Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The 5th Anniversary of Cuba's "Black Spring"

There is one thing that has become painfully obvious over the last 49 years to Cubans. We are alone. We did not get where we are by ourselves. We were not even the most important agent of our destruction. But we are the only agent of our redemption. It is something worth recalling on this day, the 5th anniversary of the Castro regime's imprisonment of 75 independent journalists, librarians and other dissidents, who dared to act as free men in a country that is not free, and what was more audacious still, tried to facilitate the means to their countrymen that might enable them to take possession of their own lives and destiny. More than the news or books that they disseminated in violation of the regime's information blockade on the Cuban people, it was their example that the regime feared and sought to eradicate. Despite its efforts to silence them, they have not been able to stem the flow of information into Cuba or out of Cuba. On the contrary, the last five years have seen an even greater erosion in the regime's control of what the Cuban people can know.

In Martí's day, ideas travelled on roads paved with paper. Now they travel much faster and farther and it is impossible to extinguish them by burning the paper they are printed on.

Although the regime still maintains its monopoly on disinformation, it has not been able to quarantine alternate sources of information. The internet has proved a "potro salvaje" (wild colt) that they could not domesticate. Its monopoly on paper, ink and printing presses now seems almost quaint and will become increasingly irrelevant. This "potro salvaje" is a winged horse and its enemies are the most leaden of men. The recent decision to allow the sale of computers to the population amounts to a capitulation on the part of their tamers. Yes, the price at which they are sold will be exorbitant and they are certain to be bugged and disabled in a thousand ways; but the Cuban people will find the means to acquire and reconfigure them: the deprivations that the Revolution has imposed on Cubans have taught them to be resourceful if nothing else. This door to the outside world (or "balsa cibernética") will open other doors even those that lead to the barricaded corridors of power.

The fathers and mothers of this Cybernetic Revolution, 55 of whom are still in Castro's dungeons, are responsible for changing the dynamic between the people and their oppressors for the first time in 49 years. And they have done something even more important: they have shown that Cubans are not alone because we still have one another. God bless them and the thousands like them who languish in Castro's prisons and speed the day of their liberation and ours.

Cuba's Black Spring has not yielded wilted flowers but sown seeds that are still blooming and spreading over the landscape.


Charlie Bravo said...

As flowers and fruits can use mulch and manure as sources of energy and growth, the independent journalists, librarians, writers and thinkers of a future free Cuba have grown amidst the destruction and despair with which the tyranny has covered the whole country.
They are far from wilted. They are actually blossoming every morning in the castroist dungeons or in the back alleys of Cuba. They teach other with their example, be it fellow prisoners or the regular mother and father who is struggling on the Cuban street to feed their children.
Nothing farther from a wilted flower than a Lady in White. Nothing more alien to the concept of "wilted" than the political prisoners of Cuba.
I've seen a poster about the anniversary that annoys me a lot. The image is beautiful, but it's an image of mourning and defeat. Yes, it is. One could have used a WHITE ROSE in a black background to signify that all the oppression and darkness of the tyranny is not enough to destroy or defeat this valiant men and women who are giving all for the freedom of their brothers and sisters far from all comforts, from the top of their very personal Golgotha.
To them, our salute....
(by the way, the url to the wild colt, or POTRO SALVAJE is www.desdecuba.com/potro)

Ms Calabaza said...

beautiful tribute.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


I had the same reaction to that poster. Sadly, it seems that some are too vested in defeatism to see victory at too paces.

I think your idea is excellent and I shall shortly put it into execution.

Charlie Bravo said...

Thanks Manuel, that would be great.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

ms. calabaza:

Thank-you for your kind words and encouragement. As Martí said, what goes from the heart reaches the heart.

Vana said...

The more I read these blogs, the more I realize just how alone we are, sometimes it causes me to despair, than I think of those brave souls in the Island who have to wake up to it everyday, specially those in prison for their ideals, and realize their despair must be much worse than mine, good post Manuel, may God have mercy on them.

nonee moose said...

Well done, MAT.

Marc Masferrer said...

Manuel -

Yours is a powerful tribute to the spirit of these brave men, and to the spirit of Cuba. Not a lot of things in life are certain but I do know this to be true: Liberty will prevail in Cuba. The example set by these men and many others is too strong, their courage is not in vain.


Anonymous said...

MAT...you're absolutely right. Lo demas es boberia.


Jorge A Vazquez said...

Very nice, thank you for the uplift.