Anthropological Damage in Cuba
| Editorial Revista Vitral No. 74, Año XIII , julio-agosto de 2006 Pinar del Río, Cuba. |
We frequently encounter in Cuba that the most exact methods of organizing an event will fail. We find as well that institutions with the highest goals and the best implemented of operation do not function as would be desired.
In other occasions, even when the most indispensable economic, social, political and cultural conditions are in place for the most efficient implementation of these undertakings, people misuse their freedom, they do not assume their relevant positions, and do not take on the civic responsibilities they are supposed to assume.
We can ascertain that it is not only because of ignorance of their rights or duties, but that it is due to an interior weakness, a personal fragility, and a certain breakdown of their personality, an unstoppable tendency to abandon the fight to survive, and a total and insuperable lack of responsibility.
Faced with this reality, which is almost always unexplainable, we ask ourselves, “Why is it that these people do not have any personal consistency, they have no interior coherence, no strength of spirit, no interior freedoms or responsibility, no decision making power of their own, no goals in life?
This situation takes us to look beyond mere social, political or economic conditions, even though the same are also involved. The realization that we cannot find well-thought and adequate answers leads us to look at the interior of the human person, even if the same is hidden behind exterior masks and other circumstances. One can see that the weakness comes from within, and that there are other people in the same situation who do not present such a weakness or interior breakdown.
Therefore, after struggling through the maize of environmental reasons that exist and which will condition human behavior, and at the end of a long and winding road without end in sight, we arrive at the deepest, most intimate and fundamental causes that could provoke this deep internal human incoherence: anthropological damage.
We can consider this breakdown of the essence of the person as the most serious problem facing our society today.
We herein refer to anthropological damage as the wound inflicted on one of the most important structural components that make up a human being. It is also the destruction or break down of one or more of a human being’s fundamental dimensions. In the end, it deals with that subjective personal deterioration that manifests itself on occasion by the atrophy or paralysis of one or several of the capabilities of a person which enable him to be himself/herself and not a carbon copy of another.
In effect, anthropological damage is brought about with indelible results each time that a person or group of persons is subjected to bodily damage as a result of physical violence, torture, incarceration under cruel or degrading conditions, or the simple jailing in a cell or room, or even if he/she is destined to work in the best conditions, but, because of unjust decisions or evil intentions, such a space becomes a “golden cage” that does not prevent the inflicting of physical and psychological damage to the jailed party without his personal conscience being involved or when no real just authority accuse him of any crime.
Each time an abortion is effected, euthanasia, and/or the death penalty, the biggest most irreversible anthropological damage takes place against the most primordial right of the individual: the right to life, in freedom and peace, from the moment of conception to the time of natural death.
Each time a person stops thinking with his own head to repeat slogans out of fear or convenience, it is as if his head or his brain had been mutilated. This is anthropological damage because it destroys or limits the ability of these persons to freely get to know the world and use their intelligence freely to reason with independent criteria, without manipulations or totalitarian restrictions.
Each time that a person has to hide his truest and healthiest feelings and starts to live in hypocrisy and dissimulation for fear of what will be said or what can happen to him, it is as if his own heart had been mutilated. This is anthropological damage because it destroys or paralyzes the ability of these persons to love, live, and express what they feel, without anyone manipulating their emotions for political, religious, or any other reasons.
Each time that someone has to act in way different to the way they feel or think, each time that a person’s will is taken away on a daily basis arbitrarily and imposed by a higher authority or by decree; each time that a person loses his willpower and becomes a weak puppet moved by strings from without and from powers above, for interests or willfulness, it is as if his hands were mutilated. This is anthropological damage because it destroys or breaks down the human will until it converts people into instruments submitted to the will of others.
Each time that someone has to hide his faith, or camouflage it, or he sees himself persecuted, prejudiced, or pressured because of his religious convictions, in his work, or social, cultural, political, or economic environment in his own country; each time that a religious community is subjected to a total and detailed political, economic, and social control, it is as if that person, or that church, was deprived of light and water, was deprived of oxygen to breathe, and was asphyxiated by a sea of bureaucratic and judicial dealings without any sense, that bite into their own tails bringing them back again and again to the source of departure, after an inhumane loss of time, effort, credibility, and confidence. This is another form of anthropological damage, perhaps one of the most subtle, but certainly one of the most evil since they choke the ability of the individuals to transcend their own material and base existence, and obstruct their way and the means to open themselves to the spiritual, the absolute, what we call God. Those who limit this freedom of conscience are not only damaging the a person’s very essence of being, but also condemning him to live a life without reason, without transcendental goals, without a future, and without hope. Even more, when this damage is carried out for years at the social level, the sacred realm of conscience of a human being is violated and purposely or not, the very authority and position of the one and only God is thereby usurped.
