Monday, October 29, 2007

Presidential Medal of Freedom Winner and a Great Man

The blogosphere is abuzz with the award of the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet who is at this very moment languishing in a Cuban jail for the crime of wanting to be free. Some think the awarding of the medal might prove life-threatening to Dr. Biscet. I can only pray that the increased notoriety might have the opposite effect, lend him some of the cover that others have gained by being given publicity.

It came at an opportune time for me, because I had lost heart. In all sorts of outlets, the accusatory, disembodied voices of Cuba "experts" and the MSM were telling us how out of touch and basically rotten Cuban exiles are. In the various Cuban/American outlets any view but their own was characterized as imbecility, cooperation with the regime, or heartlessness. It seems that as a community we are unable to accept that we all want the same thing, that it is possible for people of good faith to differ on methods, that there might be some other way than our own.

Then the news, how refreshing to remember the words of Dr. Biscet in an earlier letter. The boldface is mine.

To my fellow Cubans, wherever you find yourselves, whether in our enslaved island, or in exile in any part of the world. I include also those descendants of Cubans born in other lands. To all of you I send my warmest and sincere greetings.

Our efforts to achieve the unconditional liberty of our nation will soon become reality. I do not need to reveal details to communicate what among Cubans is common knowledge. We suffer not from division or fragmentation in our principles, but rather in which methods to use. We do not lack unity in ideals, but only in the methods to be applied to obtain our liberty. Unfortunately, these insignificant differences of opinion have given room for division among exile leaders and dissidents inside Cuba. These differences have given oxygen to the flames of the most recent and dangerous obstacle that we confront.

As the old Irish Prayer goes, "May God hold you in the palm of his hand," Dr. Biscet.

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