May 24, 2010

Cuba's escape's valve technique, revisited

I've come to dislike the word “reflection”. You can put the blame on Castro and his decrepit constant misuse of it – but that’s not important right now. After all the rumors and online buzz about the talks between the Cuban government and the Catholic Church to release the political prisoners, a reflection is a must.

I’d like to start stating that I am immensely happy for the (so far unconfirmed in its details) news that sick Cuban political prisoners will be transferred to jails located in their home provinces. That will be a huge relief for their families. Unofficial reports stated that by today, 15-18 sick prisoners would be transferred...

There are a lot of people who deserve credit for this news. (Sorry, personally I think the Catholic hierarchy and the government thugs are NONE of them).

The Ladies in White, Guillermo Fariñas and Orlando Zapata Tamayo – who paid the ultimate price giving his life for his position – are the first ones that come to mind. All of them who fought, and still fight, against the windmills deserve credit. 

Together, they’ve worked put Castro’s communist dictatorship on the spot, to destroy their fake PR-ready image that communist Cuba is a paradise. They have had to – at least indirectly – acknowledge the regime have political prisoners. Their useless kabuki theater is falling apart...

I hate to break up the celebrations but, please, make no mistake: this does not change an iota the fact that in Cuba, there is no freedom to dissent. Daring to think different is still criminalized by the Castro’s government. The unjust reasons why these men were jailed in the first place are still intact.

A full and complete celebration and honoring of Orlando Zapata Tamayo’s (and so many others’) death will take place only when freedom of speech, and freedom to dissent, returns to the streets of the island.

While there is intolerance and repression towards those who think differently, I can’t help to see this as just another move of smoke and mirrors. “But at least is some sort of relief for the prisoners and its families!” some will tell me. Yes. That it is true. But it is not over yet.

Unless all political prisoners are released, there are free elections and freedom to politically organize outside the government’s line, and freedom to dissent so Cubans don’t have to be imprisoned for daring to talk and think different, acts like this won’t be nothing beyond a valve for the regimen to release some of the steam that has been building up in Cuba for quite a few years now.

Almost fifteen years have past since the last rafter’s crisis – it’s an open secret that it is the regimen preferred method to release the steam that their failed society keeps building up. (It seems that, for now, they are not considering showering Obama with another “gift”, although I wouldn’t take for granted it).

As of Monday afternoon, via Penultimos Dias (Spanish), I learned that there are no official reports of the transfers yet and Europa Press is reporting that the Cuban government keep pushing the Ladies in White to split from their group of "support ladies" [Cuban women dress in white that accompany them in their Sunday's marches] in exchange of benefits for their jailed relatives. I don't know in Europe, but in plain cubano, that is called chantaje (blackmail).

On the other hand, sources from the Catholic Church in Cuba are saying they have "never talked about an specific timeframe" for this measures...

For me, this move only means a patch of low-dose Tylenol for a patient with a terminal brain cancer. Nothing will really change until you completely remove the sucker from the victim’s head. And if you aim to save his life, you better do it stat!

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