As I write this in my warm Brooklyn apartment with my biggest concerns for the day being how I’m going to get to navigate through the five different places I have to be at today—I think about Guillermo Fariñas.
I have long surrendered the idea of returning to Cuba and seeing any of beautiful Havana’s architecture intact. Becoming too aware of the logistics of disrepair, Cuba has become an island made of merengue, slowly and surely disintegrating…but I never ever lost faith in its people. The one thing that I knew I would eventually return to was a populous ready to meet every challenge, hungry for freedom and resourceful enough to turn the page on one of the most brutal times in our history.
But now, even that seems impossible. Not because of their will, but because they too are disappearing. Our modern day Maceo’s, Marti’s and Elena Meredos’s are vanishing before our eyes; wasting away while undergoing hunger strikes in desperate, last pleas for attention. We are a much maligned and often misunderstood people, but how much longer can we wait for the world to take notice? How can we let another one or our warriors die-needlessly and isolated?
Now is the time for us to join forces and support the dissidence in Cuba with all the resources and energy we can gather. The tsunami of repression the Castro brothers are enacting tell me how desperate they are…we have much more power than we think—if we can mange to focus our efforts.
What can you do? Write a letter to Las Damas de Blanco letting them know they are not alone. Donate to Yoani Sanchez so that she can continue to get our truth out. Send your old cell phones to Raices de Esperanza making it easier for Cubans to technologically unite. Encourage your favorite Cuban organization to join forces creating one organization that tells the world ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
Fidel Castro is the luckiest dictator in western hemisphere—not because of his own ingenuity-but because Cuba is an island—and his power lies in its isolation. We can overcome that barrier in the 21st century. And we must act now before Cuba and everybody in it, that ever was or will ever be, disappears into the ether.
Carmen Peláez was born in Miami to Cuban parents. She is a playwright and actor residing in Brooklyn, New York.