At the same time Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were taking time out of their Martin Luther King Jr. holiday to rip each other apart, about 20 Cuban dissidents gathered in Havana to pay true homage to the slain civil rights leader. Who was truly honoring King’s legacy, is not in doubt after reading independent journalist Carlos Serpa’s account of a devotional service attended by several former political prisoners and other dissidents.
Former political prisoner Margarito Broche Espinoza, president of the Council of Human Rights Investigators, described what King means to those fighting for liberty in Cuba:
The pacifist resistance movement he founded is a model for those struggling for freedom around the world. The historical legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. … who was following the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, is present today in Cuba. The physician Oscar Elias Biscet, condemned to 25 years in prison, is a faithful proponent of this legacy in José Martí’s fatherland.
Broche is right, King is the perfect model for those in Cuba trying to build a better country, and should continue to be so.
However, this vigil, which should be emulated around the island, reminds how so many people in the United States who claim to be inspired by King, like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, fail to properly recognize the ongoing struggle for freedom in Cuba. It is one and the same fight, like in South Africa in the 1980s, that King fought in the American South.
Instead, patriots and heroes like Oscar Biscet and other Cuban dissidents are ignored.
I can’t help but wonder on which side Martin Luther King Jr. would stand: the pretenders to his throne, or those, no matter where they are, who struggle to build and live what he preached.
(Cross-posted at Uncommon Sense.)