Write us!

September 2003 • Vol 3, No. 8 •

Reply to The Progressive from A Cuban Class War Prisoner

By Rene González (One of the Cuban 5 Political Prisoners)

July 15, 2003
Federal Correctional Institution
Edgefield, South Carolina 

Dear Ms. Joanne Landy:

Being a Cuban revolutionary all of my life, having fought in Angola against the South African invasion and being, at the present time, incarcerated in a U.S. federal prison for protecting the Cuban people from the terrorist actions supported, encouraged and silenced by the United States government, I hope that—if being progressive is still to fight for a better world—I might be entitled to the benefit of being considered a progressive person.

So, when I opened a magazine called precisely, The Progressive, and read an ad by the Campaign for Peace and Democracy requesting signatures in order to condemn Cuba for its alleged “repression on dissidents,” I was, at best, in disbelief. I can’t imagine that somebody can consider himself a progressive person and then take at its word the endemic slandering and lies of the U.S. media in regards to Cuba.

It would only take a little bit of intellectual honesty and some research to discover that the money to pay “dissidents” is appropriated, overtly and openly, by the U.S. authorities to be distributed through entities like National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) among whomever, on the island decides to make a living as a dissident.

Who gives any moral authority to the American government to create a paid opposition in Cuba? What international principle of law applies to this behavior? Since when is it a role of a U.S. diplomat to tour the island organizing the “opposition” and giving out money?

Whoever, in his country, receives money from a foreign power to undermine his government, is considered a traitor, be it in Cuba or in any other nation of the world, including the United States. These so-called “dissidents” have—contrary to what appears in the ad—all the right to express their opinions in Cuba. All they have to do is to stand up at a nomination meeting and explain to their neighbors that they want to take the country back to 1959, return the Cuban land to the United Fruit Company, recall the terrorists that now live in Miami to the island and give them their properties back, sell the country to the transnationals and become themselves the political class who will take care of all those people’s petty interests.

If their neighbors agree with them they will be nominated would happen to them for looking stupid while expressing their political platform in front of the electorate. But if they run into a revolutionary constituency—and their neighbors are committed to their country and support the government of the people, for the people and by the people; and having fought and died for their society, don’t want to betray the memory of the patriots who have given their lives for the sovereignty and independence of Cuba—no “dissident” will be nominated nor will he obtain any vote.

And if they don’t deserve the confidence of their people, they don’t have the right to go to the American embassy—the last place I would think of as a haven for democracy—to find a source of sovereignty that only lies in the Cubans.

Cuba, for more than 40 years, has faced a state of hostility and war that has caused more than 3,000 deaths and more than 2,000 injured on account of terrorist and armed actions carried out by traitors paid, trained and supplied by the U.S. government. Those mercenaries were dealt with through the legal system. They weren’t arbitrarily declared “enemy” or “illegal” combatants, or disposed of through a drone-launched rocket so that Fidel could pose to the cameras declaring them “no longer a problem,” or subjected to secret military tribunals, nor were their families’ homes demolished by the Cuban military.

They were given sentences according to their involvement in their terrorist activities instead of the irrational punishment accorded here to the Puerto Rican patriots, just for their affiliation to a given organization, or the vindictive treatment given to me and my co-defendants for protecting Cuba from those mercenaries who now, with their money and connections to the U.S. administration, sponsor schemes like [that of] one of the “dissidents” or the encouragement to illegal immigration from Cuba in order to justify the aggressive policy against Cuba.

The Cuban people has had no other option than to take their losses and to keep building the socialist society that too many have fought for, leaving it to history to make justice and relying on extreme patience and enormous courage. I don’t know how many real progressive people are adhering to this campaign against Cuba, being things here so relative that somebody can be labeled as liberal just for eating a hamburger with the left hand and having grown used to see some on TV advertised as leftist just because they are a little to the left of George Wallace.

But I assume there must be some genuine progressive people among them; people who really care about human rights and who honestly believe in justice, [but are] misguided by a perverse media which leaves them without any other reference when it comes to know what happens around the world.

To this people I want to say this: Consider for a moment the awesome power accumulated by the U.S. imperialist government. Consider the enormous sense of impunity that right now can be felt by this people who just accomplished a war of aggression defying the whole world [and] lying in front of everybody like nobody did before to justify it, creating a criminal and illegal doctrine of preemptive war, breaking any principle of international relations in the process and getting away with all of it.

Compare this overwhelming power with the little island of Cuba and it won’t be hard to see how much damage this fascist establishment can inflict to my country with so little. I’ve always had the best of respect for the honest Americans who, overcoming the immense power of the most sophisticated machinery of deception ever designed, have been able to look beyond all of that to have a view of world events that pays homage to this country. It takes a lot of intelligence, curiosity, courage and, above all, a lot of sensitivity.

I want to appeal to that sensitivity and, with all my respect, invite you to think of this: One thing was to be a Roman citizen, with all privileges accorded to full citizenship, discussing democracy and liberty on the Senate or on the streets of Rome; and another thing, completely different, was to be fighting for that democracy and that liberty, in the field, against all odds, under the siege of Pompeii’s legions, defending your very life together with Spartacus.


Very truly yours,

Rene González





Write us