Category: Cuban Five
René González of the Cuban Five on Cuba’s Challenge and Washington’s Hypocrisy
worker | August 13, 2021 | 6:51 pm | Cuba, Cuban Five, Fascist terrorism | Comments closed

René González of the Cuban Five on Cuba’s Challenge and Washington’s Hypocrisy


René González is one of the Cuban Five, long jailed in the US for their intelligence work combating far-right Miami terrorist groups. He spoke to Jacobin about the blockade and what his trial told him about the US’s concern for human rights in Cuba.

A Cuban flag flies over Havana. Andrew Wragg / Flickr

Denis Rogatyuk

René González is a former member of Cuba’s “Wasp Network,” set up to combat the terrorism long directed against the island by far-right Miami exile groups. Following the murder of over two hundred Cubans in sustained attacks on the country’s aviation, shipping, and tourism sectors — organized by figures like CIA agent Luis Posada Carriles — this intelligence unit worked to infiltrate and undermine the terrorist milieu.

Immortalized in the 2019 Netflix film Wasp Network, González is best-known as one of the so-called Cuban Five. After the FBI broke up the Wasp Network in 1998, González and four of his colleagues were put before a Florida court in a trial internationally condemned for its lack of due process. He was sentenced to a fifteen-year jail spell, and finally returned to Cuba in 2013.

Today living in Havana, González saw first-hand the July 11 protests that captured international attention. In an interview with Voces sin Fronteras, hosted by Jacobin contributing editor Denis Rogatyuk, he spoke about the current situation in the capital, the history of US attacks on the island, and a six-decade-long economic blockade affecting even Cuba’s trade with third countries.


What has your experience of the protests been, and what have you seen?


Like the vast majority of Cubans, I woke up on July 11 and began my normal life — or at least, a normal Sunday under the pandemic — and suddenly information began appearing on social networks. First, about what was happening in San Antonio, then the president’s presence there, and gradually, especially from sites in Miami, information and jubilant videos about events elsewhere in Cuba.

I continued my routine, until I realized something more serious was going on. I started making some calls and in the evening, I went to two places where protests had taken place. I went to [the municipality of] Diez de Octubre, and when I got there, the protest was still ongoing but was practically over. You could see the damage, and then I went to Zanja Street where something had also happened, but much less.

So I could see things first-hand. Then, I think on the Monday there were some further protests, and a mixture of falsehoods, lies, and video footage. We all know now that images of Buenos Aires, Alexandria, Venezuela, and other places were used to create the impression that Cuba was immersed in chaos, and that the government had collapsed.

In Cuba, we all knew that was a lie, but I suppose that it will have had its effect on some people elsewhere, who do not know the Cuban reality. And I suppose that some exaggerations regarding the supposed repression of peaceful protesters will have made their mark on some of the not so well-informed.


How about the counter-mobilizations, in support of the revolution?


I’m not going to deny that what happened surprised us. We’re not used to seeing events like these in our country — and above all, this level of violence. I will clarify that not everyone who demonstrated was a violent person — there were places where some dissatisfied people came out, some with genuine claims and problems that have been imposed on us for years, largely from the United States. But the level of violence was unusual for Cuba. This is something we need to examine, make the corresponding analyses, and take the appropriate measures — in terms of public order, but also social and political measures.

These events provoked a response among people who don’t want to see our country like this. The demonstrations organized by communities and by trade unions took to the streets to show that we want to build a peaceful country — we don’t want these levels of street violence. And also to show that most Cuban people continue to support this country, the revolution, the government.

Above all, that we’re aware that beyond the legitimacy of some people’s demands, all this is part of an attack against Cuba. It was well-planned through social networks. But we are going to defend this government, our sovereignty, our independence — and we are going to continue resisting.

We, as a country, as a people, as a community, have for six decades been subjected to a genocidal policy whose express purpose is precisely to make people surrender out of hunger, out of desperation, out of necessity. And well, there are people who surrender. I don’t mean this as an insult — I don’t think that everyone necessarily has to have the same level of endurance. The people who decided to blame the Cuban government for all this aren’t all criminals.

