Australia and Cuba: two very different models
My Weekly Denunciation of Castro’s DictatorshipIn the early days of May 2015, a festival of Afro-Cuban and electronic music called “Manana” took place at the Heredia Theatre in Santiago de Cuba, the second-largest city in our country. The young urban music singer Ricardo Casamayor invited to the headquarters of our organisation, the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), a young Australian woman, who visited our island to participate in the festival.
The sympathetic Australian, like many other citizens of the democratic world that are influenced by the cunning and deceitful propaganda of the Castro brothers’ dictatorship, had a favourable opinion of the socio-political model that is the reason that our people suffer. We had a very friendly chat. Our guest from Australia outlined what she considered to be positive in the Cuban system and what she regarded as a negative in her land. I replied describing a sad reality of life in our society and explained that the Australian model has advantage over the political order that the dictator Fidel Castro imposed on us.
The young woman from the sixth largest country in the world, which was in second place last year in the UN Human Development Index, praised the education, the health system and the culture of Cuba. We found her view understandable considering that she had been watching our reality from 15,000 kilometres away and through the prism of the Castro-communist misinformation. I showed her several videos and gave her arguments on a real situation in the education, health, and culture of our country. I explained that Cuban people pay the high cost for these presumed social benefits with lack of personal liberties and life in the deepest misery. In Australia no one is deprived of their fundamental freedoms.
She insisted that her country suffers many problems. It is worthy to mention that Australia is one of the most free and most prosperous economies on Earth. It is also one of the countries with the highest quality of life.
I am moved to know there are so many caring Australians, who express solidarity with Cuba, a country where people are still facing a one-party Stalinist regime that violates personal, political, social and cultural rights of human person.
She told us about the discrimination suffered by the indigenous Australians. I replied it is impossible to find a perfect society, and that Australia’s problems are minor in comparison to ours. Above all Australian a free society and has a better problem-solving capacity than Cubans. In Cuba, we suffer severe discrimination for political reasons and on the grounds of race and religion. In our country a problem of inequality is enormous. Only very few enjoy a privilege to do everything they want and the rest of the country is barely able to feed themselves.
I asked our visitor where she would prefer to live in Communist China or Japan? In Vietnam or New Zealand? In North Korea or South Korea? She always chose the state with a democratic political system. I explained the differences between democracy and a single-party system that freedom of speech and the rights of press, association, assembly and peaceful demonstration are not respected.
I observed talking to our guest that if all Cubans tired of oppression and misery were given the opportunity to move to Australia, then it would add more than five million new inhabitants to her country. I suggested that should the Australian indigenous people that suffer discrimination, in her opinion, come to live in Cuba, they would surely returned to their homeland in a few days. They would escape even in a boat of the rustic rafts that my fellow citizens use to flee a country that was once one of the most prosperous and free in the American continent.
Our conversation continued in amicable and respectful atmosphere. But, our visitor was no longer praising the most opprobrious regime that any American nation has ever suffered. I told her about the UNPACU and our peaceful struggle for freedom, democracy and the welfare of the Cuban people. I told her in details about activists imprisoned for promoting and defending human rights. I described the horrors that I experienced and witness as a political prisoner: the beatings, assaults, and robberies inflicted by the authorities on the dissent. I explained her with the compelling arguments that contrary to a popular conviction there is no openness in the Cuban government policy. I presented a case for democratic model contrasting it with the dictatorship.
Eventually, the young Australian woman asked how she could help us in our struggle. This is always the case when it comes to sincere people; and undoubtedly she is one of them. No reasonable and honest person would wish for their country, or other people in the world, a political model where only one man decides for all, owns everything, oppresses and exploits everybody, and imprisons, persecutes and tortures those with different viewpoints.Here, I want to take an opportunity to express mine and my fellow freedom fighters sincere appreciation to that young Australian lady for her visit and her continued solidarity. Although she lives far from our land nevertheless I am sure that she gladly join the campaign “My Weekly Denunciation against Castro’s Dictatorship”, that Perth Herald Tribune launched to raise awareness of the Cuban situation worldwide.
I am moved knowing that many caring Australians express solidarity with Cuba, the American nation that is still facing a one-party Stalinist regime that violates personal, political, social and cultural rights of human person.
Let me express my deepest appreciation to all Australians who believe that Cubans have the right to live in a democracy. Thank you very much for hosting many Cuban political exiles in your land.
Jose Daniel Ferrer, Cuban dissident, a prisoner of conscience, human rights defender. Founder and General Coordinator of the UNPACU, the Cuban Patriotic Union, the largest opposition movement of Cubans in Cuba. In 2009 he was awarded with the Democracy Award of the US National Endowment for Democracy.
A member of the Christian Liberation Movement (MCL) founded by Oswaldo Payá. From 2003 to 2011 he was imprisoned by the Castro regime for his involvement in the dissident movement. His wife is a member of Damas de Blanco, Ladies in White, a group of wives of political prisoners protesting every Sunday for their release.
In solidarity with Cuban freedom fighters
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