The Other Cuban Succession
Investigador, Universidad de Miami
(www.miscelaneasdecuba.net).- The Cuban succession conjecture pastime
began in earnest in 2006 when an aged and ailing Fidel Castro
transferred power to his younger brother Raul. With General Castro now
83 years old, the speculation continues as to whom, in the younger
generation of Cuban military officers and political apparatchiks, will
In Cuba, the elderly Castros are seeking to perpetuate the power of the
communist regime around a military-party-dynastic succession. It is a
succession my colleague Dr. Pedro Roig has labeled as “a supreme
manifestation of tragic insolence” that seeks to give continuity to the
Marxist catastrophe recycling its offspring. It is a fragile succession
of questionable legitimacy offering only freedomless lives. It is a
succession that presumes that the also aging historical exiles will
simply fade away.
They miscalculate; there is a less noticed Cuban succession taking place
north of Havana that juxtaposes the one on the Island. It is the
Cuban-American succession from first wave anti-Castro exiles to their
American sons and daughters.
My generation – of the aging heroes of the urban resistance of the
1960’s, of the Bay of Pigs invasion, of the uprisings in the Escambray
mountains, of the Pedro Pan exodus- is also transferring its 56 years
old quest for a democratic Cuba to the next generation.
It is a generation in prime adulthood of U.S.-raised and educated
professionals exceling in every field of human endeavor. By way of
example, in the Washington political establishment, it is the generation
typified by the new cohort of Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ted Cruz
(R-TX) and Representatives-elect Alex Mooney (R-WV) and Carlos Curbelo
(R-FL). Alongside Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Representatives Albio
Sires (D-NJ), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL)
there will be eight Cuban-Americans serving in the 114th Congress.
Cuban-Americans make up less than ½ of 1 percent of the U.S. population,
yet they make up 3 percent of the U.S. Senate and more that 1 percent of
the U.S. House of Representatives. They speak for four states and both
political parties. Even more remarkable is the fact that all
Cuban-American representatives, regardless of party affiliation or state
representation, speak with a single voice regarding Cuba and its future.
My generation may not have succeeded in ridding Cuba of the Castro
regime, but in our unplanned succession we have succeeded admirably in
transmitting love of country -for both the U.S. and Cuba- and democratic
values to our sons and daughters. Ours is a vision of a democratic Cuba
that they will continue to articulate, sometimes in broken Spanish, but
eloquently and passionately.
Those inheriting our struggle, unlike their counterparts in Cuba,
understand freedom as a state of being, and a state of consciousness.
They apprehend the free flow of information, economic freedom, human
rights, political liberty, transparency, freedom of speech, and
empowerment of the individual as a way of life. Their freedom fighting
tactics may differ from ours, but these are values they will not
repudiate by embracing Cuba’s tyrannical collectivism.
We are passing the torch to a generation that understands instinctively
that economic well-being is a consequence of freedom, and that to value
freedom is an insightful philosophical and moral achievement. Also, in
dramatic contrast with their counterparts in Cuba, it is a generation
that has acquired the American ethos that public servants are not
enlightened messianic emissaries.
It is a generation that grew up listening to our stories of a lost
country and has learned from us the lessons of Pericles as he sought to
inspire the Athenians during the Peloponnesian War: “Make up your minds
that happiness depends on being free, and freedom depends on being
courageous.” Their love of freedom honors us.
Source: The Other Cuban Succession – Misceláneas de Cuba –