Business Day | Vilma Thomas | First Secretary, Embassy of Cuba South Africa
On May 19, Business Day ( [url=http://www.bday.co.za]http://www.bday.co.za[/url] ) published in its Second Take section, an extract of an editorial from London’s The Guardian newspaper, on bilateral relations between Cuba and the US.
First of all, it is necessary to fully clarify that May 20 is not the “Day of the Independence of Cuba”, as was wrongly reflected in the article. It was the day when the US imposed a neocolonial and puppet government that only contributed to frustrate the dreams of independence of the Cuban people.
Those dreams only came true more than 50 years later with the triumph of the Cuban Revolution on January 1959, a date recognised by the Cuban people and more than 150 countries around the world as our real and only “Independence anniversary”.
The article refers to the strong sentences passed by the Cuban courts of justice against mercenaries who collaborated with the US against their own country; as well as sentences imposed on hijackers willing to endanger lives to achieve their objectives. Unfortunately, it presents only one side of the story, deliberately ignoring the reasons given by Cuban authorities, and the need to defend Cuba’s national security and its sovereignty against attempts to overthrow the government legitimately elected by the majority of the Cuban people.
Cuba has been facing an escalation in the aggressive rhetoric of the US part of a plan aimed at provoking a military confrontation between the US and Cuba, precisely after the aggression against Iraq. The US has openly started a path of interference and provocation against Cuba and, given this, Cubans have exercised our right and sacred duty to defend our country and the political system freely elected and supported by our people.
It would be really interesting to wonder not only, as The Guardian editorial did, “why so many of its citizens (Cubans) continue to want to leave”, but also to reflect on the reasons why the majority of the 11million Cubans continue to give support to our government and our revolution and why we are willing to do whatever is required to defend a system that, although not perfect, is infinitely more fair and humane than the one the US and others want to impose on us.