Act of Repudiation
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    It’s Time For Politics To Stop Separating Families And Friends

    It’s Time For Politics To Stop Separating Families And Friends /
    14ymedio, Pedro Campos

    14ymedio, Pedro Campos, Havana, 29 December 2016 — The model imposed in
    Cuba in the name of a socialism that never existed had, among its worst
    results, the politicization of everything. Families fought over
    politics. Friends became enemies. This was one of the most disastrous
    consequences of the “revolutionary intransigence” in which several
    generations of Cubans were (badly) educated.

    This intransigence, generated by the group in power, facilitated the
    development of others.

    The phenomenon affected practically every family and friendship, which
    according to tradition had always remained very united. The divisions
    began in 1959, when the provisional government that was intended to give
    way to the restoration of institutionalized democracy, failed to do so
    and turned itself into a permanent revolutionary government that began
    to apply justice in its own way.

    Immediately, more than a few began to see how to advance the centralized
    and anti-democratic policies, traditionally identified with communism,
    that had done so much damage in Europe and which, in the island’s past,
    had been linked to Batista, the tyrant who was expelled from power.

    Disagreement in democracy is normal, but when there is none and dissent
    is considered treason and is not accepted, as in Cuba in the early days
    after the triumph of the Revolution, thinking differently is identified
    as “counterrevolutionary.”

    With the first “counterrevolutionaries” began the first great exodus and
    many families stopped seeing each other or even communicating for many
    years. Then came other waves. In the early 80’s, some of those who had
    gone into exile began to return to visit and that began to break the ice.

    It was not easy for families to welcome “worms” and “traitors” who now
    returned with gifts and greater incomes, from a country with another
    language, culture, climate and traditions. People were afraid that they
    could lose their membership in the Communist Party or a government job.

    Some of those who remained in Cuba would not receive their relatives at
    that time. Or old friends would not visit with them.

    With time and new waves of migration, many of those who had refused to
    receive their relatives or friends also went into exile. During the
    Mariel Boatlift, some had participated in the repudiation rallies and
    shouted, “Let the scum go.” They threw eggs. And later, more than a few
    them took the same path.

    The intransigents insist on continuing to confront families and friends
    over politics, and they still reject friendships between people who
    think differently, but there are also people who feel individuals are
    separate from their ideas and they leave them alone, considering them
    friends. Pope Francis comes to mind when he talked about “social

    In Miami, on the other side, there are also intransigents. Both sides
    make it all the more difficult.

    Now, in the aftermath of the former leader’s death, we hear again about
    “revolutionaries” who did not make friendships carry the weight of
    politics and did not accept judgments about the consequences of their
    imprint on democracy and socialism. Intolerance is necessary for nothing
    to change.

    There are many people who do not lend themselves to politics destroying
    families and friendships. They are fundamental pillars of the future Cuba.

    Today, because of the wide exchanges among all Cubans, despite the
    intolerance expressed from the rulers, there is more tolerance. This is
    part of the preparation necessary to live in a democracy, which will
    come sooner rather than later.

    It is time for politics to stop separating families and friends. We are
    in a good moment for it. Cuba, to advance, needs to leave behind so much
    confrontation, so much stubbornness, so much stupidity. Perhaps all
    that, on both sides, reached the highest possible point in recent days,
    and now, like all that rises, it must descend.

    It must be understood that, regardless of the political differences, we
    Cubans will one day have to talk to each other and sit together in a
    democratic parliament leaving behind grudges and the difficult and
    dramatic moments of our history, leading with the future and looking for
    a way to accept ourselves in our diversity.

    There will have to be apologies and pardons, difficult encounters. If
    not men, history will punish crimes and abuses. There will have to be
    changes in political power, it will have to be peaceful and democratic,
    but blood must be avoided in order not to resume the cycle of violence,
    if we really want to see Cuba as a great nation with its international
    economic and political weight. Politics will have to give way to family
    and friendship. A divided country is easily made a victim of national
    and global hegemonies.

    Source: It’s Time For Politics To Stop Separating Families And Friends /
    14ymedio, Pedro Campos – Translating Cuba –

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