On the 20th anniversary of the Free Cuba Foundation, Neri Ann Martinez has written a heartfelt and important reflection on her tenure as chair of the organization from 2001 to 2005. In it she addresses perhaps the greatest predicament that relates to Cuba — the success of the deceitful propaganda efforts from those in control of the country.
The truth can sometimes be a burdensome thing. I believe that apathy in the human condition is prevalent because, the more we know, the more responsible we become with the information we’ve obtained. Within the island and outside of it, the realities of the plight of the Cuban people can become too much to bear, impossible to believe, and enormously in contrast with the propaganda fed to us. It is however, imperative, that within our own capacity to do so, we bring to light these aspects of darkness and expose the ugliness that controls such a beautiful place. My own perspective from outside the island humbly reminds me that while Cuba is not my home, and no longer my identity, this is not the case for 11 million Cubans. . . .
Although it has been eight years since I led the Free Cuba Foundation and at least three since I have lived in Miami, where the organization is based, the issues of Cuba continue to haunt my consciousness.