We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity
There is no forgiveness for acts of hatred. Daggers thrust in the name
of liberty are thrust into liberty's heart.
In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of
wrongful deeds. Let us not seek our thirst for freedom by drinking
from the cup of bitterness and hatred.
Jose Marti and Martin Luther King Jr. both are rooted in the same theological non-ideological tradition. This tradition is found in the teachings found in the Gospel's of the New Testament. This is not a foreign ideology, but is at the heart of the Cuban national soul. Father Felix Varela whose teachings were at the root of the movements to abolish slavery and seek independence in Cuba forged this system of thought into our national soul. It is when we have forgotten these teachings that we have damaged our nation, and lost our freedom.
"Now more than ever we need temples of love and humanity that free everything that is generous in man and bind everything that is crude and low in him." Fidel Castro has created and maintains a system which derives it's strength from hatred, betrayal, fear, and a mythology of invulnerability. He has imprisoned tens of thousands and executed as many. Until the totalitarian system is destroyed we will never have a full accounting of those who were executed, dissappeared, or imprisoned.
The Cuban nation, in Cuba and in Exile, has been scarred and wounded at a spiritual level, and all too often at a literal material level. Meeting former political prisoners with the marks of torture: gunshot scars, missing limbs, and the look in their eyes of those who have glimpsed Hell in Castro's dungeons has touched me profoundly. Listening to the family members who have lost loved ones: sons, daughters brothers,sisters,wives, husbands, mothers and fathers to the barbarous tyranny in Cuba has impacted me just as powerfully. Yet, Marti stated over a century ago "Every person is obliged to overcome his bitterness."
When we let hate overtake us, and limit the freedoms of others we disagree with; we are helping Fidel Castro. He has survived for 37 years because of the hatred and distrust he has bred in Cuba and in the Exile, dividing us against ourselves and leaving us with a sense that his rule, until his natural death, is inevitable. Our hatred - entirely justified- handicaps us in our struggle against Castro and betrays the spirit of Marti's writings, not to mention King's. Looking through the literature I was shocked to see how King and Marti complement each other. They are both rooted in Christ's teachings: Turn the other cheek, Love thy enemy, and the Truth shall make you free. This is not a foreign ideology this is Christianity at its root commandment: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It may be foreign to Fidel Castro, and to the Communists because they're athiests. But it should not be foreign to the Exile.
This philosophy is not foreign, but it has not been put into practice in Cuba's history. We are now paying the price for the legacies of violence, envy, and division going back over a century. We must begin our struggle with Castro by changing our own hearts and looking to the future of the Cuban nation, and not to the poisonous hatreds of the past. Many more of us will have to sacrifice, and some of us will have to make the ultimate sacrifice if Cuba is to be free. Ours is the revolution against Revolutions. It is the one in which those who embrace peace shall rise up and become soldiers. Ours is the last essential and legitimate war: A war against hatred. "With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day. "
"To merely talk about liberty, to demand rights without preparing for them or protecting them in practice, is like venturing into a briar patch to throw stones at feathers." Martin Luther King's movement in the 1950s and 1960s embodied Marti's thought in creating a permanent struggle for freedom. "It is not enough to come to the defense of freedom with epic and intermittent efforts when it is threatened at moments of crisis. Every moment is critical for the preservation of freedom." We must learn from those who have successfully struggled for change in the system of the most powerful nation on earth. They have much to teach, and we have much to learn.
We wish to build a permanent mass opposition movement to the totalitarian system in Cuba. Our goal is to target the regime's weak spots, and bring it down. This struggle will take years; perhaps decades. If we are to accomplish this, then we must base this struggle in our love for the Cuban nation not our hatred for Fidel Castro. Hate weakens us, and drains us, because our cause is for justice not egoism. If we are able to overcome our bitterness, then we will be stronger in our struggle for a free and democratic Cuba. "The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges." Martin Luther King Jr. said that over 30 years ago and we repeat his words today with reference to Cuba.