A Profile in Courage

On Miscelaneas de Cuba today, an interview of Belinda Sales Tápanes by independent journalist Felipe Rojas Rosalba. Tápanes is the president of la Federación Latinoamericana de Mujeres Rurales or the Latin American Federation of Rural Women, better known as FLAMUR. This is the organization that has spearheaded the campaign “Con La Misma Moneda” or “With the Same Coin,” collecting thousands of signatures protesting the dual currency system and delivering the same to the regime.
The interview could just as easily have been titled “Birth of a Dissident” because Rosalba leads Tapanes through the history of her early years. Here is a young woman who refused to accept the injustices heaped upon her silently. She describes her evolution from class spokeswoman to opposition leader. At one point Rosalba asks her “Are you afraid?” She replies:
I have a great deal of fear. I would be lying if I were to tell you I don’t, because I am aware of what they are capable of doing, of what it is that happens……
This fear and overcoming it figure prominently in the succeeding discussion, as she remembers some pivotal moments, such as when they went to deliver the petitions, cleverly hidden not in the ostentatiously labeled box but in a small black satchel, to Roque or when she stood with 2000 others in Santa Clara, thinking “We are all going to be Killed,” or even when her brother was arrested for threatening the act of repudio being perpetrated against Tápanes.
What are FLAMUR’s immediate goals? Rosales asks. Tápanes’ reply:
The fundamental goal is the development of private small business, first because they will create a source of employment for the countryside. They will also generate the income needed. It has been borne out that private property is what comes to the fore in saving economic crises. Because our economy is so critical, when we are in this movement of change, the Government will not be able to sustain the supposed socialist proposition of State ownership.
There is much more in this in depth interview, which is in Spanish, including a discussion of other opposition members, particularly the feminine side of the movement. Overall, the picture that emerges is of breath-taking conviction, courage in the face of fear, an optimism that change will come, and a struggle to find forgiveness for the oppressors. Read it here.

1 thought on “A Profile in Courage”

  1. Refreshing that she says, I know what they can do to me so, oh yeah, I’m afraid. That’s courage…

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