Photo: Radio Havana Cubabandera
In the words of Fernando Ortiz: “In Cubanness there is something more than a meter of earth wet by the first cry of a newborn, something more than a few inches of white paper marked with stamps and symbolic scribbles of an authority that recognizes an official link , true or suppositive.
Nationality beyond citizenship, human and historical bond beyond the legal bond.
In even more poetic terms, he would summarize Cubanness as a "condition of the soul," a "complex of feelings, ideas, and attitudes," and he would establish a distinction between what we could call Cubanness and what would be, in his opinion, Cuban identity. .
The latter would be a kind of superior stage, a full and conscious assumption of the particular essence of the Cuban in the greater framework of the human species: heartfelt and desired, responsible Cubanness;
cubanidad forged in faith, hope and love.
Patriotism, which would come to be a generic form of Cubanness, has been the subject of arduous discussion these days on digital networks, in that bubble that encloses a part of our society.
The fact that this patriotism, that Cubanness, is undermined today is something that we could understand as inserted within a civic-moral crisis, a crisis of values, much deeper, and that dates back to the 90s, those difficult years of the special period that not only brought precariousness, but also loss of the sense of future.
It is not something new.
Fernando Martínez Heredia affirmed it almost 10 years ago: “A people that had enormous appreciation for its history and considered it a very important part of its national being, a trait that from 1959 onwards was promoted to a very high degree by massive revolutionary sentiments and convictions. , a town that was educated and made a colossal leap in its educational levels in just 30 years, has seen its knowledge and interest in national history diminish to a truly alarming degree.
I notice two main causes of this fact, different from each other.
One is the serious deterioration of our school system, within which that of History would be a case, and the other is the appreciable decrease in the pride of being Cuban.
The latter is the worst, because it affects one of the basic pillars of resistance, combat,
In the current context, with a very painful rise in emigration and in times of economic uncertainty, it is understandable that there are Cubans who decide to seek better fortune elsewhere.
What is unforgivable is that these Cubans abjure their history, which is our common past;
What is sad and pathetic is that they renounce their “Cubanisms”, that they openly adopt another idiosyncrasy, and, even more painful, that they turn their most perfidious feelings towards that historical community that served as their maternal womb.
Worse still is that there are Cubans in those same conditions who have not gone anywhere, who are here: evidently, nobody is a patriot for staying (paraphrasing Galeano).
But this loss of Cubanness, of fullness in Cubanness, is not something that we can exclusively connect to the vicissitudes of the present.
It is a phenomenon as old as our own nationality, and this is how Fernando Ortiz would dictate it, to which we return in the end:
“There are Cubans who, even being Cuban for such reasons, do not want to be Cuban and are even ashamed and deny being one.
In these, Cubanness lacks fullness, it is castrated.
It is not enough for full Cubanness to have the cradle, the nation, the life and the bearing in Cuba;
still need to be aware.
Full Cubanness does not consist merely in being Cuban due to any of the environmental contingencies that have surrounded the individual personality and have forged its conditions;
the awareness of being Cuban and the will to want to be are also necessary”.
Like Martí, we say that the true man does not look on which side is best to live, but on which side is duty;
and no one can say that Martí is not one of the fundamental roots of the Cuban condition.
In Derrida's key, grafting the best of the world, Cubanness and Cuban identity are not legacies: they are a task.
And those of us who feel patriotic, those of us who fulfill this duty of knowing ourselves to be Cubans, have to make that nation project seduce the majority, we have to fight so that this full condition of Cubanness, that Cuban identity, is not an attribute of some few.
For this, it is not enough to turn to the past: we must, necessarily, reinvent the future, rescue that promise that even today continues to be revolutionary Cuba.
On video, the essential works of Fernando Ortiz
(Taken from Granma)
(Taken from Granma)