But I believe that criminal elements, spurred on by the tremendous campaign on social networks, made these demonstrations into what we saw in [those] days. I believe that the part of the population that maintains a dignified position in the face of US imperialism’s criminal policy has the right to take to the streets to demonstrate in favor of this process and against the policy that has tried to suffocate us for sixty years.


What do you think about the comparisons being made between these protests and the so-called “El Maleconazo” in 1994?


There are many points of contact. The main one, the “backdrop,” is the US blockade against Cuba, which has deliberately sought to sow despair among the Cuban people so that they become disenchanted and blame the government for this country’s economic problems and material hardships. It is part of a systematic, sixty-year policy, a common thread running through the 1994 crisis and the one we are facing now.

Moreover, I think that in both cases, the uprising was promoted from abroad. In 1994, the immigration issue was used so that some desperate people took to the streets and, in this case, the COVID situation has been used. This has been linked to an intensification of the criminal US policy against Cuba, imposed by President Trump and continued by President Biden.

I think that US empire’s policy towards Cuba will continue to promote these events. It will not change as long as they consider that they can provoke despair in the Cuban people, and there are moments like these when various circumstances converge that increase people’s material hardships and when part of that population — out of despair in some cases, in other cases due to political, malicious, sometimes even criminal intentions — end up taking these positions and take to the streets.


Have you seen signs of a campaign of fake news?


Yes, of course. The US government has always tried to use the media to influence the Cuban population and incite insurrection, illegality, and violence. We cannot forget that during Reagan’s presidency, Radio Martí was created. Previously, there was Radio Ciudad alongside Radio Americas. The US Government always wanted to use communications to subjugate Cuba, as part of this war. This is the psychological component of a war of attrition that is anything but simply psychological. In the 1960s, it was the radio, then came TV Martí, though it was never seen in Cuba, and recently social networks have joined this war.

We all know that the US Government dedicates considerable funds to this psychological warfare, which, through social networks, has been “dropped” on Cuba. It is a persistent, systematic, methodical, scientifically calculated effort that does end up impacting some people — and has been a very important element in this campaign.

This campaign is carried out in two directions. One aims to break our spirits, to confuse some Cubans, to incite us to violence, to make us believe and rationalize the theory that the embargo does not exist, that there is no blockade, that the Cuban government is to blame for everything. But we mustn’t forget that it also aims to deceive the rest of the world, so that people receive false news about Cuba. It aims to magnify any problem that occurs here and thereby justify the demands for “humanitarian intervention,” which many of the worst spokesmen of the Cuban counterrevolution make to the US government in the hope that its army will hand them back their privileges in Cuba.

In both cases, I think this is a criminal use of a technological instrument that in other circumstances should serve to bring people closer, to sow the seeds of peace. Obviously, this is not in the interest of those who wish to reconquer Cuba. And that’s a phenomenon that we must continue to face and fight.


Is it possible to do something from outside of Cuba?


As in the case of the Cuban Five, I think it’s important for people to inform themselves and not be fooled, to try to learn about Cuba from the Cubans who are here. Not to be influenced by all the campaigns, the lies, the misinformation that — both through social networks and through the hegemonic disinformation media — are disseminated throughout the world. To try to stay informed and spread that information among your friends, your acquaintances, and try to stir worldwide solidarity with the Cuban people, against the criminal policies of the US government.

Let’s not kid ourselves. They want to turn Cuba into a Syria, a Libya, an Iraq, and then come in with all these processes we’ve seen already in which capital returns and supposedly rebuilds the country that they have just destroyed. They want to do the big business that they do everywhere when they arrive with their “humanitarian” interventions, in favor of “democracy,” etc.


What have been the harshest effects of the blockade that you have observed in the last year?


The blockade has been a brutal act of war, intensified over the past four years by the Trump administration. The assault on the Cuban economy has been brutal, even before the pandemic came along. I’ll give some examples.

