Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Cuban Memorial in Miami

The Cuban Memorial began on Friday and continues until Sunday in Miami. According to their website, "this symbolic cemetery will give testament to the world of the thousands of victims of the Castro dictatorship." There are over 10,000 crosses. The Miami Herald has more, which also includes video.

Many of the documented victims have been verified through the Cuba Archive, "an initiative of the Free Society Project, Inc., a non-profit, tax-exempt organization incorporated in 2001 in Washington, D.C., to promote the understanding, recognition, and observance of human rights."

Funny that their Board of Advisors don't necessarily reflect "understanding" and "human rights." Enrique Encinosa and Ernesto Diaz Rodriguez are moral supporters of Luis Posada Carriles and Encinosa has been on record to justify forms of terrorism. And, Carlos Alberto Montaner and Dennis Hays are adamant supporters of the US embargo towards Cuba, a policy virtually condemned by the rest of the world.

Anyway, memorials are very important parts of all societies. They help us remember history, atrocities and important lessons. But, memorials may also serve different purposes for some people. It all depends on the lessons we draw from particular events of the past, and how we look towards the future.

"There's an old Russion proverb: 'Dwell on the past and you will lose an eye. Forget the past and you will lose both eyes.' Dwelling on the past, for victims of hatred and abuse, can lead to depression, disassociation, hopelessness; or the tendency to blame entire groups and the fantasy, or reality, of revenge."*

*[Minow, Martha. (2002). Breaking the cycles of hatred. In Nancy Rosenblum (ed.), Breaking the cycles of hatred: memory, law, and repair. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.]

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