One of points of greatest friction when Cuban issues are debated is what is referred to as the restrictions imposed on the island by the United States government. Laying out every imaginable nuance with regards to loosening or tightening these restrictions, will usually be a sign to bring out the conflicting factions: of those in exile, of the internal opposition, and of the policy toward Cuba of most countries.

Among the arguments most heard from supporters of a hardline approach is the metaphorical, which challenges any sign of goodwill on the grounds that this would provide oxygen to the regime.

A few days ago a letter to the United States Congress was circulated, signed by a representative sample of Cuban civil society, supporting easing the sale of food to Cuba and allowing American tourists to visit our country.

As expected, the document irritated the hardliners. I don’t pretend to be impartial on this theme, among other reasons because I am one of the 74 signers and because my entire family lives in this country: my mother, my sister, my children, my wife, my granddaughters and a huge number of cousins, nephews and nieces.

However hard the situation, none of them will go into the street to lead a social exposition, much less if they lack the argument that governmental inefficiency is principally responsible for their scarcities. While there is a blockade to accuse, while the least public limitation on trade potential exists, the fault will be imperialism’s, particularly if not a single gringo appears in these parts to allow us to verify his nature is not satanic.

In this aquarium there is a lack of oxygen and those who oppose pumping it in don’t take into account that they seek to punish those carrying the tanks on their backs, or the snorkels in their mouths, nor are they aware that the privileged have a monopoly on anything that appears breathable, and they share it out in accordance with the merits among those who toe the line of the politically correct.

They seem unaware that our rights have been kidnapped precisely in the name of the threat of asphyxiation, and what’s worse, contrary to their own logic, they forget that an atmosphere rich in oxygen favors fires and explosions.

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