[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: Reconciliation

Friday, October 23, 2009


Alberto's post at Babalu yesterday deals with Marifeli Perez-Stable's response letter to the Miami Herald in which she calls for Cubans to "honor the fallen on both sides". Central to this issue is the question of reconciliation. Is it acceptable and desirable to reach out to those on the other side, forgive past transgressions, and work toward a better future for Cuba?

My answer would have to be yes, but only if there is a conversion and the conversion is sincere and complete. Read that last part again. Sincere and complete. Granted, few people are going to have a Paul-like conversion and by the sheer grace of God turn from fierce foe to "Apostle of the Gentiles" over the course of a long weekend, but complete conversions can and do happen and we need to recognize and accept those individuals who have managed to accomplish this.

Where the Perez-Stables of the world are misguided is in their desire to automatically excuse the so-called good intentioned people who fought on the side of and/or defended the regime. This mentality seems to misunderstand a key component of reconciliation, which is that forgiveness has to be asked for, not automatically granted. Besides, would an intransigent and unrepentant supporter of the regime even WANT our forgiveness after his side goes down in defeat? Probably not. Only those who see the error of their ways and take strides to work for positive change are deserving of forgiveness for past acts.

Folks who passively support the regime and refuse or fail to support those who seek positive change don't deserve our forgiveness, either. BTW, this group does NOT include those who are undoubtedly against the regime but do not fall under the exile hard-liner category because of their differing views on how to achieve change in Cuba. While I may have my sharp differences with these individuals, never would I turn my back on them if their hearts are in the right place.

Is there a bit of gray area we're dealing with here? Absolutely, but in the end we have to trust our well formed conscience and know who we feel is genuine and who isn't.


Blogger Octavio Guerra said...

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2:52 PM, October 24, 2009  
Blogger Jorge Costales CPA said...


Great point about how key repentance is to the reconciliation process.

Further, you wrote [forgive the editing]: "few people are going to have a ... conversion ... over the course of a long weekend, but complete conversions can and do happen and we need to recognize and accept those individuals who have managed to accomplish this."

Agreed and forgive the shameless plug, but I'd like to mention that the odds of a conversion occurring are appreciably more likely if someone participates in a retreat. Retreats represent people 'working' at their faith, instead of just hoping for a change. In my particular case, I have experienced and witnessed the type of conversions you alluded to at Emmaus Retreats.

8:39 AM, October 26, 2009  
Blogger Robert said...

Thanks, Jorge...and I appreciate your plug!

12:53 PM, October 26, 2009  

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