The freer it is from pragmatism and the more full of principles and cleanliness it is, the better the policy will be in all its aspects, including immigration. But it would be foolish to ignore the specific conditions in which a country may need to conceive and apply its policy, especially in the face of basic requirements for its survival.
Cuba’s decisions in immigration policy, like its actions in general, have been subject to pressure from a monstrous fact: the blockade imposed by the United States, a power that is declining, but whose death throes, in addition to being extremely dangerous, also aim to be prolonged.
The blockade has lasted for more than sixty years, with intentions expressed in April 1962 by a high representative of the American power, not by a biased spokesperson for the Cuban Communist Party. It was decreed to impose hardships on this country that would deprive the revolutionary government of the majority support of the people, and promote a “regime change”: subject it back to the imperialist yoke.
This purpose is part of depriving Cuba of the qualified force that it has managed to form with so much effort. Requiring him not to also defend himself against that robbery would be nothing less than an act of complicity in the crime, and the fact that the complicity could be involuntary would not make it less harmful, but perhaps more dangerous.
Perhaps the blocked country has not always had the necessary agility to, among other things, adjust its immigration policy on the fly. For a long time, this led the enemy media, and the inertia of international and national public opinion, to spread the idea that many people who were unable to leave Cuba were victims of ties imposed by this country.
These were frequently—this is an example—professionals invited to meetings where they would have been valuable representatives of the true Cuban reality, not the one manufactured by those means, and they were deprived of fulfilling that role because the countries to which they had to travel denied them visas. As Cuba changes, enemy practices, including propaganda, would seek tricks to continue defaming it.
An intelligent and honest blow against imperialist machinations was represented by the initiative, supported by sons and daughters of Cuba residing abroad, to hold meetings of the nation with are emigration. The meaning of that possessive, areis relevant: the blocked country should not indiscriminately open its doors to those who, having been born in it, served in other places the plans to suffocate and destroy it.
This is how Cuba began by meeting with the emigrants who were closest to supporting it in its ideals and its need to survive, although the divisions between economic emigration and political emigration may blur. Would someone in their right mind, and who, free of pragmatism, is guided by cleanly forged principles, want to deny the links that exist and are intertwined between politics and economics?
But, as long as Cuba refines its steps, the empire will continue to reinforce its tactics to suffocate it. The blockade is an economic persecution, a fierce unilateral war, which the “Republican” Donald Trump intensified with nearly two hundred and fifty more restrictive measures, which the “Democrat” Joseph Biden has maintained after an electoral campaign in which he opportunistically announced, otherwise. Both have shown that “Republican” and “Democrat” in their country are, above all, labels for related factions in a network of interests that dominate and endure.
Given the brutality of the blockade and the impudent and fierce media campaign that accompanies it, Cuba would need to receive in its meetings with the emigration to people who, even though they are far from the ideals of socialist construction that it has proposed, oppose the blockade and are willing to say so not only in the bowels of the monster. They know that, especially if they also do it in Cuba, it will cost them more ferocious attacks from the hating pack of Cuban origin who in the United States are capable of demanding that their compatriots be squeezed “until their eyes fall out.” .
Getting stuck in a response governed by that anger as if it were radicalism, would be playing into the hands of the pack, and they have many more material resources on their side: including propaganda resources, a corrosive and destructive force that is increasingly visible. . This reality is at the root of a statement that, whether accurate or incomplete, proliferates: “The left has lost the cultural battle.”
In politics, as in everything, there are poles. Although, mainly in the political sphere, they are not alien to conscience, they do not depend on it either. It is worth assuming that when knowledgeable voices warn against the polarization that is seething, they are referring in particular to the extremes of irrational rage encouraged by the imperialist forces, with the echo chamber and assistance that their weather vanes provide them.
That is not and cannot be the way of Cuba. The revolutionary leader who sowed anti-imperialism in it along with the thirst for freedom, justice and beauty, when referring to demarcating situations – the preparations for a war of national liberation were to the highest degree -, maintained: “It is good to feel the coming of the anger!”. But he did it in the same speech (that of January 24, 1880, at Steck Hall in New York) where he outlined the pattern that must continue to be ours: “This is not only the revolution of anger. It is the revolution of reflection.”
Cuba managed to successfully launch that revolution at the start of 1959, and to keep it alive it needs and must follow that compass, which calls not to add to the division between poles even a bit more than what it necessarily brings with it, nor to ignore the possible contributions from those willing to fight against the leviathan that seeks to strangle it. This leviathan – the blockage, source or fertilizer of all other dangers and evils – is an exogenous and extraterritorial monstrosity, but it acts in a context where external dangers and the intestines end up intertwined, or are already intertwined.
In the fight against this monster, having Cubans who live abroad and are liberals, social democrats, Islamists, Jews… does not mean embracing the project of building a neoliberal Cuba – a hairy beast whose ears appear everywhere in the world today – or a social democratic one. . Much less is it equivalent to reproducing the paths of the so-called Islamic State or those of Zionism, which neither represent the Islamic and Hebrew cultures properly understood.
We are not supposed to accept the “support” of those who justify the crimes committed against Palestine by the Zionist state of Israel, branch of the United States and squire of this power in the UN votes against the blockade. Extremeting the possible examples to the point of absurdity, if followers of a satanic sect joined the anti-blockade struggle it would not be necessary to please them by creating a Cuba ruled by Satan. The devil if there is one is the blockade and the conditions that it imposes or favors.
Dangers are everywhere. Events like the recent ones in Argentina—just to cite an extreme case—should call on all peoples to draw lessons and insights from them, and Cuba is not a people chosen by any God. It is, yes, a people set by its historical paths and will on the path to building social justice, embodied in a socialism that until today has been a noble aspiration in the world and deserves to become a reality.
Cuba needs changes, with the guideline drawn by The Leader of the Revolution: “Changes, revolutionary changes.” Only those will be truly vigilantes. And those who defend socialist ideals must have preparation and clarity to know who they can count on in their endeavors, and to what extent. It does not seem excessive or criminal to consider that the right to free emigration should not lead to confusion on the ethical level – which does not always find a strict or formal correlation in the laws – of those who emigrate through legal and decent paths and those who factually take the path of desertion and betray the country.
Being clear about these “nuances” at the conceptual level is also a way to defend, conceptually at least—pardon the redundancy—ideals maintained against all odds, with heroism, in more than sixty years of Revolution. Nor does anything support what a colleague claims to have heard in a public space: comparing the current emigration with the one in which he made fundamental contributions to the patriotic struggle led by José Martí. A comparison of that kind tastes like a lot of pragmatism and little light.
Those who voluntarily chose to stay in Cuba and work for it, would not do so thinking about accumulating dividends that would now allow them to contribute to “save the country with their economic resources”, but rather about giving for it, from within, the contributions that their ability to sacrifice and their intelligence allowed them to give it. In the face of compatriots who, for whatever reasons they believed they had, exercised their right to emigrate in search of well-being, those who stayed in Cuba should not feel anything like envy.
That attitude, which etymologically refers to blindness, will serve for anger, not for decisive founding reflection.
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