Let us look around us and see for ourselves, without prejudice or fear, and see for ourselves whether this is true or not and that this takes place within our families, where we live, and in our places of work, in our human relations, in situations of power or in dealings with other simple citizens, in our jails, and in the different atmospheres of our civil society, in the cultural world and in the arts, in the scientific, literary, and political and religious world.
When we are dealing with a case of anthropological damage, that is, the constant erosion of even one of the potentialities or abilities or dimensions of the human person, be it only one person, no matter how unknown or irrelevant to one or to many, even if it be only one man or woman, one only child or adolescent, one only worker or unemployed, one only politician or dissident, one only religious or atheist, one only sick person or criminal, who is hurt in one only of his feelings, in even only one of his just or peaceful ideals, in only one of his good will gestures, in one only of his spiritual expressions, in only one of his legitimate human relations, in only one facet as a person or citizen of this country and this world, any one of these circumstances is sufficient to draw everyone’s attention, to not remain indifferent, to calmly reflect on the consequences of this anthropological erosion, in the short and long term.
It would be enough for all Cubans and all those who observe, admire or criticize us here or there, or all who help us or attack us from whatever corner of the island, or from whatever place on earth, to stop for a moment, and with truth and responsibility take at least conscientious look at the fact that this anthropological damage is the most grave and profound calamity that destroys the most fundamental and valuable asset held by the men and women that make up the Cuban people.
And once we take conscience of this damage, we set ourselves about the task of correcting it in the only way that it can be done: With higher degrees of freedom and responsibilities, while respecting each and every one of the rights of the human person, and creating the conditions, that is the opportunities for participation, so that each and every one of the dimensions and abilities of Cubans can be developed.
Let’s bring in that climate of fresh and renewed air in which each person can think for himself, sustain his own beliefs, without fear or complexes.
Let’s bring in those free initiatives in which we all, as Cuban sons and daughters, are able to develop our own intelligence and creativity.
Let’s bring in as well a cordial movement, with forgiveness and reconciliation, in which all as Cuban men and women can express our feelings and develop our affections without mistrust.
Let’s bring in that effort to give power to the citizens and strengthen the will of the people so that each decision taken is firm, each endeavor is carried out with perseverance, each undertaking is sustained with strength of spirit and with the constancy that make a people a community with proper consistency which is the primary sign of true sovereignty.
Finally, let’s bring in that atmosphere of transparency and thirst of fulfillment that will permit Cubans to open themselves to the supernature and to nourish their spirituality while assenting to their union with the Absolute that we refer to as God.
If we start to create these conditions, Cuba will improve and will grow as a nation because we will be healing its soul. Healing the soul of a nation is to reconstruct its subjectivity as well as the essential structures of the human person.
No nation can grow without healthy and fulfilled individuals. This can be a key to understand our past history as well as our present.
We might attain better economic times, but if we do not repair the anthropological damage, this growth will be misused and a culture of individualism will arise, one of greed and one where every man is out for himself.
If, God forbid, there were to arrive a time of worse corruption in Cuba, we want to establish right now that we are alerting you to the fact that it is necessary to work towards the betterment of its people and the promotion of virtues. If in Cuba there were ever to arrive the day, God forbid, when the people would be unable to work even if they were paid a just salary, let us remember that evil had its beginnings in the anthropological damage that we discovered in time to heal it. If in Cuba, God forbid, there were organized gangsters and criminal violence, let us remember that the root of this phenomena was in this anthropological damage that can be healed if caught in time.
Cuba already needs that spiritual reconstruction and spiritual healing, that climate of serenity and peace, security and trust that will bring forth the rebirth, impregnated with freedom and fraternity, of that poor mutilated flesh and dismantled soul of the nation.
There are many Cuban men and women, young and old, who have not allowed their intelligence to be mutilated, and who think with their own heads. This is our hope.
There are many of our compatriots who have not allowed their hearts to be dried up and who express their feelings and share their love in a healthy and loving environment. This is also our hope.
There are many who have not allowed their wills to become weak and anemic and who act with firmness and courage, with perseverance and patience. This enhances our hope.
There are as well numerous Cuban men and women who have not allowed others to dry up their souls and who feed a spirituality which affords them that mystical strength that comes from within, where one firmly believes and awaits, loves and gives up his life for one faith.
This is, in summary, our hope. And this is, as Father Felix Varela said, “the sweet hope of our native land, and there is no native land without virtue, nor any virtue with ungodliness.”
(c) 2008 MINISTRIES TO THE RESCUE - MINISTERIOS AL RESCATE INC.