20 May 2007

El Viente de Mayo

Although not as well known as Cinco de Mayo, Viente de Mayo is an important date- it is the anniversary of Cuba's independence from Spain. As you can see on my sidebar, I have a Cuban flag. My heritage on my mother's side is Cuban, and I have included the inscription, "Esperando la libertad," which means "Waiting for freedom."

El Diario de las Américas (a Spanish-language newspaper based in Miami) commemorated this day in an editorial. You can read it here (in Spanish) and I wanted to relay an excerpt:

Qué doloroso es para los cubanos llegar a otro 20 de mayo con su patria esclavizada, cuando normalmente debería celebrarse el ciento cinco aniversario de la proclamación de su independencia ejerciendo la libertad republicana. El primero de enero de 1959, se diera cuenta mucha gente o no de que se había hundido la libertad de Cuba en el mar de la tiranía comunista, esa patria dejó de ser república. En la actualidad, pues, ese pueblo que Martí soñó para la libertad, por cuya causa murió en el combate de Dos Ríos, recién iniciada la guerra, lleva ya casi cuarenta y ocho años de no tener libertad ni independencia. Lleva ya casi cuarenta y ocho años de no ser república, ni cosa por el estilo.

A quick synopsis for English-speakers: It is sorrowful for Cubans to come to another May 20th with their homeland enslaved. It should be celebrated as the 105th anniversary of her independence but in 1959 it stopped being a republic and fell under communist tyranny. Almost 48 years have passed with liberty or independence.

That is far too long, and the continued sorry state of the Cuban people is due in no small measure to the deference leftists have shown to Castro's communism. Hailed early on as a hero, to this day you find intellectuals that defend his sorry government, despite incontrovertible evidence that Cuba is not free.

Now we find ourselves facing a similar danger in the form of Venezuelan despot Hugo Chavez. Again, leftists defend him, even treat him with respect. I received a comment on my blog the other day from someone named Julia_1984. She wrote:

I was impressed when I read the list about things cubans cannot do and find that some of them, are starting to happen (in a lower way, still) here in my country. And there's still some left intellectuals saying that the US media over reacts...

She has a blog where she talks about what is going on in her country today. I encourage you to visit it. We have been given a gift in this country. We are free. I have always believed it is our duty to bring that freedom to other people. This reminder is my small effort in that struggle. Don't allow the blessing of your birth to cause you to forget those who were not as fortunate.

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