Human Rights in Cuba

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December 2016
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Placing The Remains Of With Those Of Martí Divides Cubans /
14ymedio, Pedro Campo

14ymedio, Pedro Campos, Miami, 3 December 2016 – Genius and figure to
the grave, the boy born in Birán, who led an armed Revolution from the
Sierra Maestra and governed Cuba for almost 60 years from Havana, wanted
his ashes placed for eternity in Santiago de Cuba, near to the tomb of
José Martí, in the Santa Ifigenia cemetery.

This could become one of the most controversial of all Fidel Castro’s
decisions made throughout his life, for a simple reason: When we need
equanimity and closeness between all Cubans, this could stimulate more
divisions, given that the figure of Martí is ecumenical, while that of
Fidel is divisive and, for many, a figure of conflict.

The location of the remains of the former president near to those of
Martí is already being taken as a provocation by an important share of
Cubans, and it is possible that some may not rest until they see them
well away from those of Martí.

There are sad precedents in our history. Suffice it to recall the
consequences of an alleged desecration of the tomb* of Don Gonzalo de
Castañón in colonial times or disturbances during the armed and
outrageous attack during the reception of the ashes of Mella in the
Republic in 1933. Those events generated great confrontation among
Cubans and left enduring marks.

The choice of this place, in addition to being controversial, will
demand an enormous security effort and a substantial cost in resources
and measures to guarantee the protection of the ashes. Given the
foreseeable threats, a broad deployment of surveillance may be
necessary, with a great number of professionals and technically
sophisticated measures, because the ways in which people will attempt to
remove the remains from there could be wide-ranging.

The personal security of Fidel Castro does not rest with his death. To
avoid future complications, it might be suggested to the government of
his brother that his remains rest only a few days in Santa Ifigena and
then be taken to a less controversial place, where they can be honored
by his admirers without causing litigation as, for example, the Sierra
Maestra, symbol of the struggle, perhaps on Pico Turquino itself, the
highest peak in Cuba, where there is a bust of Martí placed by Celia
Sanchez, the unforgettable combatant close to Fidel.

Something like the general president thought of for himself, on the 2nd

That might be a wise decision by ’s government and an
important contribution to the future reunification and peace of the
Cuban homeland, for which Martí will always be the Apostle, founder of
the nation, and shelter of all its children, while Fidel Castro is
considered only by his followers as the most distinguished of his

*Translator’s note: In 1871 eight medical students were executed after
having been purposely but falsely accused of desecrating the tomb of
this Spanish .

Source: Placing The Remains Of Fidel Castro With Those Of Martí Divides
Cubans / 14ymedio, Pedro Campo – Translating Cuba –

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