The following post was written by Kikita.
My whole life I've grown up hearing the songs about how beautiful Cuba is. I've seen the paintings. I know Cuba is beautiful. I've always known.
"Pearl of the Antilles"
"La Reina de la Mar Caribe"
"Cuba Linda de mi vida"
Despite constantly hearing it growing up, something happened when I was actually there, standing in front of things I'd seen and heard of my whole life.
I found myself constantly in awe. It really was beautiful.
Looking out at the ocean . . .
or Havana . . .
or just pine trees . . .
or the Malecón . . .
or hills . . .
or El Cristo . . .
or even a sunset . . .
I wanted to dance. I wanted to sing. I wanted to paint. I wanted to write.
I wanted to drink it in forever.
Every song about Cuba and it's beauty became instantly more meaninful to me once I had seen it with my own eyes.
Now as I listen to these songs that made me smile as I grew up, I want to cry. They are inspiring a fresh sense of loss. A new understanding of how painful this exile is. They are bittersweet. They celebrate the beauty of Cuba while mourning its loss.
And I now feel more fiercely than ever the desire to see freedom for my people.
Here at MBFCF we try to stay focused on family and Cuban-American life. We try not to get too political, but we definitely do not keep our positions and beliefs a secret. If you've been reading for any amount of time, then I'm sure you know where we stand. That being said, it would be impossible to keep politics completely separate from a Cuban-American family, because it was politics that originally ripped our families apart.
Seven years ago, Mami, Adam, and I were planning to take a missions trip to Cuba with our local church. We were getting all of the paperwork ready to go when something happened to change Mami's mind. The (c)astro government was arresting political dissidents in a crackdown that would come to be known as "La Primavera Negra" (The Black Spring). The political unrest on the island worried Mami to the point that she changed her mind about going and we went to Miami instead. (Hey, I'm not going to complain, we had a fabulous time, but that's not important right now.)
During the crackdown, that began on March 18th and lasted two days, there were 75 dissidents (SEVENTY-FIVE!!) arrested. They ranged from journalists to librarians to human rights activists. Some have been paroled. Most remain in prison. Our good friend, Marc Masferrer, at Uncommon Sense has the whole story.
Tomorrow, seven years after we canceled our original trip to Cuba and now immediately following my return from the island, Mami and I will be attending a private screening of a documentary titled "Oscar's Cuba."
A brave film-maker by the name of Jordan Allot was in Cuba working on another project when he heard about Dr. Oscar Elías Biscet González. Jordan then took it upon himself to expose the truth about Dr. Biscet's reality. Dr. Oscar Elías Biscet González is a Cuban dissident who had served a 3 year prison sentence, was released, and was re-arrested about one month later during the Black Spring and then sentenced to 25 years.
His crime? Exposing the horrendous communist government practices of: slaughtering newborns and forcing abortions on women with problematic pregnancies.
To read a review of the film, you can click here.
If you'd like more information about the film itself, you can find it at www.oscarscuba.com.
Here in the U.S. we have the liberty to freely speak our minds. That is completely intolerable to the current Cuban government. And so they round up the free-thinkers. They imprison, beat and torture those who dare to disagree.
But there is movement in Cuba of political dissidents and it's growing each day. Those of us who are free and believe in human rights would do well to support those who are not free and whose basic human rights get routinely trampled on.
If you have an extra $10, please donate it to support this documentary. It's a small price to pay to further the cause of freedom and human rights.
If you do NOT have an extra $10, please, just get involved. Get the word out. Any way that you can.
There is a glimmer of hope. Let us feed the flame.