Editorial No. 57 Year X, No. 3, MAY-JUNE 2017
THE HOMELAND, THE INSTITUTIONS AND THE STREETS ARE FOR AND SHOULD BELONG TO ALL CUBANS
The inclusion of all Cubans of both genders in all spaces of the nation, in its social institutions and in public services, without distinction regarding their political or religious ideas, is the greatest expression of citizen sovereignty, of the unity in diversity of the Nation and of the guarantee of all rights for everyone.
In Cuba, unfortunately, some spaces and institutions are designated only for “revolutionaries” -a term that is identified with those of like mind, feelings and behavior to that of the authorities of the State. Therefore, people are excluded and separated if they opt freely to participate in projects or ways of thinking that differ from the official ones.
The country is and should be for all. The Cuban nation is made up of all Cubans, independently of our personal philosophies, religion or political options. Were this not to be the case then one sector of our people would be excluded in its own country.
To be excluded in one’s own nation is a grave injustice which should be classified as a crime of discrimination, one which turns its victims into strangers among compatriots. Apartheid in South Africa, the untouchables in India, homosexuals in Sudan or women in some countries governed by so-called Islamic laws are only some of the examples of this unlawful margination.
Causes for exclusion
Dismissing a peaceful part of the society, even if this part were a minority, takes place on account of a perverse conception of Nation:
When ideological, political, sexual or religious orientation options are valued over and above the supreme dignity of all human beings.
When the nation is confused with a party, or the Fatherland with the State.
When the diversity of the parts is segregated in order to maintain power over all.
Consequences of exclusion
This is a grave and erroneous policy which produces the following very harmful consequences for a healthy and civic coexistence within the Nation itself:
The violation of the fundamental rights of these people and groups.
Mistrust among citizens sharing equally in dignity and rights.
Fragmentation of the unity in diversity of the nation.
Rancor of sectors against others.
Outbreaks of violence.
Degrading mob actions against dissidents and opponents.
The violation of an egalitarian legislation for all.
The legal, moral and community defenselessness of those excluded.
A profound anthropological harm due to the combination of these ravages.
Remedies to exclusion
Exclusions are not remedied by other exclusions in the opposite direction. Nor can they be cured burying the repudiation of some citizens under a mountain of propaganda aimed at justifying and manipulating feelings and expected thankfulness. To point out harm without proposing a remedy is another way, perhaps a subtle one, of exclusion.
Dismissal among fellow citizens can be overcome with the implementation of these and other attitudes and actions:
Universalize an ethical and civic education at the family, school and community levels.
Approve legislation to decriminalize disagreement while punishing discrimination.
Prohibit in all mass media messages that exclude and inflame.
Promote in the media a respect for diversity and the richness found in disagreement and in effective inclusion, as evident proof of the equality of all citizens.
The immediate cessation and avoidance by law enforcement officers of all mob actions against dissidents and opponents.
Opening educational institutions at all levels and specialties to all citizens depending only upon their academic abilities, and not on their political, religious or sexual orientation.
Create an Ombudsman to help the people to demand their rights, their inclusion and equal opportunities for all.
Promote at the level of the home, institutions, work, church and the rest of civil society: the absolute primacy of the dignity and rights of every human being, including convicts; and the values of unity respecting diversity, inclusion, tolerance, and furthermore, the systematic cultivation of brotherhood, civic friendship and peaceful coexistence.
With these and other humanistic and truly “prophylactic” measures to prevent exclusion, Cuba will be better off. It would be an effective way to defend citizen sovereignty and the integrity of the Nation. Cubans would never give the world, never more, signals contrary to those of the founding fathers of our culture and nationality, such as Varela and Martí, who built up the foundations of a Republic based on virtue and love. In this fashion we will be able one day to inscribe on our patriotic symbols, as the Apostle of our Independence desired, the formula of triumphal love which Martí proposed in his memorable speech of November 26, 1891 at the Cuban Lyceum in Tampa, U.S.A., when addressing Cubans exiled there:
“Enough, enough of mere words! We are not here to fawn but rather to feel our hearts to see that they are living healthy and capable; to begin to teach those who have lost hope, those disbanded, those melancholic ones, about our strength of ideas and actions, in the proven virtue that assures us of the coming joy, in our size, real, which is not boastful, nor theorizing, or psalmodic, or flighty or beggarly. We are one already, and we can get to the end: we know evil and we will take care not to relapse; based on pure love and patience we have congregated what had been dispersed, converting into an enthusiastic order what had been, after the catastrophe, bewilderment…”
“Enough of mere words! From the torn bowels let us raise an inextinguishable love for the Fatherland without which no man can live happy, neither good or evil ones. There it is, from there it is calling us… So let’s raise ourselves once and for all, in a last unrush of hearts, let’s raise ourselves up in a way so as to not endanger freedom in our triumph, on account of disorder or by clumsiness, or due to impatience in getting ready; let us raise ourselves for the true republic, those of us who because of our passion for the law and for our work ethic will know how to keep it… And let us place around the star, in the new flag, this formula of triumphant love: “With all, and for the good of all.”
Pinar del Río, May 20, 2017
115st Anniversary of the Birth of the Republic of Cuba