With the connivance of the Latin American right, specifically the presidents of Brazil and Ecuador, the medical programs that brought several billion dollars a year to enter Cuba were dismantled. That was a brutal economic blow. Then [Trump’s administration] continued to take measures against family remittances. Trump talked a lot about “human rights,” as does Mr Biden and all the others who went before did. They attacked the Cuban family and cut remittances to relatives in Cuba, inflicting another blow to the heart of the Cuban family economy. Further, [foreign-based] Cubans’ trips to Cuba were drastically reduced.

The pandemic added to all this. After the other blows I described, the Cuban economy was counting on tourism, but the pandemic has practically paralyzed the tourism industry and we have had to do without that income, which is what allowed the development of normal life in Cuba.

Under these conditions, the United States has increased its disinformation campaign, its psychological war against Cuba, always with the message that the fault lies with the inefficiency of the Cuban government — that it doesn’t care about its citizens and should be protested against. The result has been that some people have become desperate and have lost their perspective on the real impact that these measures have had on Cuba.

I don’t know the exact figure, but we can speak of several billion dollars that have stopped arriving in Cuba in recent years. Under these conditions, the government has had to deal with the pandemic — and the resources are simply not enough for everything. I wouldn’t venture a comparison with other governments such as Leningrad [in 1941], but the conditions we are experiencing at this time are quite similar.

If we lived in a just world, the Trumps and Bidens would be prosecuted for this criminal policy. It is imposed by the largest political, economic and military power in human history against a country of 11 million inhabitants which gives the rest of the world only solidarity, love, and peace. But our all-powerful neighbors have decided to set us against each other. They continue to dream — as it was set out in the 1980s — that through hunger and despair Cubans will end up desperate and will kneel before the US government.


As a former US political prisoner, what would you say to those who say that Cuba is a dictatorship or a totalitarian regime?


I think that the repression within US society is visible to the whole world. I am amazed when some people take lessons on human rights, on the rule of law, from the US government.

The US government has been repressive from its inception, and that has not changed. That’s not even mentioning the rest of the planet. The US government considers that it has the right to decide that each country must do what suits the US government — and, if not, it will have to face the consequences.

The trail of death that it has left around the world in recent decades just because a government decided not to do what suits US capital is appalling — and that is what they are looking for in Cuba. To speak of repression, and to do so in the name of the US government, is the most blatant cynicism.

I think that has a lot to do with the experience that we [the Cuban Five] had, especially in the legal process to which we were subjected. If the annals of American legal history are studied one day, the trial that we went through would be right up there for its cynicism, for the use of lies, by a government that considers itself the arbiter of human rights and legality around the globe.

We saw things in that trial that you don’t even see in the movies. We saw the prosecutors blatantly lie. Blatantly put people on the stand to lie knowing that everyone knew it was a lie — knowing with tremendous confidence that the jury was going to believe all those lies. We saw the prosecutors blackmail witnesses, threaten them with prosecution if they testified. That is, witnesses that we took to the trial for the defense, witnesses that were given subpoenas according to our right to defense but couldn’t testify because the prosecutor stood with tremendous calm and said that if that person testified, he would prosecute them.

In the trial, we saw the prosecutors threaten an American general that his pension would be taken away if he testified in favor of the defense. We saw all kinds of violations, mockeries of due process. … It had nothing to do with what we see in the movies where the accused has every right to defend himself.

Really, I think the trial taught us to better understand why an individual like Joe Biden, who is painted, presented or sold as liberal and moderate, can stand in front of a camera and say no to reopening family remittances because the Cuban government supposedly going to appropriate them. Why he can then stand before a camera and suddenly offer us vaccines, but insist that an international organization has to come to distribute them among the population because the Cuban government — the only one in Latin America that has created a vaccine — supposedly isn’t going to.

You have to be cynical, you have to be hypocritical, to say such things. I do not know if Biden is a lawyer — he is probably also a lawyer. I think he has learned from the cynicism that colors those who represent that imperialist, criminal, genocidal government. Our experience as political prisoners left a mark on us and quickly taught us to be able to identify such people.

