Cuba Hurts

Thursday 1 May 2003, by Eduardo GALEANO

The recent wave of executions and arrests in Cuba is very good news for the universal superpower, which remains obsessed with removing this persistent thorn from its paw. But it is very bad news-and very sad-for those of us who admired the valor of this tiny country, so capable of greatness, but who also believe that freedom and justice go together or not at all.

It is a time of very bad news: As if the perfidious impunity of the slaughter in Iraq were not enough, the Cuban government is now committing acts that, as Uruguayan writer Carlos Quijano would say, "sin against hope."

Rosa Luxembourg, who gave her life for the socialist revolution, disagreed with Lenin over the project of a new society. Her words of warning proved prophetic, and eighty-five years after she was assassinated in Germany she is still right: "Freedom for only the supporters of the government, however many there may be, is not freedom. Real freedom is freedom for those who think differently."

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Eduardo Galeano, a Uruguayan journalist, is the author of "The Open Veins of Latin America" and "Memory of Fire."

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