By Carlos Rafael Dieguez
February 02, 2022
Photos by Michell Casanova
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Max Lesnik is one of my heroes. A good Cuban, a good father, a good husband, a good friend. The other day I met him again in the Miami Caravan, raising his voice against the blockade. So old and yet so young, Max! I felt that his smile bore the accumulated joy of many decades, the same as when he was just a young boy and participated in the student struggles at the University of Havana against Batista’s tyranny.
He hugged me and I felt again the great pride of sharing History, in capital letters and alive. In his eyes, I perceived the same stoicism, the same rebelliousness and transparency that he showed in 1960, when he left Cuba because he disagreed with the direction the Revolution was taking. Max has always been an honest man, without mincing his words.
Many years after that departure, his friend Fidel Castro would ask him, “Why did you leave?”. Max replied. “I didn’t like that Cuba was aligned with the Soviet Union.”
It is a privilege to be able to thank a man like him, a 90-year-old giant who is still in battle, coherent. The same Max who founded Réplica magazine in Miami. The “man of the two Havanas” -the “small” one in Miami and the big one on the island. The same Max who, in the United States, survived numerous terrorist attacks in an attempt to assassinate him, silence his message and overthrow his struggle. In him, always the same obsession: Cuba, Cuba, Cuba! Then and now.
This Sunday I embraced the founder of the Alianza Martiana. Decades ago, in the United States, Max Lesnik and others founded that organization of diverse women and men. Since then, they dreamed of “a better relationship between the U.S. government and the peoples of Our America”. They opposed the blockade. In the Alianza, no one is rejected or discriminated against for reasons of creed, “race or political philosophy”. I embraced him knowing that he is a precursor of these #PuentesDeAmor through which we travel today and in which Max goes, ahead, removing weeds, opening possibilities, bringing Cubans together.
Max radiates that light carried by those who never stop fighting.
February 2, 2022
In around 40 cities in 28 countries, Cubans and people in solidarity with the Cuban cause marched this weekend, in the context of the world days of denunciation of the destabilizing actions promoted by the United States with the purpose of subverting the revolutionary process on the island and against Washington’s sanctions.
According to the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples, in addition to caravans, actions and rallies, statements and videos were circulated on digital platforms, and two virtual events took place.
Among the Latin American countries where activities were reported are the Dominican Republic, Barbados, Brazil, Costa Rica, Chile, El Salvador and Uruguay, while in Europe, those carried out in France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain stand out.
After almost a month of walking, Cuban-Americans from the Bridges of Love project arrived this Sunday in Washington DC for a sit-in in Lafayette Park, in front of the White House, where they demanded the end of US sanctions against the Cuban people, reported Prensa Latina news agency.
The group, coordinated by professor Carlos Lazo, demands the opening of consular services at the embassy in Havana, the resumption of flights to all Cuban provinces from the United States, and the reestablishment of the family reunification plan, among other demands.
As confirmed by Carlos Lazo, through Facebook, during the trip they spoke with many Americans of different creeds and ideologies.
He also pointed out that during the journey there was no lack of threats, but “here we are, gentlemen”, said Lazo, who pointed out: “we do not respond to provocations”.
In addition to the rally in front of the executive mansion, other actions were carried out from east to west of the country, in support of the Bridges of Love effort and the just demand to eliminate the economic, commercial and financial siege that has weighed on the Cuban people for more than 60 years, according to the Latin American news agency.
A petition signed by more than 27,000 people will also be delivered, demanding that President Joe Biden fulfill his campaign promise to bring about a change in policy towards the largest of the Antilles.