If hate was the solution to all our problems than the victors of this century would have been men like: Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot. Instead they are viewed in most quarters as mass murderers and criminals except for those who are blinded by their "relentless hatred" of their fellow man. History has demonstrated two fundamental approaches to change the face of the world. One way views hatred as an element of the struggle and has been the way for such leaders as: Lenin, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and Fidel Castro.
The second way is an alternative to harnessing hatred, and tragically it is the road less traveled. It is the path blazed with the words of Jesus Christ who said, "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you." This path has and continues to be followed by men of such diverse backgrounds as Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Lech Walesa, and Vaclav Havel. These men have demonstrated that hatred is something to be overcome, not an "element of struggle," but rather a stumbling block to freedom.
Ours is a battle both of the soul and the material realm. Our enemy is hatred. We have good reason to hate Fidel Castro and his co-conspirators. They have imprisoned tens of thousands of prisoners of conscience, attempted to brainwash a generation, enslaved the Cuban people in a retro-feudal state Castroism created, they have divided families, made political ideology a litmus test for patriotism, created an exile that comprises nearly 20% of the Cuban population,and murdered thousands.
To defeat despotism, we must conquer and destroy our own hatred. We must reject Che Guevara's argument that hatred is good because it, "transforms us into effective, violent, selective, and cold killing machines." We must act not out of hatred for Castro,but out of love for the Cuban people. This should be what drives our purpose and our strategies to bring liberty and justice to the Cuban nation. We will not compromise with evil. We will overcome it. We will exercise our fundamental rights as Cubans and as human beings to be free and moral beings. If they wish to butcher us or imprison us, then it is they who are at fault. If we are to die for the cause of freedom while exercising our God given rights, then we have done nothing wrong.
On July 13, 1994 Castro's agents attacked a tug-boat full of women and children trying to head for sanctuary in a foreign land. They were met by tugs who used high pressure hoses to knock these refugees overboard into the sea, and later these agents rammed the boat drowning 41 passengers. 21 of which were women and children.
One year later on July 13, 1995 Cuban exiles traveled in a flotilla into Cuban waters to honor those who had been massacred a year earlier seeking freedom. We were met by military gunboats, military helicopters, and military jets. We came bearing white roses and a priest to pray over the watery grave of the victims. As we exercised our fundamental right to enter and exit our national territory, the lead ship, Democracia, was rammed, and exiles seriously injured. The exile's response to the military personnel was "brothers, please don't do this."
On October 10, 1995 the Cuban Council "Concilio Cubano" was born, a coalition of civic, political, labor, and human rights organizations joined together in the rebirth of Cuba's civil and moral society. 130 opposition groups joined together on the following mutual points of agreement: respect for human rights, amnesty for all political prisoners, and the re-establishment of the rule of for all Cubans inside and outside of Cuba. The Cuban Council requested permission to hold a national convention on Feb. 24, 1996. Castro could not allow such a coalition to exist because it is a mortal threat to him. This Council looks to the future of the Cuban nation, and charts a course away from the culture of hatred, death, and disaster Castro has brought to the island.
On February 24, 1996 when Concilio Cubano was to meet; Cuba's secret police continued the sweep started weeks earlier to crush the coalition, and Cuban MiGs killed four men who at the time were engaged in a search and rescue mission for Cuban rafters in the Florida Straits. One of these men, Armando Alejandre Jr. was a member of the Committee in support of the Cuban Council in Miami. He was also a 1988 graduate of Florida International University.
How has the exile responded to these outrages: with prayer, sadness for those who have lost loved ones, a renewed call to non-violent confrontation, and finally with another flotilla to honor those who perished at the hands of a tyranny driven by hate.
Che's legacy in Cuba is one neighbor spying on another, high suicide rates, and a generation of young Cubans risking their lives on rafts in the Florida Straits rather than continue to live under a despotic government. A people cannot prosper in a regime founded and based in hatred. We must transcend hate, and we must overcome evil for Cuba to be free.
By John Suarez