Desde Dentro de Cuba.

Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. -

Aug. 19, 1999.


HAVANA - Fidel Castro's speeches about Cuban emigration and its causes only show the tip of the iceberg. The whole picture is much deeper. We Latin Americans are, by definition, pessimistic and dissatisfied. In our sub-conscious and perhaps at a conscious plane, all these things have a crushing effect on us: The lack of realization of what's happening in our countries, the vigor of the United States, our paralyzing ancestral impotence, the lack of stability even among our better governments, the sad belief we are not really necessary.

When in 1959 a ray of optimism was lit up in Cuba, it spread dimly to other countries in the area. But it did not really change things. In fact, one can say that 40 years of the Castroist revolution have boomeranged. That is why emigration - the most visible sign of that calamity - is tearing Cuba mercilessly,limb by limb. One can simply watch the uninterrupted flow of rafters, the 20,000 annual visas granted by the U.S. government, the temporary and permanent permits granted by other countries. The official explanations do not address these issues.

Even Fidel Castro left most of the matter submerged when he talked about these themes in one his recent speech at Matanzas Aug. 3. He spoke only of a few causes and immediate consequences.

The only visible portions of that iceberg are the perennial Cuba vs. United States face-off: That country stimulates the exodus by every means possible, according to Cuba's official government version. This reductionist view tries to explain almost everything as the result of hertzian waves and "gringo" measures. To wit: the Cuban adjustment and the Helms-Burton laws.

We are told our compatriots leave so as to escape the difficulties created by the "blockade," encouraged by the propaganda of "pirate" broadcasts and the privileges received once they arrive abroad. Under water remains two-thirds of the truth: The failure of the Cuban system, the lack of liberties, the uncertainty, the gradual loss of values, the general lack of trust, the insecurity, the despair and of course the disenchantment. That is, the Latin American's pessimism and dissatisfaction, potentiated by our disillusion.

So, in that context, the disconcerting official optimism can only be seen as a bluff: A braggart's effort to cast a bad light on the immigrants and to accentuate some good things while minimizing many bad ones. It is a smoke screen which can not hide the facts. Not even Fidel has managed to do it in spite of his strongest efforts.

German Castro, Cuba Free Press.

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