Cuba Belongs to all Cubans

Dissident voices against the government have gained much popularity. Yesterday, these were just isolated voices but they now constitute a widespread murmur. In fact, even those who fear still criticize by whispering into ears. Hearing everyone- intellectuals, artists, workers, doctors, country people, athletes, teachers, and the always rebellious youth criticize the serious problems that plague this entire country strongly calls forth much attention. They have pointed to the United States’ embargo as the culprit of causing so much misery on the island, endangering supposed achievements of the government.

It’s no secret, however, that despite much ups and downs it has served to keep the people distracted and loyal to the regime. We have reached a point of no return. If we analyze our problems without objectivity, we will find ourselves at a dangerous and unpredictable crossroad. The power of the current communist authorities, which only last thanks to its military power and to the fear that lurks in much of the consciences of this society, is not the only thing at risk.

Failing to act consequently could lead this nation to a state of chaos that would prove to be fatal for the aspirations of Cubans. Even worse, we could lose our own credibility of believing that we could advance and construct a country that would be with all and for the good of all, an unrealized dream of Cuba’s most illustrious figure, the apostle Jose Marti.

In the official press, articles are normally published that describe the ill-fated realities of other countries. Domestically, however, they make it seem that everything is rose colored. Save for rare exceptions, we don’t see any publications about the national problems. In my opinion, the state newspaper Granma, harbors one of the most open sections within state-owned information systems: “Letters to the leaders” . It demonstrates a sector that is determined to not remain silent and that instead uses the most minimal crack in the system in order to expose an idea. I must point out that the criticisms are personal and do not necessarily reflect reflect positions held by Havana’s government.

This year marks the 8th anniversary of governmental intolerance towards a group of dissidents, preventing them from being with their families, mainly their wives, most of which have realized the dream of becoming mothers. We can feel that the end of the nightmare, which from the very first moment covered this land (which is also our mother) with darkness, injustice, and infamy, is near.

I should not, and cannot, finalize this letter without mentioning the pain that the Sigler Amaya family is going through upon living through this year without Gloria, mother of a family that is loyal to democratic principals. Reina Tamayo also occupies a special place in my heart. Her son, Orlando Zapata Tamayo, may have physically left us but he continues to live on, and multiplies, within each dignified Cuban willing to sacrifice themselves for the country.

Lastly, I have nothing but honor and recognition for the Ladies in White, especially the mothers of the group. It’s quite possible that the main link to change the destiny of Cuba will be the release of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience. No one should fear the future when the present is uncertain. Whether some want it and others don’t, Cuba belongs to every Cuban. Remaining silent will be the same as engaging in complicity. Sooner or later, reconcilliation will come, it’s inevitable.

Peace, prosperity, and common good respond to two words, powerful like the strength of God. If, at this very moment, we appeal to love and dialogue, the path will be less rough and complicated for the popular consensus. Tomorrow, tomorrow we may not have the possibility saving ourselves and others.

Pablo Pacheco Avila, prisoner of conscience

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