Will Cuba ever be free again?
There is no doubt that she will be free someday.
Those for whom this assurance is enough, whose vision and faith is Mosaic, should stop reading here.
We have wandered in the desert somewhat longer than Moses did; or, rather, we have wandered away from the desert that has become our homeland in the hope of being able to return there in the fullness of time. That is the remarkable thing about time which we didn't need Einstein to explain to us: it is always expanding. Yet we ourselves are not. Those of us who have already expanded (and expended) fifty years in the hope of catching up with our country's destiny, returning to that desert and making it blossom again, as it once did, cannot cherish the hope of being gardeners there or even of witnessing its blossoming beyond the days of man. Time for us is definitely finite. The nearer we come to the horizon the less time there is left for us to meet it.
So the original question must be rephrased:
Will we live to see a free Cuba?
Is that hope still tenable?
Not for all of us, not even for most of us. Perhaps not even for any of us.
It really does depend on one's individual expectations, that is, how one chooses to define "free." The more you define freedom down, the closer your definition is to the present system (i.e. the negation of freedom), the closer you are to seeing that day. If consumer freedom suffices, then Cubans have already set out on the road to "freedom" with the Chinese model as their ultimate though unreachable goal. If new faces are all that is required, then there will be many new faces in the immediate future, and more importantly, the old familiar detestable faces of communism will all be gone soon if not the thing itself. If that is enough to meet your definition of freedom, then you are that much closer to the "freedom" you desire. If a re-built Cuba, with skycrapers as high as Shanghai's and state-corporativism (also known as fascism) in full-throttle thanks to a sympathetic U.S. president that will do for Cuba what Nixon did for China (except without prior conditions), then your dream of a "free" Cuba may be here as soon as November. If you believe that tyranny can evolve into something other and preferable to tyranny without guns and against the wishes of a regional hagemon which considers stability preferable to freedom in Cuba, then what are you doing here when the best perspective from which to witness that evolution is there?
If, however, you belong to the majority of Cuban exiles unwilling to make any accommodation with the evil that destroyed our country, or to tolerate a thriving tyranny more than an impoverished one, if progress means to you the fulfillment of man's thriving to be free rather the State's striving to be omnipotent, if you want the best for Cuba and not merely what others would settle for as good enough for our country, our wait has just begun.
[In Part II, we will discuss what is required now for Cuba to regain her freedom and for us to be able to see her free before we end our days].