba of oppression, torture. The Cuba of the exiles. The Cuba of the family separations. The Cuba of the confiscations. The Cuba of the obedience to the Soviet imperialism. The Cuba of the guerilla wars to subvert the people and the countries that before were friends.

The Cuba of the informers. Of the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution, of the "delatores". The Cuba enemy of God. The Cuba of the interventions in Angola, Ethiopia, Venezuela, Colombia, Nicaragua, Salvador, Guatemala, Peru, Bolivia, Honduras, Mexico, and, yes, the United States.

The Cuba of the misery. The Cuba where the State, the Revolution, are above men. The Cuba where either you are with the Revolution or against it. The Cuba where the family is controlled by the State. The Cuba of the purging of University students. Where the prerequisite to study a career is not the academic knowledge but the unconditional support to the government.

The Cuba where there has not been free elections, independent elections, with the participation of several political parties, at any level, for 39 years.

The Cuba where for 39 years there has not been free unions. Neither private proprietors. Neither private property. Neither freedom of religion.

The Cuba of today, the Cuba that exists since 1959, represents the antithesis of all that political freedom and democracy sweeping the World now.. Of all what the people that have elected governments into office, by means of free elections, have worked so hard to obtain and maintain.

Governments of the free democratic countries of this Hemisphere, this is enough. Cuba is bleeding. Cuba can not stand any longer. Cuba needs democracy, freedom, free enterprise, law and order. Cuba claims for justice. Without Castro. No more sympathy toward who do not deserve any. Isn't it time?


Manuel Cereijo

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