Alan Gross: Castro's prisoner
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    Cuba, Cubans celebrate the 17th of December. Or do they cry for it?

    Cuba, Cubans celebrate the 17th of December. Or do they cry for it? /
    Angel Santiesteban
    Posted on December 19, 2015

    For Cubans, as long as I can remember and from the history I learned,
    December 17th is a sacred day in which St. Lazarus calls his devotees to
    the shrine at El Rincon, on the outskirts of Havana, to make promises,
    to thank him for favors received or to ask him for health for next year.

    The General-Without-Battles Raul Castro and President Barack Obama
    decided to make public the resumption of diplomatic relations between
    Cuba and the United States — after sealing the deal with the exchange of
    hostages, three spies of the Group of Five who were in prison for one
    American hostage accused of spying for the northern country, Alan Gross,
    and an agent of the Cuban intelligence accused of treason — in such an
    important date for Cubans, and that way, tarnished the tradition,
    because even for the more pagan or “communist”, on this day they light a
    candle asking for health and prosperity for their people.

    Since last year, along with the tradition there is the fatal remembrance
    of an agreement that brought neither prosperity nor a decent opening
    that shows any willingness from the dictatorship to respect human rights
    and move the country towards a prosperous and democratic future. It has
    only been observed by the US President; docility and patience, like the
    stability of his country would depend on that diplomatic exchange.

    This year, when the day of the first anniversary of the agreements
    comes, we Cubans must light two candles: one for our St. Lazarus and one
    for the funeral of that presidential pact. The only thing that has been
    brought by the opening of embassies, is a new stampede of Cubans fleeing
    their homeland and it far exceeds that of the 1994 Rafter Crisis.

    The talks between the two governments eventually convinced people that
    the only thing to expect is more instability and economic strengthening
    of the totalitarian regime. The pilgrimage of Cubans throughout Latin
    America is overwhelming. The latest scandal of the islanders still
    remains unresolved in Costa Rica; there was a bottleneck with thousands
    of people stranded in emergency camps because of Nicaragua’s refusal to
    let them pass through, preventing them from reaching the United States.
    We could not expect less from President Daniel Ortega, disciple of the
    Cuban dictatorship.

    The Castro mob likes to steal important dates of national traditions. As
    if was not enough usurping Christmas, banning it, and noting as
    “counterrevolutionaries” those celebrating it, they chose January 1st as
    the starting date of the so-called Revolution, that is, the dictatorship
    disguised as populism, plunged us into the most extreme misery of all
    and led millions of Cubans to emigrate. Now, they desecrated December
    17th, a holy day of a saint who always annoyed them because of the huge
    number of devotees he has.

    Translated by: Rafael
    18 December 2015

    Source: #Cuba, Cubans celebrate the 17th of December. Or do they cry for
    it? / Angel Santiesteban | Translating Cuba –