"Working together for a free Cuba"




The strategy of dignity.
By Ernesto Díaz Rodríguez
Secretary General of Alpha 66

This morning at the beginning of dawn, looking through my windowpane, I saw the naked, leafless trees, and perched on a withering branch was an unfortunate, shivering bird. Then, I realized that I was not in Cojímar, the peaceful fishing town where I had the privilege to be born and to grow in total freedom, enjoying the restless breeze and a beach without bars and chains. It was a time of happiness, hope and dreams, until the arrival of the annihilating Revolution that surrounded the whole island with gases of misery, and flooded the arteries of thousands of Cubans with hatred and malice. Tens of thousands of Cubans, I would say, (despite the pain of this bitter truth) who were not conscious of the concept of nation, nor of the meaning of human dignity.

Suddenly, I felt sad. I was invaded by the sadness of the shipwrecked, of the butterfly that wishes to fly but remains trapped in its cocoon. I was not looking at the landscape of my beloved Cuba, always immersed in my pupils, although far away in time and space. I did not awaken surrounded by palms, neither was this silent bird the sonorous mockingbird, or the joyful hummingbird that sucked the nectar of the flowers in the backyard of my house. No. How sad I felt! I had just rediscovered, as in so many previous occasions, the bitter flavor left in my throat by the aloe of a prolonged exile, of a borrowed land, and a strange freedom.

Then, I was glad for my struggle, for not giving up. I was glad of my almost 23 years of political imprisonment and of the privilege of sharing my confinement and agony with men who are a national symbol due to their heroic attitude, their sacrifice, and for their love of democratic institutions and the freedom of their homeland. I was glad of the many times that I risked my life in efforts to infiltrate the island, in unequal combats against the enemy, against those who, like idiots, support the atrocious tyranny, either out of fear or maliciousness, or just for the sake of enjoying a few breadcrumbs once in a while.

We, who yearn for a happy country, a country free of all the grief imposed by dictatorships and indecent and unscrupulous governments that ignore their obligation to duty in exchange for improving their own way of life, have no other option than that which has been correctly described by some people of reason as, intransigence, which means, honor. Because in the matters related to our homeland, in those regarding national interests, intransigence means dignity, it means not giving up, not accepting shameful agreements where the loafers and assassins from Castro's tyranny are granted positions in the governmental directives of a future Cuba. No, they will have to go to the thrash heap of history or to another thrash heap of their preference, but where they won't have anything to do with the destiny of the Cuban nation.

ALPHA 66 has a long history of battles, a long and beautiful history where its supreme leaders stood out for their abnegation, for their honesty, and for the humility with which they traveled through life, leaving each step of the way a fertile seed of love, understanding, and human solidarity. They had the vision to insert themselves within the indispensable currents of not making concessions with tyranny. The strategies of Andrés Nazario Sargén and Dr Diego Medina coincided and were coherent in the vertical position that our organization regards as the principles and the right that we Cubans have to fight with our own means to someday reconquer the freedom of Cuba. Colonels Vicente Méndez and José Rodríguez Pérez landed on the coasts of Cuba, each of them accompanied by a group of brave fighters. They offered their lives in an unforgettable gesture of patriotism. Other Cubans preceded them. Many

more have left their mark in the prisons of the regime or have fallen later, in unequal combats, like Méndez and Rodriguez Perez. Thousands of Cubans have given everything. They are those who, facing the firing squads, have courageously shouted: "Long live Christ the King!"

That everlasting example is to be the light that will guide us in our daily tasks. We cannot accept a solution where the foundations of Castro's tyranny are not totally destroyed. No, we cannot grant a place inside the future government to loafers or people responsible for so many abuses, whether moral or physical, against a defenseless population.

If we aspire to have a dawn with the whisper of palms, and without little, somber birds shivering on dry branches, then, when the bells of dawn awake us, we must continue striking the reef with our naked fist. To demolish the wall with our bare feet is not a task for those who are simply satisfied by waiting for things to happen. It is necessary to make things happen, without waiting for anyone else, and without requesting permission from anybody.

November 2005