Posted January 06, 2004 by publisher in Cuba Politics.
Below are quotes from Cubans in exile and on the island from the Jan. 1 El Nuevo Herald article, The tally on 45 years of the Cuban Revolution, by El Nuevo Herald staff writer Wilfredo Cancio Isla.
For you, what is the net result of 45 years of revolution in Cuba?
o Guillermo Cabrera Infante, author: It has been an era of blood, sweat and tears. They have robbed the homeland and have given death to Cubans.
o Mario Chanes de Armas, former revolutionary who later served 30 years as a political prisoner: The revolution was to combat a dictatorship, but its ideals were crushed from the start by Fidel Castro, who in power trampled the constitutional rights that he promised to defend. Worst is the jailing, the pain and the division of families.
o Vladimiro Roca, leader of the dissident coalition All United [from Havana]: The revolutionary process has been a catastrophe, a perpetual deception and colossal fraud. We are in the final chapter of a telenovela in real time, where the director-in-chief is left with only two options: 1) make the changes, even if only an economic reform; or 2) use force and repression to stay in power in the middle of this disaster.
o Claudia Márquez, independent journalist [from Havana]: I’m 26, so I was born in the middle of the process, listening to the propaganda about the present and promises for the future. But I have never been able to feel free in my own country. I sense the nostalgia of those who are outside the country; but here, too, many Cubans feel exiled inside our own country, aliens, repressed for the simple fact of thinking differently than the government.
I dream of the moment of feeling freedom for the first time.
o Carlos de la Cruz, Chairman of Eagle Brands: How is it possible that in the 21st century, Castro’s dictatorship in Cuba continues to exist? The deliberate myopia of the international organizations like the United Nations, in the interest of protecting countries’ sovereignty . . . has permitted Castro to remain in power even after the fall of the Soviet Union.
The bottom line of the Cuban Revolution is the misfortune of a country that has gone from having the second-highest per capita income in the hemisphere to one of the lowest. Unfortunately, this misery and lack of liberty have brought our people to yearn for leaving their homeland.
o Gisela Delgado [from Havana], leader of the Independent Libraries Project and wife of dissident Hector Palacios, who is serving a 25-year prison term: This has been 45 years of human-rights violations. The bastions of public health and education have crumbled: Hospitals have no medications, and the schools lack professors. The socialist system has turned into anguish for the Cuban people. . . . Free medicine and education should not bar freedom of expression.
o Blanca Reyes [from Havana], wife of poet Rául Rivero, who is serving a 20-year prison term: I was 11 years old when the revolution triumphed. At the time, I loved and followed a 33-year-old bearded Magi who has ended up being a capricious old dictator. I lived in a cloud until a certain day in 1980 when . . . I began to discover a destroyed Havana. I lament having given my youth and my life to something who wasn’t worth it.
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