The majority of the Cuban people continue to defend this revolution. I think it is a question of principles and human dignity. There is no reason why we should capitulate: we will continue to defend this revolution. We will have to look inside ourselves, rectify what has to be rectified. But I do not think it is worthy of our history, of our martyrs, of the principles that have inspired this revolution, that we surrender to an empire because it wants to starve us. We will have to look for solutions within ourselves — but surrender is not an option for us.

A Cuban Five Family Reflects on the Death of Fidel [Eng.; Esp.]
worker | December 8, 2016 | 8:31 pm | Cuban Five, Fidel Castro | Comments closed

Ramon Labanino, one of the Cuban Five, and his wife Elizabeth Palmeiro, both close friends of the editors of, were among the first  to react to the death of Fidel Castro.

Fidel, the commander in chief, our leader, our Fidel, has died in Havana this Friday, November 25th. But he enters into eternity.

Today I cry, my family cries, all of Cuba cries for him. We think of Dalia, his long-time spouse and we cry with her and her children. We accompany them in their indescribable grief.

But also we are grateful to have had him for 90 years, because he was our father, guide and inspiration.

Our Fidel stays among us forever, as a symbol of hope, and as a symbol of our belief in a better, future world.

Our revolution became universal thanks to you Fidel and we won all the poor of the earth by having you with us.

We are going to miss Fidel, my commander, and we will always love you, we will always honor you as you deserve the best: defending this, our, your revolution!!!!!

Toward victory forever!!!

The Labanino Palmeiro Family

Translation by Kay Tillow

Fidel, el Comandante en Jefe, nuestro líder, nuestro Fidel, ha muerto en La Habana este viernes 25 de Noviembre. Pero entra en la eternidad.

Hoy lloro, llora mi familia, toda Cuba lo llora. Pensamos en Dalia, su esposa eterna y lloramos con ella y sus hijos. Los acompañamos en su dolor indescriptible.

Pero también agradecemos haberlo tenido por 90 años, porque fue nuestro padre, guía e inspiración.

Nuestro Fidel se queda entre nosotros por siempre, como símbolo de esperanza y convicción de un futuro mundo mejor.

Nuestra Revolución se hizo universal gracias a ti Fidel y ganamos todos los pobres de la tierra al tenerte con nosotros.

Te vamos a extrañar Fidel, mi Comandante, y te vamos a querer siempre, te vamos a homenajear siempre como mejor lo mereces: defendiendo esta, nuestra, tu revolucion !!!!!!
!Hasta La Victoria Siempre !

Fam. Labañino Palmeiro

Cuban Five hailed as heroes in Russia
worker | May 11, 2016 | 9:25 pm | class struggle, Cuba, Cuban Five, political struggle, Russia | Comments closed

Five Cuban spies released by US hailed as heroes in Russia

Tuesday 10 May 2016 17.47 BST Last modified on Tuesday 10 May 2016 17.58 BST

Russia gave a red-carpet reception to five Cuban spies who served long prison terms in the United States, hailing them as heroes “of fortitude and resistance” and stressing its own role in securing their release.

The Cuban Five were convicted of spying on Cuban exiles in Florida at a time when anti-Castro groups were bombing Cuban hotels and staging acts of sabotage meant to destabilise the communist government.

The Cuban president, Raúl Castro, last year named the five spies Heroes of the Republic, the Cuban government’s highest honour, for infiltrating rightwing exile groups that plotted against Havana after a 1959 uprising led by his brother Fidel Castro ousted a pro-US dictator.

The Soviet Union was Cuba’s powerful international patron during the cold war when Havana nationalised US businesses and embraced socialist ideas. Moscow’s economic and military aid dried up after the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991.

“We met earlier with some of your comrades, and I am very glad that now all of you are visiting Moscow,” the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, said as he greeted the five in the foreign ministry’s Stalin-era building in central Moscow.

“We had been consistently pressing [for your release], including in our contacts with the Americans, and we are glad that in the long run our participation in your release turned out to be useful and yielded results,” Lavrov said. He called the five “a symbol of fortitude and resistance”.

