Monday, December 24, 2007


Forgiveness is a present that we give to ourselves. It cleanses our hearts of all the toxidity that others have placed there. It renews the spirit. For many years I looked upon those who had collaborated with the Cuban Revolution before and after 1959, but who had regretted their actions and fled the confragration to which they had contributed, as no less guilty than those who had remained to inflict 50 years of tyranny on the Cuban people, indeed, perhaps more so, since at least those who remained were confronted on a daily basis with what they had wrought, and though I did not think them even capable of remorse, it pleased me to think that they could not escape the demons they had created but were obliged to live with them. Those who escaped, on the other hand, at least had the luxury of putting the past behind them, indeed, of disavowing that past and associating on equal terms with those who had not brought this hecatomb upon our country. We did not ask questions, and, they, of course, had no answers. It was best that way. The time had not come to settle accounts nor was exile the place. The final reckoning would come: they knew it and we knew it. No need to concern ourselves with it till then.

Now nearly half a century has elapsed. Innocent and guilty alike lie in the frozen graves of exile. There are still great malefactors among us as there are in Cuba. I will not sully my pen on this day with their names. Besides, I am not speaking of those guilty of blood crimes; these can never be forgiven by the law of man; let them look elsewhere for forgiveness.

The rest, those who purchased "26th of July Movement" bonds, who hung signs in their homes saying "Fidel, This Is Your House" (little thinking that he would take them up on their offer), who cheered every usurpation, every outrage, every crime committed by the barbudos (really, barbarians), who cried out for the blood of fellow Cubans whose only crime was to have opposed these monsters, who conspired to rob their neighbors and rejoiced to see them brought low even if they did not profit from their misery, those who followed the revolutionary juggernaut as far as it would take them, reaped what they could from the whirlwind, and, finally, fled it, leaving behind a people enslaved and a nation in ruins — these, the detritus of the Revolution, I forgive. They have been punished already. We who shared their punishment without their guilt can commiserate with their suffering. Let them make amends, if they can, for their sins. It will soothe their souls. As for me, the arrepentidos no longer press upon mine.


Vana said...

Forgiveness is a good thing Manuel, as you say it cleanses the soul, ahhh but those with blood on their hands will pay dearly, their day will come, they I'm sure wrestle with their consience everyday.

Anonymous said...

Do you forgive Henry and Val Prieto?

After all they are humans

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


Ask me in 50 years.