Monday, July 23, 2007

We’re Coming Back to Cuba (from El Diario la Prensa)


Our Pastors for Peace Caravan started and this year we’re coming back [to Cuba] with more energy than ever before. We’re continuing to challenge the arbitrary, immoral and inhuman blockade that the US government has maintained for over 40 years, that they’ve used to punish Cuba for having transformed into a socialist democracy in 1959.

This socialist democracy —established and defended with a peoples’ revolution—, has been one of the most crushing blows to US imperialism, colonialism, neoliberalism, corporate capitalism and cultural domination. Likewise, this socialist revolution broke the spine of the divine belief in, and brought to light the hypocrisy, of the neighboring country’s Monroe Doctrine policy.

On the one hand, this socialist democracy has shown that, with a humanist agenda, relations between human beings must be based on the peoples’ wellbeing. And of course, the building of healthy relationships between human beings should guarantee the protection of human and civil rights.

It is here where Cuba’s socialist democracy guarantees political participation; economic equality; harmony between civil society and politics; and that each person elected to a government position responds to the needs of their constituency.

Cuba has demonstrated to the entire world that greater respect and love towards humanity is possible. Although atheist in theory, in practice, this socialism makes God’s presence real while our capitalism, even though it believes in God, is denied every day in practice.

Now, I have to confess that Cuba is not perfect. It is not paradise. You might ask me: Are there human rights violations, indiscriminate arrests, torture and/or political assassinations in Cuba? I would answer with all honesty that yes; everyday.

Of course all that is happening at the US Guantanamo Naval Base, a small piece of Cuban territory colonized and administered by the United States government. That’s to say; those crimes against humanity are committed by the US government not the government established by the Cuban revolution.

Here is the hypocrisy of the supposed defense of human rights that Washington likes to market.

At the same time I must say that Cuba is not hell. If you want to see hell I invite you to turn to post-Katrina New Orleans and see the hellish reality which they want to hide from us, while not correcting it. This is the hell here on Earth, intentionally created by Bush and his genocidal government for the poor, black and Latino population.

In other words, the Cuban revolution has all the intention to counteract the capitalist doctrine whereby peoples’ happiness is mainly related to accumulating money, a free market for the corporations to do whatever they want, privatization of basic social services like education and health, etc.

It is here where the discourse on democracy, justice, reconciliation or freedom must be analyzed in a context of our ability to establish political, economic and social systems that guarantee the eradication of all oppression and exclusion.

For all those reasons, our San Romero de las Americas Church in New York City bought a bus and donated it to the Cuban people. Twenty-five people traveled on the bus through the entire east coast and south of the United States and now we are in Texas having joined with our brothers and sisters. In all we are 13 vehicles with some 150 people and 90 tons of humanitarian aid for the people of Cuba, that’s to say, 90 tons of our subversive love.

(Taken from the El Diario-La Prensa newspaper in New York)

*Luis Barrios is a reverend of the San Romero de Las Americas Church in New York


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