Op-Ed: In A Nation Deprived and Starved of Optimism, There is Hope
Washington, October 13, 2021
Title: Cuba: In A Nation Deprived & Starved of Optimism, There is Hope
Author: Representative Byron Donalds
In reverence of Nelson Mandela, “The walk to freedom is never easy”; for there will be struggle, there will be difficulty, and there will be sacrifice, but the hope of a democratic and free society must never be extinguished.
Despite the darkness and evils of communism, the courageous souls bravely and peacefully uniting to reclaim their liberation and independence from an oppressive and murderous dictatorship serve as an inspiration to millions across the globe. At the risk of political persecution and torture, the Cuban protestors are sending a message loud and clear to the rest of the world: The dream of liberty is worth the sacrifice and is worth the fight.
The Cuban people have faced unjust state-sponsored violence at the hands of a cruel and corrupt tyrannical Cuban regime for more than half a century. The failing economic state, food shortages, inhumane living conditions, and humanitarian crisis that the Cuban people are living through is a heartbreaking tragedy.
A once lively and prosperous nation, Cuba was a destination spot highly regarded for its luxury, glitz, and glamour. Today, the nation just 90 miles off the coast of Florida has become stuck in the 1950s- a nation frozen in time. Communism brought a developing and economically booming country to its knees, halting all progress, development, and opportunity.
While his people lived without access to clean drinking water, waited in bread lines, and suffered due to a lack of employment opportunities, Fidel Castro lived lavishly, made millions, and his army of thugs lived like kings as they seized absolute power—that is the consequence of communism.
More than half a century after the revolution led by Fidel Castro, another revolution is brewing. A new kind of revolution, one that demands the freedom Castro promised to the people—but never allowed. Cubans are uniting against a regime that has only brought them pain and suffering; they are demanding liberty, and they are demanding the world take notice.
After being forced into silence for six decades, the Cuban people are no longer remaining docile; they are reclaiming the power of their voice and taking their message to the streets of Havana. Knowing they can potentially fall victim to political persecution, they are no longer allowing fear to hinder their resolve.
Children who have only known poverty and hunger, elderly who hold on to the memories of their home once being a free nation, and those bravely leading a once in a generation revolution – as Americans, we cannot abandon these souls as they desperately seek liberation. As the true beacon of liberty and freedom across the globe, it is our moral obligation to ensure the voices of the Cuban people are not forgotten, weakened, or diminished.
Across our state, and even across the nation, Cubans and supporters of their call for democracy are taking action, ensuring that this rekindled flame of freedom doesn’t burn out. The outpouring support for Cuba’s liberation is the spirit of the human race. The amplification of the humanitarian crisis occurring in Cuba is bringing to light the suffering of the Cuban people and is no longer able to be ignored. And with that, in a nation so deprived and starved of optimism, there is hope.
In their determination, their courage, and in their bravery, it is clear that despite being subjected to living under the Castro brothers’ merciless rule for decades, the spirit of the Cuban people may have been tested, but it is yet to be broken.
They are living proof that where there is hope for freedom, there is life. To the brave Cubans chanting ‘Libertad!”: the world hears you, we see you, and we support you. I ask that you continue to sing your song, for you are not alone – millions are echoing your demand for freedom.