Desde Dentro de Cuba.

Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. -

April 14, 1999. >


HAVANA - Every year, since 1961, when the month of April rolls in the Cuban regime's propaganda shows much rejoicing. The April 1961 landing at Playa Giron (Bay of Pigs) and the quick victory of the revolutionary forces constitute, it seems, a good way to go back to a lost past.

The themes could not possibly be better: Aggression financed, equipped and backed by the United States government. It was quickly defeated, thanks to an efficient, well backed people. These become important ingredients in an ideological creole pot, of marvelous simplicity. The main result is to point the finger at the United States, label the aggressors as "mercenaries" and contrast the courage, love of fatherland and the revolutionary and "fidelista" zeal of the Cubans.

Everything is there. Anti-yanqui feelings, populism, nationalism, caudilloism, Latin-Americanism, triumphalism and what could, quite properly be called, anti-exile feelings, a rejection of the exiled Cubans.

That's why 1961 is for the Castro revolution - without a doubt - a happy year. It is a romantic reference, comparable only to the guerrilla period. The aggression was real. The United States involvement also was real. The popular backing of the revolutionary forces: Idem. One does not need euphemisms to speak of these things. There is no need to hide facts. No need to lie. All one needs do is to tell the story, interpret the events. Never would other "historical pearls" by the Revolution shine as brightly.

Although there is a great deal of experience in "freezing" a history, it is imposible to create miracles. April 1961 became part of the Revolution's ideological fog. Attempts to spread its contents over our present circumstances - as an attempt to freshen them - forms an ice which does not thaw.

This abstraction of our present has something to do with Milan Kundera's comments: "We do not acknowledge our present, rather times past" or again from that Czech writer: "Remembering is a way to forget," to which I add: To coerce, to force facts invalidates that very pretense.

Even when we accept this re-creation of our present, which at times seems that of another planet, it transforms itself again through a re-telling of its memories, with the new creation oscillating between facts, retractions and every intermediate stage.

So the "ack-acks" firing, the militia-men marching against the enemy...even the victims have all become images. The veterans of that experience, looking at the broken mirror many times, fail to recognize themselves. The political rallies commemorating those days, trying to transplant those feelings to our difficult circumstances can't make them fit.

Fatally, the revolution has turned 40 years old and along with that all things, even the way we look at our past, are exactly 40 years older. It's enough to make miracles unlikely.

German Castro, Cuba Free Press.

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