"Working together for a free Cuba"




A call of alert.

In the last few months, the perception of the end of the Castro regime as a possible reality has rekindled the hope of many Cubans. This is an event of great importance because one of the objectives of the dictatorship has always been to keep its people immersed in defeatism. A positive vision of the future such as an attainable ideal is almost an indispensable requirement to materialize a change in Cuba.

This optimism is the beginning of change in the distribution of forces which the regime itself has taken note. The official political meeting in answer to the protests of this past July 13th and the speech of this past July 26th has demonstrated their nervousness. The Cuban democratic opposition must take advantage of these circumstances to prepare as rapidly as possible, the conditions that will allow the development of a responsible strategy. Nevertheless, we think that at this moment, two serious errors of appreciation are popular.

First: To affirm that in Cuba the conditions are present for its people to rebel is an error. Between the generalized existence of displeasure in the population and its disposition to take to the streets there is a great distance. It is true that in Cuba there exists a deep level of frustration and that people criticize openly, as never before. But it is equally certain that instead of a fighting spirit, in the population prevails a generalized and intense desire to flee the country.

Second: Even more it is dangerous to think or to affirm that the dissidence in Cuba is organized at a national level. The dissidence has, neither sufficient level of organization, nor coordination in the country. Most of the opposition is disarticulated in small groups that live under the permanent hostility of the regime. These do not have recognition nor international endorsement. Many do not have resources even to mobilize themselves. Once the State Security discovers them they lose their jobs and are abandoned completely. Even more, there are false opponents who dedicate themselves to seed the division in the ranks of the dissidence and in some cases they cause the ostracism and the persecution of legitimate dissidents.

Truthfully the assistance that reaches a sector of the dissidence is fundamental, as is the aid received by the families of imprisoned dissidents. But these efforts must be increased and consolidated. The Cubans on the outside, which are the true rear of this fight, must organize more effectively.

Lamentably we are observing as in a capable advertising and repressive maneuver where the regime demonstrates to the people, to the exile, and to the world that they control the streets. Dissident leaders are cornered and harassed in their own homes and the streets by crowds of the dictatorship in order to demonstrate that the dissidence has neither organization nor resources to mobilize the population.

The dictatorship needed a victory desperately, a reaffirmation that its capacity to control is intact. It has obtained it momentarily but we do not have to be discouraged by this maneuver. The distribution of forces continues to move against them. We must denounce the harassment that the dissident leaders undergo and we must avoid, due to improvisation and overconfidence, that the Cuban people suffer other tactical failures that slow down and make more expensive the final outcome in favor of freedom.

  César L. Alarcón.                               Huber Matos Araluce.
  Baltimore, Maryland.                           San José, Costa Rica.

  Monday, August 15, 2005.