Reinaldo Arenas was not the first to denounce Fidel Castro’s regime. But when his appalling testimony came to light in 1990, it was fair to assume that nobody would go to Cuba to whitewash the crimes of the regime.
Arenas’ book Before Night Falls had greatly impacted me. I had already heard and read a lot about the horrors of Castro’s Cuba. Despite the inherent secrecy of totalitarian systems, there was no doubt that Fidel had managed to build what was perhaps the largest concentration camp in human history. But Arenas, with his extremely sensitive and stark writing, managed to depict Castro’s hell.
Death, persecution, and misery. Torture and humiliation. That is the day-to-day life of dissidents in Havana. Nothing has changed since then.
The extraordinary thing is that Arenas’ testimony was published only a few months after an entire intellectual group in Venezuela signed a very sad manifesto to welcome Fidel Castro. More than 900 educated and intelligent people – those who proudly called themselves “intellectuals” – said that Fidel had restored “dignity to his people and, consequently, to all of Latin America.”
I am not bringing up this story of those who signed this manifesto (the irresponsible ones who, by the way, never asked for forgiveness) merely to start a rift. I want to emphasize that while on the one hand, Cubans in exile were talking about the horrors of the Castro regime, there were those who were drooling anytime someone mentioned Fidel Castro. That is a miserable state of things.
Today the same thing happens, and one only wonders how long will the cover-up for Cuba continue? And today, for God’s sake, Raul Castro’s regime has confessed that it is the greatest enemy of freedom and democracy in the Americas and is also driving bloodthirsty movements across the continent. When it has been more than revealed, declared, unveiled, explained, denounced, informed, betrayed, and warned that the support for the assassins in Caracas, the coup plotters of Santiago, La Paz, and Quito; the insurgents (also assassins) of Colombia are coming out of Havana.
The Secretary-General of the Organization of American States has said that there is an army of Cuban occupation in Venezuela. In Bogota, they are calling for the government of Ivan Duque to cut off ties with Cuba. The United States has threated to harden the sanctions on Cuba. Meanwhile, some ignoble Europeans come to the island like madmen to oversee the whitewashing of the dictatorship.
Earlier, I would have written that Federica Mogherini was the representative of these European socialist idiots, who so enjoy seeing through glass how in the Caribbean, human beings -which they apparently see as rodents- are tested with that ideology of death. However, the Spanish government is not lagging, and it was not enough for Sanchez to be the first Spanish president to visit the island in I don’t know how many years. Now, in his eagerness to destroy everything and be a friend of the bad guys, he sent the monarchs to stroll through the decorated streets of Havana – staged as if it were a play.
They say that the monarchs could do nothing, and it is a pity that the pleas, like this one of the splendid Zoe Valdes, were ignored. But already the portrait, quite infamous and difficult to digest, is rolling. The monarchs, Don Felipe and Doña Letizia, posing in the Revolution Square. The well-thought-out background on which the faces of Che Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos stand out.
I don’t care if Don Felipe had a nauseous face the whole visit. The photo makes me nauseous. Because while the royals shook hands – soaked in blood, by the way – on the island, the Cuban regime continued to repress and harass dissenters. In the Americas, the eugenic projects of the Castro family persisted, demolishing individuals, and their souls.
Nothing has changed. In February 1989, a bunch of irresponsible and mediocre people signed a flattering and corny welcome letter to Fidel. Meanwhile, in New York, a Cuban novelist recounted the tortures and persecution he suffered as a gay man and opponent of the Castro regime. And one keeps asking oneself: how long will the cover-up continue? I dream of the day when no one dares to see the insolence of whitewashing the criminals who live like Gods in Havana.