On Monday, the group attended a military parade on Red Square to mark the 71st anniversary of Nazi Germany’s defeat by the Soviet Union and were to meet heads of Russia’s parliament and the communist party, Lavrov said.

Following the reversal of US policy towards Cuba under Barack Obama, who called for normalisation of ties, three of the five Cuban spies were freed on 17 December 2014 in an exchange for a Cuban man who had been jailed for nearly 20 years for spying on his own country for the Americans.

That same day Cuba released American aid worker Alan Gross in a humanitarian gesture after he had been held five years for bringing banned telecommunications equipment into Cuba.

The other two Cubans had been released earlier after serving their terms.

Entrevista a Gerardo Hernandez, antiterrorista cubano
worker | January 18, 2016 | 8:21 pm | Cuban Five | Comments closed

Entrevista de Javier Couso a Gerardo Hernandez, miembro de “Los Cincos”
worker | September 22, 2015 | 8:08 pm | Cuba, Cuban Five, political struggle | Comments closed

Friendship Medal Bestowed on Cuban Five activist Walter Tillow
worker | April 22, 2015 | 9:10 pm | Cuba, Cuban Five, political struggle | Comments closed
The decoration awarded by the Council of State of the Republic of Cuba , recognizing the work of Walter Tillow in solidarity with Cuba 
and especially to the cause of the Five
“Everyone knows that the Five are unique individuals, are extraordinary Cubans. They represent the best of Cuban traditions: firmness, courage, nobility of spirit, ” said Walter Tillow Tuesday in Havana on receiving the Medal of Friendship.
The decoration awarded by the Council of State of the Republic of Cuba, recognizes the work of Tillow in solidarity with Cuba and especially to the cause of the Five.
“We are representatives of the hundreds and thousands of Americans willing to help,” he said upon receiving the medal from Hero of the Republic Ramón Labañino.
During the ceremony at the House of Friendship, Labañino stressed efforts Tillow and his wife to stay constantly connected with the Five.
He also stressed his decisive help in caring for their families when they traveled to Kentucky to visit him in prison, and their contribution to the care of relatives also Hero of the Republic Fernando González Llort.
To Labañino, Tillow and his wife are tireless fighters in defense of Cuba.
The award recognizes not only their humanity but that of  the American people. You represent the dream that we have that our  relationship with the U.S. people is one of love and respect, explained Ramon.
Finally, the Hero thanked the help of Tillow on behalf of the families of the Five and the Cuban people.
The ceremony was also attended by the president of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples, Kenia Serrano and Heroes of the Republic, Rene Gonzalez, Gerardo Hernandez and Antonio Guerrero.

Conceden Medalla de la Amistad a reconocido activista por los Cinco

La condecoración otorgada por el Consejo de Es­ta­do de la República de Cuba, reconoce el trabajo de Walter Tillow en la solidaridad con Cuba y en especial con la causa de los Cinco
21 de abril de 2015 23:04:58

El estadounidense Walter Tillow recibió la condecoración de manos de uno de los Héroes. Foto: Ismael Batista

“Todos saben que los Cinco son personas únicas, son cubanos extraordinarios. Ellos representan lo mejor de las tradiciones cubanas: firmeza, coraje, nobleza de espíritu”, dijo este martes el estadounidense Walter Tillow al recibir en La Habana la Me­da­lla de la Amistad.
La condecoración otorgada por el Consejo de Es­ta­do de la República de Cuba, reconoce el trabajo de Tillow en la solidaridad con Cuba y en especial con la causa de los Cinco.
“Somos representantes de los cientos y miles de norteamericanos dispuestos a ayudarlos”, añadió al recibir la medalla de manos del Héroe de la República Ramón Labañino.
Durante la ceremonia realizada en la Casa de la Amistad, Labañino subrayó los esfuerzos de Tillow y su esposa por mantenerse vinculados constantemente con los Cinco.
Asimismo, resaltó su ayuda determinante en la atención a sus familiares cuando viajaban a Ken­tucky para visitarlo en prisión, así como su contribución a la atención de los familiares del también Héroe de la República Fernando González Llort.
Para Labañino, Tillow y su esposa son luchadores incansables en la defensa de Cuba.
La distinción reconoce no solo su humanidad, sino la que tiene el pueblo norteamericano. Ustedes representan el sueño que nosotros tenemos de que las relaciones con este pueblo sean de amor y respeto, detalló Ramón.
Finalmente, el Héroe agradeció la ayuda de Tillow en nombre de la familia de los Cinco y del pueblo cubano.
Al acto asistieron además la presidenta del Instituto Cubano de Amistad con los Pueblos, Kenia Serrano y los Héroes de la República, René González, Gerardo Hernández y Antonio Gue­rrero.

