On May 20th, 1902, Cuba became an independent nation and that day has been celebrated as Independence Day ever since. Unfortunately, the independence only lasted a few short decades before Cuba and the Cuban people found themselves in the chains of tyranny once again. Chains that continue to oppress and enslave them.
On this day commemorating Cuba’s independence, we dig into the Babalú archives for the blog’s first post for el 20 de Mayo written by its founder and my friend, Val Prieto, published thirteen years ago on May 20th, 2004:
20 de Mayo
On May 20th, 1902, a small island in the Caribbean known as Cuba declared her independence from Spain. La Republica de Cuba was officially born on this day 102 years ago.
Today, El 20 de Mayo, is Cuba’s Independence Day.
Yet, despite the hard fought battles of her history, despite the blood and sweat of a noble and brave people, she remains a country under seige. She is an independent country controlled by her self-imposed dependency on one self-imposed man.
One-hundred two years later she remains a country where individual freedoms are foreign. A country where progress is just a word and desperation is a bedfellow. She still lives in chains.
Cuba, the Pearl of the Antilles, land of extraordinary beauty, where palms spring from her like a silken mane. Where ripe oceans caress her silhouette. Where the soil whispers and the air carries a million flowers.
Cuba, land where the warmth of her people hides the frigid despair of their souls. Where hope is the food of millions.
Cuba, land that subsists on tomorrows.