The Cuban Revolution: An Ex-Cuban Factory
Cuban propagandist declares exiled Cuban athletes to be “ex-cubans.”
Dictators always need an outside enemy, an imminent but eternal threat, an “other” against whom no tolerance or reconciliation is conceivable.
- Is it worth-while to focus on the last images and letters coming from the inside of the last living utopia on Earth? Is Cuba by now a contemporary country or just another old-fashioned delusion in the middle of Nowhere-America? A Cold-War Northtalgia maybe? Can we expect a young Rewwwolution.cu within that Ancien Régime still known as The Revolution? I would like to provoke more questions than answers.
- Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo was born in Havana City and still resides and resists there, working as a free-lance writer, photographer and blogger. He is the author of Boring Home (2009) and is the editor of the independent opinion and literary e-zine Voces.
This external super-enemy is an effective source of legitimacy. Thanks to this invading super-danger, dictators can act with impunity to the point of brutality since they are being “threatened” or “blockaded” by a nation that holds more power than their “poor country.” Thus they automatically become the victims, when in fact they are the worst persecutors of their own nation.
Dictators need, in addition, an inside enemy, a local conspiracy, one that is recyclable and complicit with those from overseas who “oppose the people’s peace and happiness,” and blah blah blah.
This internal super-traitor is another effective source of sovereignty. Thanks to this super-agent who has “sold out to foreign interests,” dictators can viciously oppress their compatriots, stripping them of all fundamental freedoms for the sake of despotic unity. With a war-like climate, they hold hostage the sovereignty of the nation that they tyrannize.
Castro’s Cuba has been this way permanently since January of 1959, with both its Soviet solvency and its third-world—or perhaps thirteenth-world—shortages. Today’s post-Castro Cuba is still 1959% the same. We are a country without citizens, where our rights depend solely on our loyalty to the fossilized phantom of Fidel, where even the geography is repressive, and where even “Cubanness” itself depends on dictatorial will.
In fact, in the middle of August this year, Randy Alonso, the official spokesperson of Mesa Redonda (Round Table), a news analysis talk show on the state TV network—the only network that exists and is legal in Cuba—summed up this apartheid in a cynically masterful fashion. In this regard, we Cubans ought to be grateful for the radical sincerity of his harsh remarks. Referring to recently exiled Cuban athletes who competed for another country in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Alonso accused them of being something unequivocally exact: ex-Cubans.
What he means is that any Cuban who emigrates from the Cuban Revolution is also emigrating from his or her identity. To flee the Castro regime is to renounce the unrenounceable. To negate the dictatorship is to deny oneself, to deny our roots of Marxist misery and mendacity, made up like the ultimate proletarian utopia (alongside North Korea, of course). To depart is to fade away. To leave is to be lost. There is no true life anywhere but beneath the barbaric boot of Caribbean Castroism. Slaves to island socialism should be grateful that they will forever be the guinea pigs of the international left and of European and North American academia.
“Ex-Cubans” is what Randy Alonso calls us Castro-free Cubans—whether on or off the island. And for the first time in the history of Cuban television, this media puppet is entirely correct. If to be “Cuban” is to be Castroist, then we Cubans want nothing more than to stop being Cubans.
It is far better to survive as ex-Cubans than to perish as ex-clavos (slaves).
Randy Alonso’s Twitter account.
Randy Alonso uses the term “ex-Cubans” to refer to all Cuban athletes recently forced into exile from the island who competed in other countries’ 2016 Rio Olympics delegations: