2 Diciembre, 2017

The daily life of each citizen and of the nation requires, first of all, stability. Were we to be asked: what are at this time some of the key words in Cuba, and in the world? we would reply: uncertainty, restlessness, vicissitude. These existential conditions lead to instability in civil society, something which nobody wants to see happen.

In fact, instability, nervousness, and feeling out of sorts does grave damage to the quality of people’s lives as, at the same time, if affects family, work and social coexistence in any society.

The causes for this restlesness are many. We will mention only a few:

  • The agony of daily survival due to the overall scarcity of goods.
  • Having to continually fake adherence to the State due to its persecution of discrepancy.
  • The pervasive culture of confrontation, foreign menace, physical and verbal violence.
  • The disintegration of families and the loss of privacy inside overcrowded homes.
  • The division in society among “good” Cubans, “bad” Cubans, and “former Cubans”.
  • Fear of the unknown, of “what is to come” in the future, and of “what will they let me do”.
  • The defenselessness of the citizen in the face of a politicized judiciary.
  • The method of covering up political repression by means of labeling everything a “common crime”.
  • A generalized corruption that makes those “lacking influence” becoming even more unprotected.
  • Paranoia, mistrustfulness and snitching created in an asphyxiating climate where “there is always someone watching you” leaving you at the mercy of unnamed accusers and informers.

We have mentioned only ten, among many other causes which, as if in metastasis, invade the privacy of the citizen. And this fact shouldn’t be hidden or covered up, because this tends to create a mask of normality in people’s faces in the streets with the fake smiles of civic neurosis. The totality of the life of a person can be exposed in the Media, spread by rumors and disqualifying implicit comments or by means of openly hostile mob actions. All this, not only discredits the current political model in power in Cuba but also goes against the authentic Cuban culture, the best in our own idiosincrasy, and the healthiest traditions of coexistence among Cubans.

Another consideration is that all these factors, which systematically disturb the psychology, citizen’s life projects and their interpersonal, family, neighborly and labor relations … are the petri dish for the cultivation for national destabilization, which nobody wants to see happen, much less those that provoke it, directly or indirectly, in an environment of polarization and discomfort, which like a swamp seems undisturbed on the surface but which is a dangerous quicksand whereupon the tranquility of the citizenry may disappear.

In other words, a policy to achieve societal tranquility, political stability, civil coexistence and peace, can never go through repression, harrasment and mistrusfulness from all toward all.

When these methods of permanent harrassment are not only applied to criminals, the corrupt, and the violent, but also to decent citizens only because they differ politically or are freelance entrepreneurs or creators of socio-cultural projects independent of the State, or because they travel abroad, then, what could have been an extreme remedy against anti-social elements becomes a boomerang whose danger and violence is planted in the heart of the citizenry, turning it into a catalyst for destabilization, multiplying those not in conformity as well as opponents, and, at the end, achieving exactly the opposite of what was intended to be achieved: personal tranquility and freedom, civic responsibility and peace, progress and happiness for the Nation.

Those having the ultimate power and grave responsibility for the safeguarding of societal coexistence and sovereignty, need to keep in mind not only the objectives to be reached, the goal sought, but also, and above all, they should look out for the methods and means by which they intend to reach that goal. The ends never justify the means. The ends and the means should be equally ethical, human, tolerant and peaceful. If not we are breeding cravens, planting poison, harvesting mistrusfulness as we reproduce a cycle of violence that begins in the home, goes out into the neighborhood, is fed by labor relations and becomes official in the Media and in the rest of the institutions. Of course, this cycle always gets its start in a “controlled” growth of authority, but as in biological cancer, it reaches critical mass, which causes in turn, now without any means to stop it, a qualitative and disorganized change into violence and inestability, which cascades into the deterioration of social, political and economic health.

It is not ethical to exercise such totalitarian level of control up to the human limits of social coexistence. One cannot play with “fire” trusting in the fact that “in times past” those limits of patience and survival were crossed. No present time has the same conditions as any time in the past, and deterioration has a cumulative effect.

The proposal is to open spaces of freedom and responsibility for all citizens without distinction of political or economic options, without breaks, without brakes, without going back, quickly, with an authentic will to change, with trust and transparency. This is what gathers and unites in diversity; repression is divise, it faces and provokes a stampede. It becomes an opposition-making machine, not one that creates citizens equally responsible for the destiny of the Homeland.

As we approach transcendental times in the history of our nation, let us calm down our state of mind, stop our mistrusfulness, depenalize discrepancy, eliminate mob actions against dissidents, and put an end to political, economic and cultural harrassment.

Cuba, faithful to its better cultural traditions, needs to be a close disciple of the School of Ethics of Father Félix Varela and the Apostle José Martí, who, respectively in their Letters to Elpidio and in the Manifesto of Montecristi, planted seeds of forgiveness for the enemy, of virtue as a way of life, and of love, as the highest point in our collective coexistence.

Everyone, and not just the authorities, is and will be responsible for the direction that our Nation will choose, a peaceful road to keep and renew this direction, and the methods and means to achieve the destination of having a cordial republic “in which we will all fit” and in which “the fundamental law is to be the worship of man’s full dignity.”

Pinar del Río, September 8, 2017