Our delegate, Walter Tillow, was awarded the Medal of Friendship, by the Cuban government for his solidarity with the Cuban 5.  Congratulations Walter!  Link to article below in Spanish.


La política de EEUU, Cuba y la disidencia: ¿aliada o impedimenta?
worker | April 10, 2015 | 10:00 pm | Cuba, Cuban Five, political struggle | Comments closed

Rafael Hernández

Imaginemos a un partido en EEUU que promoviera el cambio hacia un sistema político, económico y social similar al de la República Popular China. Que ese partido, o conglomerado de grupos, carente de un liderazgo estable o definido, de una ideología coherente, salvo oponerse al orden prevaleciente en EEUU y abrazar el modelo de la RPCh, se autodefiniera como la genuina representación de la sociedad norteamericana, aunque no se mostrara capaz de expresar el interés real de ningún sector social en particular. Supongamos que el gobierno chino, como parte de su presupuesto oficial, le otorgara a ese conglomerado cientos de millones de yuanes, para fomentar lo que aquel llamaría un proyecto de “evolución pacífica” hacia un modelo de país que conllevara una relación íntima con China. Finalmente, pongamos por caso que la República Popular estuviera donde hoy queda Canadá, con una población 30 veces mayor y una economía 233 veces más potente que los EEUU, tuviera medio siglo de muy malas relaciones con este país, y que su presidente insistiera en retratarse con el liderazgo de tal conglomerado.

¿Cómo reaccionaría el gobierno de EEUU? ¿Recluiría a este grupo en la base naval de Guantánamo, sin derecho a juicio o protección legal? O más bien, dado que no incita a una rebelión armada, ¿lo trataría como un movimiento pacífico? ¿Tal vez se limitaría a presentarle cargos por colaborar con una potencia extranjera, exponiéndolo apenas a varias cadenas perpetuas? ¿O quizás lo consideraría una oposición legítima, dedicada a ejercer sus derechos civiles, a disentir del orden establecido, a cultivar el librepensamiento y a comportarse como buenos ciudadanos? ¿Defensores de la democracia y el pluralismo, al punto de buscar el diálogo y practicar el respeto hacia los que no comparten sus ideas? ¿Abanderados de la libertad de expresión, mediante medios de difusión no partidistas ni consagrados a negar el sistema, sino a jugar un rol informativo profesional y balanceado? ¿Reconocería entre ellos a líderes políticos e intelectuales, capaces de conducir al país por el camino del desarrollo humano, la independencia, y la democracia ciudadana?

Si se aprecia todo lo anterior, se comprobará que la reacción cubana ante los grupos disidentes no se reduce a simple impulso ideológico, ineptitud para lidiar con el disentimiento o cerrazón mental. Aunque tampoco se podría explicar por la magnitud de amenaza real que estos representan por sí mismos para la seguridad nacional cubana. El problema no son ellos, sino la política norteamericana que los auspicia, enunciada aún hoy como “traer la democracia y los derechos humanos a Cuba”, y dirigida no a objetivos puntuales, a “los Castros” o la “exportación de la revolución”, sino a cambiar el orden social, económico y político del país en el sentido de “promote our values”.

