On Elections in the US and Cuba
Our elections are the antithesis of those held in the United States, not on Sundays but on the first Tuesday of November. Being very rich or having the support of lot of money is what matters the most there. Huge amounts are later on invested in publicity, specialized in brain washing and the creation of conditioned reflexes.
With honorable exceptions, no one can hope to be appointed to an important post without being backed by millions of dollars.
Being elected President in the U.S. requires hundreds of millions, which come from the coffers of big monopolies. Elections can be won by a candidate earning a minority of votes.
Less and less citizens are going to the ballots; there are many who would rather go to work or spend their time doing anything else. There is fraud, tricks, discrimination against ethnic minorities and even violence.
Having more than 90 per cent of all citizens voting in the elections and school children guarding the ballots is an unheard of experience; it's hard to believe that this occurs in one of the "dark corners of this world," a harassed and blockaded country named Cuba. That is how we exercise the vigorous muscles of our political awareness.
Cuba News, October 20, 2007
Viva Cuba libre! (Long live free Cuba!). That was the war cry throughout the plains and the mountains, forests and sugarcane fields, identifying those who began Cuba’s first war of independence on October 10, 1868.
I would never have imagined I’d be hearing those words 139 years later, coming from the mouth of a president of the United States. It is as if a king of days gone by, or his regent, were proclaiming: Viva Cuba Libre!
On the contrary, a Spanish warship drew near the coast and with its guns destroyed the small sugar mill where Carlos Manuel de Céspedes declared the independence of Cuba and freed the slaves that he had inherited, just a few kilometers from the sea.
Lincoln, son of a poor woodcutter, fought all his life against slavery, which was legal in his country almost a hundred years after the Declaration of Independence. Clinging to the just idea that all citizens are born free and equal, making use of his legal and constitutional rights, he declared the abolition of slavery. Countless numbers of combatants gave their lives defending this idea against the rebel slave states in the south of the country.
Lincoln is said to have stated: “You can deceive some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t deceive all the people all of the time.”
He died by an assassin’s bullet when, unbeatable at the polls, he was running for a second term as president.
I am not forgetting that tomorrow on Sunday, it will be the 48th anniversary of Camilo Cienfuegos’ disappearance at sea, on October 28, 1959, as he was returning to Havana in a light aircraft from Camaguey Province, where days earlier just his presence unarmed a garrison of simple Rebel Army soldiers whose superiors, of a bourgeois ideology, were attempting to do what almost half a century later Bush is demanding: rise up in arms against the Revolution.
Che, in a wonderful introduction to his book Guerrilla Warfare, states:
“Camilo was the comrade of a 100 battlesthe selfless combatant who always made sacrifice an instrument with which to temper his character and to forge that of the troops...it was he who gave this written armature here presented the essential vitality of his personality, of his intelligence and of his audacity, something which can be achieved in such exact proportions only in a very few personages in history.
“Who killed him?
“We might better wonder: who wiped out his physical being? Because the lives of men such as he, live on in the people...The enemy killed him, they killed him because they wished for his death, they killed him because there are no safe planes, because pilots cannot have all the experience they need, because, overburdened with work, he wanted to reach Havana in a few short hoursin his guerrilla mentality there could be no impediment to hold back or distort a line which had been draftedCamilo and the other Camilos (those who didn’t arrive and those yet to come) are the indicators of the strength of the people, they are the highest expression of what a nation may give, at the ready to defend its purest ideals and with its faith anchored in the securing of its noblest goals.”
For all the symbolism in their names, we reply to the false Mambí:
Long live Lincoln! Long live Che! Long live Camilo!
Granma, October 27, 2007