Bienvenidos hermanas y hermanos:
It is with great feelings of gratitude and love that I am able to present to my Spanish-speaking sisters and brothers a Spanish language version of Pamphlet No. 1: Un camino de bobina a jardines de trabajadores: de un científico medio-hispano cristiano contemplativo del suelo viaje al socialismo democrático de la variedad de jardín basada en nuestro suelo.
I worked hard on this. It was important to me to get the pamphlet out in Spanish as soon as I could. Because I am half-Hispanic, with deep ties of the heart both to Cuba and the Canary Islands, it is with intense family pride that I try to make a small contribution to the advancement of the dreams that I think my ancestors had for the working people of Cuba, the U.S., and the whole world. If I smoked, I would be lighting a big Cuban cigar (assuming that would be legal of course) right now in their honor and cherished memory.
The pamphlet, among many, many other things, has extensive discussion of U.S. and Cuban history, the current ridiculous and sad relationship of the two countries, and the great potential for progress on behalf of humanity if the two countries could make peace and both move forward to deep democracy. It includes an interview I recently conducted with a friend born in Cuba in the early 1960’s who left with his parents for Florida as a small child in the second wave. Their perspective is presented as honestly as I am able to do so, and some of it may surprise you. I think that there is deep yearning on the part of most Cuban-Americans for a sensible reconciliation of Cuba and the U.S. if it be done in a way that is respectful of human rights and the need for political freedom in Cuba. I think that most people want to move forward–while not forgetting the past, they are willing to set it aside for the sake of the future of the Cuban people and the incredibly lovely island.
My hope is that this reconciliation will occur as soon as possible and on responsible terms that are not dictated to Cuba by market capitalism, but rather driven forward by a sensing of the value of deep democracy to address alienation and further increase the many current successes, while enhancing the unity of all people with Cuban ties like never before.
As I discuss in the pamphlet, the U.S. has no bragging rights and more than its share of alienation. The pamphlet also contains extensive quotes that still resonate today from writings of mi abuela’s radical author cousin, Jose Yglesias, who made incredibly important political journalistic trips to Cuba and South America in the late 1960’s, which he detailed in his books In the Fist of the Revolution: Life in a Cuban Country Town (1968, Pantheon Books) and Down There (1970, The World Publishing Company). Mr. Yglesias had an unmatched feeling and intellectual handle on both countries from the vantage point of the working people. Raised in Florida’s Ybor City speaking Spanish, he saw U.S. anti-labor vigilante harassment and violence against Cuban-American cigarworkers, as well as racial and ethnic prejudice.
Finally, the pamphlet discusses important work being done in Cuba on sustainable agriculture and land reform to get high agricultural productivity through a variety of adaptations, with references to recent works of scholarship on this key issue. Cuba is a major player in urban and organic farming, and how to use agriculture to advance economic justice. It has made many mistakes in farming, but it is now getting many things right.
I am doing my best to follow George Orwell in his quest for truth. I am sure that I have failed, but it is not without a great deal of effort to succeed. Should anyone with strong feelings one way or another on the U.S.-Cuba issue read the pamphlet, I greatly look forward to their insights. Please tell me what I have gotten wrong. I strongly criticize both countries (not the people but the systems of control), but I also try to give both credit: in the case of Cuba, against great odds, for having economic justice and sustainability, and in the case of the U.S., for having civil rights and at least some version of political democracy (albeit one that I call democracy-lite). Both sides of the coin are essential for the people of this earth in all nation states. My wish is that Cuba and the U.S. could together change and give the world hope for peace and justice. We could sure use some.
P.S. Even with Microsoft Translate, it was a big job to catch as many glitches as I could in this translation. I am sure that I missed many and that there are a lot of errors in the translation. I would greatly appreciate any corrections or suggestions for improvement. In addition, please be aware that page references to the pamphlet in the text of posts, etc. at this website are to the pages in the English version. The Spanish version is longer than the English version, either because of linguistic differences in the two languages that add up in a lengthy pamphlet or quirks of Microsoft Translate; so the pertinent pages are often a little different than those in the English version, but the page references will at least get you to the right general area of the pamphlet. Lo siento por adelantado.