Desde Dentro de Cuba.

Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. -

30 de Diciembre de 1999

PILLARS OF STONE, PILLARS OF SALT. By Ebenezer Ramírez for Cuba Free Press.

Havana.- The Twentieth Century bids goodbye, leaving behind a plethora of mixed feelings, plans not undertaken, interrupted dreams and longings, remembrances, hatreds, loves, wars, peace, happenings and so on, but as if struggling not to be forgotten, it also leaves us with the legacy of Kosovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Guatemalan earthquake, the floods in Venezuela, and, here in Cuba, “hurricane Elian” which has caused so much commotion.

The writer is not about to engage in a controversy of state which only Elian’s family and nobody else should be involved with. And I don’t I want to hurt any feelings when the pot is ready to boil over. But I do want to make something perfectly clear.

Today everybody seems to have become eloquent in public, speaking about Elian, from the proverbial pulpit to the farmers and scientists. It doesn’t matter what prompted them to have their say. Since it also has reached the religious strata in Cuba, that brings me precisely to my point. I feel great admiration for the views of our so-called "brothers," who have joined their voices to the choruses of "Elian, come back!" "Return Elian!" "Freedom for Elian!" and those more daring who have engaged in the heresy of comparing the child to a Messiah and even mixing this case up with the birth of Jesus and the loss of the child.

Some have even said that in 1999 Christmas was sad because the Cuban boy had been kidnapped.

Has anyone heard such statements about the thousands of children missing in Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia or Africa where children die daily due to hunger, parasites and the cold.

The protests and marches never happened when the Cuban children were lost to the sea at the sinking of the March 13th tugboat a few years ago. What is so special about Elian that the other children didn’t have who, in a situation like that of little Elian (Eliancito), died in the ocean, not because of excess weight but rather because they were intercepted by the Cuban Coast Guard.

Cuban Coast Guardsmen used powerful water hoses to sink the tugboat. The streams of water were so powerful that they even loosened the grips of those mothers who sought vainly to hold their babies close to their bosoms, desperately trying to protect them from the dire danger they faced. Those children were murdered at sea. They have yet to receive a Christian burial. Their bodies were never recovered.

Were not those Cuban children protected by the Universal Declaration of the Child?

This is a question for all of those, anywhere, who proclaim themselves Christians, who now raise and mix their voices without begging God’s forgiveness, linking politics with Christianity.

Why didn’t you Christians raise your voices then with the same passion as you do now from your different pulpits to condemn that crime of Cubans killing Cuban babies? These Christians say many things but I’ve not heard a single one stand before a podium and tell the people of Cuba and the world at large, “Thanks God, blessed be HIM that this little boy did not die in the ocean. Thank you Lord for putting an American vessel (it wasn’t a Cuban, Greek or Russian ship) within sight of this small boy and saving him!”

Nobody on high here has said, “Thank you Lord for saving the life of Elian!”

Does this incident prove that there indeed are pillars of stone whose support is truly Jesus Christ and pillars of salt, too? Regrettably the pillars of stone keep mute and there are no pulpits of television cameras or radio waves and no T-shirts carrying the image of Jesus or placards spreading the gospel. For those pillars there is no freedom of religion.

Ebenezer Ramírez, Cuba Free Press.

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