Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Berlin Wall

Yesterday was a day of celebration in Europe, and in many parts of the world: it marked the 20 Anniversary since Berlin Wall’s fall. In Germany, the three leaders at the center of the storm praised the people of Berlin: George Bush senior, Helmut Kohl and Mikhail Gorbachev.

Especially remarkable was the German Chancellor Angela Merkel when addressing to Gorbachev said: You made this possible. Today, all the media around the world is fussing about the events and the words of Merkel, with the also remarkable exception of Cuba.

You won’t find a word about such extraordinary celebrations in any of the official media in Havana. It looks like Cuba doesn’t have to celebrate the freedom of the people of Germany, or maybe it is too dangerous for the authorities of the island the simple fact that any wall could be collapsed sooner or later. Especially when we have our inner hiding wall.

In 1959, the people of Cuba also celebrated the triumph of the revolution. They didn’t have to bring down any wall, but they were full of enthusiasm and joy for their future under the new heroes from Sierra Maestra. 50 years later, it is questionable if somebody would celebrate voluntarily that date in our history.

It is also a symbolism. 20 years later the German people remember with joy and tears that moment and recall the events. In Cuba, a deep and dark silent marked the celebration. There are too many parallelisms and similarities. They can’t celebrate freedom of a new era under capitalism showing the joy for the moment in Germany. They can’t recall the remarks of the German Chancellor about Gorbachev. It could mean they have to bring down the wall that the Cuban authorities had built around our own people.

There, the fall brought freedom and prosperity. Here, in Cuba, the few moments of joy became too soon a long journey to the dark. Like in the eastern Berlin, Cubans are escaping to the world. They don’t cross any wall, they cross a sea, jump into the dangerous water of the Caribbean to find what they lost 50 years ago.

Today was a day of remembrance. Bush senior praising Gorbachev said: Through it all he stood firm, which is why he'll also stand tall when the history of our time in office is finally written

The same thing we can say about Fidel Castro with a different meaning: Through it all he stood firm, but he won’t stand tall when the history of his time would be written. Gorbachev helped to unify a country artificially divided. Castro divided himself our people and he will be remembered for that.

Yesterday was a day in history than many would like to recall in generations to come. It wasn’t remembered in Havana: the bells are sounding too close to an end.