A reminder from Cuba: Citizens of nations less free risk their lives for the American dream

By José Daniel Ferrer García, General Coordinator of the Patriotic Union of Cuba, UNPACU:

Whoever Wins, They Are and will Continue to be Free

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In the next few hours millions of people around the world will be alert to the electoral process in the United States of America. The main media in the world are publishing about the elections in the first power of the world and on who will be the next White House tenant. We will have to wait at least 24 hours to know who the winner will be: Either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. The US is not like Nicaragua, where we all knew that a full-fledged dictator would be reelected.
Much has been said about Clinton and Trump. Many think that they have been the worst candidates contending for the US presidency in many years. It may be true. But more true is that, bad as they are, they are better than most of the current leaders in our continent: Ortega, Maduro, Correa … And luckily Cristina and Dilma are no longer. I do not mention Raul Castro because he is comparable only to Kim Jong Un.

Much has been said about the US electoral system these days. The press of the longest tyranny in the history of our continent is spewing vitriol. Some say that the American model has many flaws; that it is very old and in need of reforms; that the president is not chosen by the popular vote; that Tuesday is not a good day to vote, etc. The system is not perfect; none is. Perhaps it can be improved, but so far it has guaranteed free and competitive elections uninterruptedly for more than two centuries. No dictatorship has tarnished its history.

Some think that Trump is a threat to American democracy and to safety and security in the world. There are those who believe that Hillary is weak and therefore the enemies of the US and of freedom would be more daring. Both may be right or at least to a point. But I think that whoever wins, Americans will continue to protect their democracy and their constitution, which guarantees such magnificent balance among the government powers and which has allowed them to be, for over two hundred years, a free, hard-working and prosperous people. How lucky for the world that a democracy is the most powerful nation on the planet!
Whoever wins the elections today, the Americans’ common sense will prevail and they will continue to enjoy the rights and freedoms, the opportunities and prosperity for which a number of us Cubans continue to struggle more than a hundred years after we became an independent nation. Another much larger number of Cubans will continue to think over how to come to the US to enjoy, under a Hillary or Trump government, what the Americans knew how to conquer and have been able to protect for many decades. Whoever wins, citizens of nations less free and with much worse politicians than the current candidates of the American Union, will risk their lives for the American dream.

Whoever wins the elections today in the United States, those of us who do not accept the oppression and misery in which our people live will continue to fight, under very difficult circumstances, for a system that allows us to freely choose our rulers and in which we can work and prosper like other peoples of the world. To whoever triumphs today in the United States, we only ask not to make things easier for the common enemy: the Castro dictatorship. We will not, however costly it will be for us.

José Daniel Ferrer García.
General Coordinator of the Patriotic Union of Cuba, UNPACU.

Versión en español AQUÍ.