José Martí, in addition to many other things, was a great poet, he imagined an ideal nation with all and for the good of all, quite difficult to realize in the real world, where personal interests and collective work function, and humans possess a wide range of contradictory feelings. This nation dream became the reason for his existence and, devoting all his forces, he came to the martyrdom. He showed its theoretical underpinnings, but could not access its practical realization.
With the Republic installed, with its pros and cons, closer to the imagined nation, Cubans began to fight for it, because as the years passed its realization became more complex. Loyal to the Marti ideal, frustration was preying on them and those who shared their aspirations, and a process of negating everything that was done began, and did not respond exactly as expressed by the Apostle. This attitude further distanced the imagined nation from the real nation, creating suitable breeding ground for political demagoguery, which continues today.
Instead of devoting all efforts to improving and consolidating the real nation, providing it with laws and institutions to strengthen them, step by step approach, where possible, the ideal Marti, the fratricidal struggle overshadowed much of the twentieth century and destroyed what was built in a national act of political suicide.
Perhaps, the goals envisioned to be achieved by Martí were outside the actual scope of the Cubans, or, obsessed by them, we forgot that a nation is built day by day, negotiating realities and facing ongoing problems, there are no fixed and unique recipes for solutions, but at times we advance or take steps back on the road to development.
Today, to refound the nation is an inescapable necessity. It is not wise to lose more years and pass the frustration to new generations of Cubans. The nation is still a valid dream goal to achieve, but we must prioritize the real nation and not fall, as happened to us in the error of supplanting one for the other. A nation’s dream is reached by way of the real foundation of the nation.
January 26 2011