Desde la Brigada 2506 hasta hoy, el exilio político cubano siempre se ha percibido en la isla como una función de la política norteamericana. El 17D demostró que, en materia de política hacia la isla, no es la cola la que mueve al perro, sino que el perro es el que decide en última instancia. La pregunta post-17D, sin embargo, no se reduce a si es válido aplicarle a esa cola los medios con que se enfrenta la subversión, por ejemplo, encerrarlos. Ni si es buena idea hacerlo, para contar con una pieza de cambio a la hora de negociar con el dueño (quien pregunta qué le daremos a cambio de devolver Guantánamo). Ni si resulta conveniente aplicarle todo el peso de la ley, con lo cual se les convierte en víctimas, y con un poco de prensa continental, en héroes. La pregunta actual es si esta disidencia le resulta realmente funcional a la política inaugurada por Obama el 17D.

Esa política está montada sobre otra lógica, que no excluye la presión, la confrontación ideológica o la coacción, pero sí las articula de otra manera, tomando al diálogo y la negociación como ejes. La prensa en la isla repite sin descanso que EEUU no ha renunciado a sus objetivos, remachándoles a los cubanos una verdad obvia: no deben confiarse de ese poderoso vecino, que sigue tan imperialista como siempre, y solo ha “cambiado los medios”. Ahora bien, si se toma al pie de la letra esto de “los medios” cambiados, la nueva política contiene implicaciones de mayor escala.

En efecto, como alternativa a medio siglo de fuerza bruta ineficaz, la formulación estratégica del 17D se dirige a abrir una carretera que comunique con el corazón del sistema político cubano. De influir, por ejemplo, sobre los jóvenes, pero sin limitarse a las bandas de rock o a los grupos de hip hop, sino llegando al liderazgo de los gobiernos y direcciones provinciales del Partido Comunista, las fuerzas armadas y la seguridad, la tecnocracia y las instituciones científicas, educativas, culturales. De comunicarse con la economía naciente de las reformas de Raúl Castro, pero no con empleados de paladares y agromercados, sino con la ancha capa de empresarios al mando del nuevo sector público, ansiosos de conseguir la eficiencia en la producción y los negocios. De alcanzar a los miles de comunicadores sociales y periodistas, más conocedores de internet de lo que se dice por ahí, quienes se quejan con razón por la falta de acceso a la banda ancha y el free wifi, mientras algunos quizás admiran en privado a CNN.

¿Se encuentra el acceso a esta carretera en manos de los opositores a la normalización que integran estos grupos? ¿Son los socios de los congresistas cubano-americanos, famosos en EEUU por su catadura ultraconservadora, y padrinos de la disidencia en la isla, el puente entre los emprendedores cubanos de ambas orillas? ¿O las damas que dejan colgada de la brocha de la mediación a la propia iglesia católica? Por muy despistados sobre la sociedad civil y la política cubana que sigan estando, resulta increíble que los asesores del presidente de EEUU consideren emisarios viables de la democracia y la libertad en la isla a la delegación de provocadores profesionales que descendió sobre Panamá en el entorno de la Cumbre de las Américas.

No hay que olvidar, sin embargo, que la política, en buena medida, es un extraño gran teatro. Solía decir Martí que en esa puesta en escena, lo más real es lo que no se ve. No en balde un antiguo jefe de la Sección de Intereses, en la intimidad de un informe al Departamento de Estado, comentaba que “there are few if any dissidents who have a political vision that could be applied to future governance……it is unlikely that they will play any significant role in whatever government succeeds the Castro brothers.”

No sería esta la primera vez que sus caminos, lo del gobierno norteamericano y esta peculiar oposición cubana, se bifurcan. Todavía caliente la Crisis de los Misiles, Jacqueline Kennedy recibiría la bandera de la Brigada 2506, prometiéndole que se las devolvería cuando entraran triunfalmente en una “free Havana”. Más de 52 años después del discurso de Jacqueline en el estadio Orange Bowl, los descendientes de aquellos brigadistas, junto a otros cubano-americanos estimados en casi 400 mil el año pasado, han seguido llegando a la isla–aunque no precisamente en son de guerra. A esos cubanos comunes, de dentro y de afuera, no les interesan las banderas, sino el camino del reencuentro, que la promesa de la normalización ha abierto.

La Habana, 10 de abril de 2015.