Fidel Castro’s socialist revolution promised to create a “New Man” in Cuba, and in some cases, that’s exactly what it did.
Exiled Cuban filmmaker Lilo Vilaplana in Periodico Cubano (my translation):
The flaws of the ‘New Man’
Conflicting opinions and internal conflicts.
A few days ago, I was listening attentively to the story of a young Cuban who had recently arrived in the United States through the border. And I don’t want to use the term “exiled,” I prefer to say “arrived.” I do so because he is probably one of those who are waiting for the year and one day to return to the hole he came from, instead of escaped.
There are men who escape from the dictatorship and emigrate dreaming of a Free Cuba. There are others who simply come to make money and return to lick the boots of those who kicked them.
“Life here is lived with much agitation! A lot of running around!” said the newly arrived young man.
“In Cuba, you lived from blackout to blackout, without food, without freedom, and without dreams,” I replied honestly.
He looked at me seriously and offended, responding: “You’ve already started talking about politics!”
The “new man” shaped — or rather indoctrinated — by the Revolution carries a burden of conflicting opinions and internal conflicts. If you denounce the dictatorship, you are “talking about politics,” and they don’t like that; but when they go to Cuba, communist propaganda, songs by Silvio Rodríguez, Pablo Milanés, Buena Fe, Sara González; manipulative movies, and trench television programs are considered normal and acceptable for them.
I don’t think this puppet, recently arrived from the Island Prison, would have told his CDR president when he was summoned to a meeting, “Don’t talk to me about politics!”
Luckily, not everyone is like that. Among the thousands who risked their lives crossing four countries to reach the Land of Liberty, many think differently and come to join those of us who consider ourselves exiled. We don’t want dialogue with Castroism, and we speak about POLITICS without fear.
Dignity is not a suit that fits everyone well.