Maybe in 2020 Cuba will be a free country and the political organisations and parties of the opposition will be able to take the corresponding legal position. Vladimiro Roca, one of the first people waiting for registering of his Social Democratic Party, will have implemented a project that he has dreamt about for more than twenty years.
It is said that the personality is inherited and character acquired at home. Thus, Vladimiro owes his personality and character to his father, a shoemaker from Manzanillo, one of the most simple and affectionate people that I have known in my life.
If you asked me how we, many Cubans who have knocked on his door, perceive him, I would say that Vladimiro is one of the people who attract others thanks to their mysterious aura visible only to those who behave towards him sincerely.
One of the reasons why I admire him is that he has never been embarrassed for the fact that his father was a first-line communist, which at that tumultuous and indefinite time was the only option allowing him to fight for social justice.
One story Vladimiro told me once reflects clear moral and civic concepts of his father Blas; when in 1980 he was watching TV and saw on the screen Fidel Castro’s acts of repudiation against the Cuban people who wanted to leave the country by the Port of Mariel, his father got up from his chair very irritated and blamed the government for being fascist. The struggle for power of the old Marxist-Leninist Party he represented had to be pacifist.
The political opposition of Cuba, despised and discredited by the military dictatorship, today counts on people like Vladimiro Roca, whom Cubam Revolution owes more than he owes to Cuban Revolution, if there’s anything. He knows why I say this.
I do like looking beyond the horizon and I’m sure that Vladimiro Roca, a very clear, eloquent and universal speaker, will achieve what he has proposed to do at some moment. There is no challenge that would be too big for people like him. He is sociable, friendly, affectionate, persistent and, what is most important, proud of being who he is.
As he told me, the prison where he spent five years due to having signed one of the most courageous and valuable documents of the opposition: Our Country Belongs to Us All (La patria es de todos, made him realize that he was not fighting against the soldiers that were watching him or against those who let themselves being captured by the dictatorship: bureaucrats, police officers, comrades, judges or attorneys and even neighbours; but simply against two old dictators, guilty of the apathy towards political dialogue, five-decade socialist disaster, the boasted “new man”, economic bankruptcy, increasing decline of moral and civic values of our society that many of us want to leave.
One of the few people being able to find the guilty entity and say it without any fear is Vladimiro Roca, today a little bit older than yesterday when he was flying planes high in the sky, but still a man of great vitality to pilot a small group of friends, trusting in the future freedom of their island territory.
If Vladimiro has his political party in 2020, Cuba will be already a better place.