A DAY OF REVOLUTIONARY REAFFIRMATION
By Manuel E. Yepe
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.
December 17, 2014 will go down in Latin American history as the day on which the Cuban revolution, triumphant since 1959, was finally accepted by the US government as an irreversible fact, thereby recognizing the legitimacy of the road opened by Cuba for all the peoples of Latin America to move towards the affirmation of their political independence.
Few, if anyone, could have imagined that the heroic sacrifice of a small group of brave and talented Cuban patriots could lead to such a dramatic outcome. Risking their lives, they were able to infiltrate –unarmed– the Cuban criminal gangs at the service of organizations in the US government which, from south Florida systematically assaulted Cuba with total impunity.
These young patriots were arrested after the results of their inquiries were placed in the hands of US authorities by the Cuban government. There followed a legal process plagued by manipulations and forgeries which resulted in long sentences. These have just been interrupted following an agreement at the highest political level between presidents Raúl Castro and Barack Obama.
This undoubtedly required a good dose of political courage from President Obama, who had been characterized by weaknesses which had placed him –through retreats and concessions– as an example of a political right dealing with difficulty with the neo-conservative extreme right.
We recall that it was a set of exceptional circumstances which contributed to the unusual fact that the US elected a non-white President. The disrepute into which the extreme right had sunk under the inept administration of President George W. Bush was identified by many as the main culprit for the national economic debacle that had already reached the average citizen.
Many thought that this was just a tactic to download on the first black president in the history of the United States a situation provoked by the large corporations and the military-industrial complex with their sordid running of the country. Exonerating like this the real culprit, that is, the imperialist system is, at best, cynical.
The way of negotiations on equal footing has borne the fruits that should always be hoped for in international conflict resolution as an alternative to armed confrontation. 75% of the Cuban population, born after 1959, has not known anything but tension between the governments ofthe United States and Cuba.
Never before Cubans had been so close to achieving the main objectives of their revolution, the revolution that began in 1868, to achieve independence, national identity and justice. These objectives had to be postponed many times but that Cubans have never abandoned.
The triumph of the Cuban people against the tyranny on January 1st. 1959 was an essential step that should have reached the conclusive goals of the Cuban revolution. But from very early on, the United States was reluctant to accept a neighbor who had to be treated on equal footing. This was apparently because of the danger that this example could extend throughout the continent. Uneven confrontation followed for another half century.
Gradually, almost all Latin American countries have moved to support the independent will of Cuba, and have developed their own regarding the United States.
Cubans have had huge successes in health, education, culture, science, technology, sports and other fields. But the climate of hostility and conditions of blockade under which they have had to develop their economy prevented them from achieving many goals in the programs of their revolution. The economic, financial and commercial blockade has caused huge losses to Cuba; losses that Cubans will still have to overcome through sacrifice for a number of years.
But now the agreements announced on December 17, 2014, have laid the groundwork for Cuba to move towards the completion of the major social objectives of its socialist program. Cubans expect to do so in harmony and friendship with their US neighbors.
December 18, 2014.