The Visit Of Pope Francis Confronts The Opposition With A New Test

El papa Francisco este domingo en Quito. (Christian Torres/Presidencia de Ecuador)
Pope Francis in Quito last week. (Christian Torres / Presidency of Ecuador)

Pope Francis’s visit to Cuba is approaching and the scenario represents a new opportunity for civil society and the political opposition to live up to the expectations of thousands of Cubans inside and outside the country, who have been waiting for a long time for a coherent and worthy action be a real force for change.

On previous occasions, when it has been able to exert political influence and have a positive impact on public opinion – and mainly in front of Cubans on the island – someone has always managed to polarize the forces and present us as divided and quarreling, incapable of working together to achieve a minimum degree of strategic consensus.

Some organizations have already advanced efforts to have their representatives received by the pontiff. More than a few of us have never understood what the criteria are, established from outside, for choosing those who deserve the vote of legitimacy awarded by a handshake with figures universally seen as prominent.

I suppose that the impossibility of doing internal surveys or seeing some reflection of people’s opinions of our society’s political and social actors, forces many advisors to lean toward the most picturesque, whether positive or negative, because in any case that is who stands out.

We have never understood what the criteria are for choosing who deserve the vote of legitimacy awarded by a handshake with figures universally seen as prominent

This, coupled with some external gestures by those who have mastered the techniques, more for being devilish than for being elderly, and who have the contacts, results in the same impassable and sacred media ghetto.

From my point of view, the Civil Society Open Forum is an ideal forum to coordinate the plural and inclusive message that Pope Francis should receive, given the high confluence of civil society and actors and organizations among its ranks.

The ideal would be to choose a representative capable of carrying out the mission with the seriousness, elegance, education and professionalism to send a unified message from all the Cubans who make up a part of this seed of democracy, of this free and independent island that beats within the country.

Hopefully we can begin to undertake good democratic exercises for this and other similar situations. The time is now to practice at home what we propose for the country.


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