From the blog Ni Me Callo, Ni Me Voy (I will neither shut up nor leave) of Jorge Luís García Pérez “Antúnez,” a Babalú translation:
Action or Dialog
By Jorge Luís García Pérez “Antúnez”
In order to clear up any misunderstandings, I want to say that I am not against the policy of dialog and reconciliation, and I reiterate that they are synonymous with civilization, tolerance, and comprehension; factors that should take priority in every effort towards a transition.
But I must repeat that a dialog without any political will from the other side is futile and useless. A dialog with those who do not recognize us as a social entity, or even as persons, is as Bolivar used to say, “plowing the sea.”
When I read and listened to the document titled The People’s Path a few days ago, which was signed by prestigious and much loved compatriots of mine inside and outside the country, I thought of the transitions in Chile, South Africa, Poland, and even in Nicaragua. And with the utmost respect for the signers, I believe that the current conditions are not right for such a grand document, and in fact, if such a project takes place under the current circumstances it would benefit the regime. Allow me to explain:
First of all, public opinion and above all the people would be ceaselessly distracted by false expectations at a moment when the suffocating economic situation is dealing harsh blows to the citizens.
Secondly, it would diminish the capacity of an opposition that has learned how to earn a role in the detriment of a dictatorship that lacks the most minimal desire to open up.
Thirdly, the document The People’s Path, that was impeccably prepared and contains the yearnings of the people, overlooks the principal factor in every transition, which is to say a call to action and the resistance by all citizens.
When General Augusto Pinochet dared to allow a plebiscite, when the communist regime in Poland called upon the opposition to dialog, or when the racist South Africans decided to free Mandela and dismantle their disgraceful apartheid, they did not act in response to a document, or because the most notable opposition members and dissidents asked them to.
Pinochet, Jaruzelski, and the other examples ceded to the pressure brought on by the resistance in their countries, along with the support of the international community, because only pressure, above all internally, can bring down totalitarian systems.
Nonetheless, and in spite of my concerns regarding national dialog, I consider the document to be important and representative of the objectives that we have struggled for. In that sense, I value the political and intellectual maturity exhibited by the democratic forces inside and outside of Cuba.
In any event, I am convinced that all efforts on behalf of Cuba, its freedom, and the freedom of its people are a positive thing, regardless of whether or not the same ideals are shared. In no way, shape, or form should this essay be considered hurtful criticism or one that censors. It is my modest opinion — that is, the modest opinion of a Cuban who also wants freedom for his homeland without the presence of the Castro brothers — that above all, any solution considered can never accept continuity, succession, or allow what happened in the former Soviet Union to repeat itself here. It was there that in a defining moment the opposition did not know how to rise to the historical moment, and they allowed their previous oppressors and party leaders to distribute the power and the country’s wealth amongst themselves.
Oh! And one last observation: How different this People’s Path document would be if an objective and just suggestion from former political prisoner Angel Moya Acosta would have been incorporated into the document in question.
Special thanks to Laida Carro of the Coalition of Cuban-American Women for her assistance in the translation