Human Rights in Cuba

Time To Change

December 2016
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Waiting for help
Waiting for help

Patria y Libertad: Homeland and / 14ymedio, Tania Bruguera

14ymedio, Tania Bruguera, Havana, 1 December 2016 — Today in Cuba, we
start a new phase, a phase that requires us to transition (shift) from
an anecdote to historic data, from rumor to research, from passion to
facts from what was symbolically assumed to what was actually done.

Time has come for us to ask for that archives be opened, to know how
many truths were manufactured and to what extent victories were
achieved, to know with certainty how many Cubans have died around the
world, to understand what social progress we have made and to learn
which agreements the government has made on our behalf.

The Cuban people have the right to know its history, all of it, and be
able to draw their own conclusions.

Today Cubans have stopped being children waiting for orders.

However, refusing to be underestimated requires understanding other
people’s feelings, those that think and feel differently. It means
understanding that we are not always right and that the goal of
discussion is not to win arguments but to clarify our ideas and send
them out for consideration..

We need to stop thinking that only our feelings are valid because the
project of The Revolution has been a different experience for each
and every one of us, and since they were experiences, all of them are
valid. There are things to rescue and things to remove. It would be
more interesting to see howpeople have dealt with their experiences,
what they have done with them, instead of denying someone to feel in
their own terms.

We need to start saying “no” to the things we don’t like, to the
things that keeps us from feeling clean and honest, even if this
means losing a privileged position, because there’s no money, no
professional opportunity, no material comfort that can be compared to
feeling free, to being able to speak one´s mind.

But the life project that we can create from now on is only possible if
we allow ourselves to stop having double standard ethics, if we stop
telling something to some people and then something different to others.

We have an exceptional moment before us, not to defend a government or
a position, but to create all together a vision for Cuba; one that is
not biased to either extreme, a vision that can be a compilation of all
our points of view.

It is the time to create a new legal infrastructure that includes
respect for different opinions and stops political hate forever, that
ensures that citizens’ preferences cannot be controlled by the
government; that can be a space for fair and inclusive decisions.

It is the time to create a political infrastructure that guarantees that
never again a president can hold all powers. This has happened 3 times
in Cuba since 1902. There should never be another president who
thinks he knows better than anyone, and what is better for us all.

This is the time to create a civic and social infrastructure that
includes everyone, that includes rights for everyone, that includes
political dissent as a civic right, that includes civic literacy.

It is the time to create an emotional infrastructure that nurtures room
for mutual understanding, a structure that does not allow anything to
horrify or minimize us.

A structure that allows solidarity and privacy, individual rights
and social rights where the life we want to have is respected but
also represents a common effort; a structure that allows truths and
claims from everyone, the majority but also the minority. A place
where a humanist utopia exists but never again paranoia among its
citizens, where emotions don’t compromise what is fair.

Today, there is a real task for Cubans to complete: to balance what we
want to rescue and what we want to change. It is the time to stop
whispering our hopes, it is time to stop being afraid.

The best way to honor our homeland and ourselves is not being
submissive, not being a cynical nation, never again being a nation
with different classes of Cubans, nor a place from where to leave,
but a place where life is a dignifying act we are proud of.

Placing love, family and friendship above ideologies is the only way
Cuba will be a nation again.

(English version from Tania Bruguera’s own site)

Source: Patria y Libertad: Homeland and Freedom / 14ymedio, Tania
Bruguera – Translating Cuba –

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