It is to worry that so far the petition to the White House counts only about 2100 signatures. It doesn’t reflect all the effort that’s been done during so many years to create awareness about the case of the Five. Much less it reflects the massive support that around the world we believe to have gathered. In terms of efficiency, it would be like having invested on a sugar mill only to produce a couple of pounds of sugar on every harvest.
We must examine the reasons which have prevented us from gathering more signatures. There seems to be one of a technical character: The process for gathering signatures is laborious and complex. Many complain about having tried without success. Some comrades make a titanic effort to design better and clearer instructions which then are put to circulate. I take the liberty to make an exhortation so we circulate them as much as we can. Any suggestion as to how to overcome this obstacle, which surely has denied us tens or hundreds of signatures, would be welcome.
Another obstacle, probably bigger, seems to be of psychological character. It seems that some comrades from the left have some reservations as to the origin and wording of the petition. I share the same reservations as to the origin. In regards to the wording I believe it is time that we exchange opinions and analyze the situation. In order to begin here follow mine:
I want to make it clear that I’m talking on a personal capacity, beyond any link with the Cuban government. I take this petition as a citizen petition, which has nothing to do with a government or with political structures of any country whatsoever. I support it and promote it as a citizen of the world. I ponder it on its own merits –or lack of them- and take them into account to build up my opinions in the light of the observations of reality which I’m able to make.
All those observations take me to one conclusion: The wording of the petition coincides with the message that Cuba, with enough efforts and over a few years, have been writing on the wall: “Let’s sit down to seriously negotiate if we want to solve the conflicts of humanitarian character to which both sides demand solution”. For me that is a reason of sufficient weight to support the petition. If the US government has refused to read it is because of its characteristic arrogance. If it became now clear to a North Carolina citizen and he decided to turn it into a petition, I believe it is useless to waste our time thinking about his motives, his political inclinations or his identity.
Some seem to have reservations because of the fact that the message is introduced from the point of the release of Alan Gross. I feel it pertinent to remind us that the message is addressed to the president of the government which sent him on the adventure that cost him his freedom. It is through the assumption of his responsibility that the Gross case, and also the case of the Five, will be solved. The Cuban government doesn’t need to respond to a petition of that sort because it has done it repeatedly. We can’t object to the petition because it simply uses as a conduit the angle of the problem which is more adequate to knock on the doors of the one who have the solution in his hands. If it is motivated by sympathy for Gross I don’t believe we violate any matter of principle on supporting it, when in this essential element both the demands of the ones supporting Gross and those of the ones supporting the Five coincide.
I don’t believe that we should allow this opportunity to pass because of considerations of that type, which dodge the essence of what is being asked for. To support this petition doesn’t prevent us from organize later on to promote one directly related to the freedom of the Five. For the time being, we have the present one in front of us, which has the potential of summoning up on the same spot both sides on this humanitarian issue. It seems to me a practical mistake if we miss that and refrain ourselves from signing for that reason.
I’m open to opinions on the contrary. Meanwhile, I ask the comrades to ponder on the arguments which I’m offering. Time is of the essence.
Hugs to all.
René González Sehwerert. December 2012.
Red de Universidades en Solidaridad con los Cinco