Havana Cuba. – “Today, the fight for the country is with the most important weapon that the Freemasons carry, which is elevated thinking, with which we must act to stop seeing everywhere the lament of the loss of values in society. (…) I believe that the Freemasons should talk about politics, since it is the fundamental rule that governs society, we must talk and, in addition, find a way to do politics ”, he pointed This December 5th Luis Steve Ocaña, Grand Speaker of the Grand Lodge of Cuba, in a gala held at the National Masonic Temple for the 163rd anniversary of the founding of the Grand Lodge of Colón, predecessor of the Grand Lodge of Cuba of AL and AM
The speaker reviewed the history of Cuban Freemasonry since the 19th century, remembering all the Freemasons who threw themselves into the jungle to fight for the independence of Cuba. He also insisted on the need to review the current Masonic work and that the Masons fulfill their duties with society and Freemasonry.
“In one of the oaths taken in my Masonic career, I sanctioned ‘always work for the building of our country and constantly fight for the progress of humanity.’ Now I ask myself, how can I build my country if I don’t do politics for it? If we Freemasons, as the highest expression of free thought, do not work for the acceptance of all types of political doctrines in society, we are doomed to failure”.
And he added: “In our fraternal bosom members of dissimilar political expressions coexist: pro-government and outlawed. And from that harmonious coexistence arise, most of the time, the necessary solutions for the problems that we face as an Institution. That is why we must and are called to work for this to happen in civil society; we have to look for the way to influence and persevere so that civic space is granted to all currents of thought”.
The great official, addressing hundreds of participants in the evening, Freemasons and family members, recalled another of the Masonic teachings, the one in which it is stated that “anyone who wants to impose their ideology or religion above that of others, ignoring the book of will granted by the Great Architect of the Universe (Supreme Being in whom all Freemasons must believe), sets himself up as a tyrant”.
For this reason, “we, the Freemasons, must work for that objective. And don’t think that I’m looking for a confrontation with any power. No not at all. What I want and want is an understanding, that the doors be opened, getting rid of what has been done in the past in the country to, among all, achieve a truly just society, and thus, united, although different, work for the progress of a new Cuba, first of all, with everyone and for the good of all, as El Maestro said, and cooperate for the progress of humanity in general”.
Steve Ocaña ended his speech claiming that, “at the height of 163 years”, this constitutes a duty of the Freemasons with the history of Cuba and with all “those fraternal who gave up their lives for a better society, to those who have kept and they maintain the work of Freemasonry today despite hardships and shortcomings. We already know where we come from; let’s resize that and so we know how to determine where we are going”.
Anyone who knows the history of Cuban Freemasonry, especially in the last 63 years, understands the transcendental and daring of the previous public pronouncement.
During the Republic (1902-1958) the Cuban Masonic Institution expressed its opinion and became involved in various political issues, there were even three presidents who were Masons and received the support of various lodges; during the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista (1952-1958) they conspired in the lodges and supported the clandestine struggle.
However, by 1959 the persecution of the Freemasons began. Several lodges were closed for being considered counterrevolutionary sources, and not a few Freemasons were imprisoned or shot for their actions contrary to the dictatorship of Fidel Castro. The lodges were penetrated by State Security, which tried to crush all discordant thoughts.
The height of the conflicts after 1959 would be followed by a political silence that lasted for more than 60 years, with Freemasonry going silent even at times of serious human rights violations both of civil society and members of the Institution. Fear and ostracism gripped the Order for more than half a century. Only the individual action of some Freemasons saved the prestige of the Institution.
It would not be until five days after the protests of July 11 (July 11), 2021 in which Freemasonry would begin to resume the debate in the social sphere.
Freemasons next to the people
For just over a year, Cuban Freemasonry has been immersed in a process of political and social questioning that, on more than one occasion, has led it to confront the authorities.
Everything would start as a result of the 9/11 protests, when thousands of Cubans took to the streets to demonstrate against the regime and were brutally repressed. At that moment, one of the two main leaders of Freemasonry, the Sovereign Grand Commander of the Supreme Council of the 33rd Degree for the Republic of Cuba, José Ramón Viñas Alonso, understood that his silence would only make him complicit in injustices.
In a letter sent to Miguel Díaz-Canel on July 16, 2021 It manifests the most frontal position assumed by Cuban Freemasonry since 1959, and in which it saves the historical prestige of the Institution:
“We are writing to you with the purpose of letting you know our rejection of your position and leadership at the head of the country, for calling, inciting and ordering a violent confrontation against the Cuban people, as well as arrests and violence against peaceful protesters and citizens who think otherwise. to the system that you represent; At the same time, we declare our disagreement with always justifying the crisis in which the country is plunged due to external reasons (blockade), without recognizing the responsibility and inefficiency of the government”.
And he added: “88 years ago, in the government of General Gerardo Machado, this same Supreme Council wrote to the president complaining about the violence against the people; worthy heirs today we do the same; This social outbreak throughout the Island shows the manifest discontent in which the country lives; the members of the Supreme Council of the 33rd Degree for the Republic of Cuba, being part of the Institution that in its time most influenced the independence and society of this country, we have the prestige and history as guarantors and thus assume our position on the side of the people of Cuba”.
That same day, Viñas Alonso was summoned to the Zapata y C police station, in Havana, and questioned by three State Security agents.
The reprisals against the Freemason leader would not stop. In the following weeks, in an attempt to regain some credibility and support, Díaz-Canel begins to tour neighborhoods and meet with various civil society and government organizations. On August 24 he would be the meeting with the religious and fraternal organizations; previously, they cited the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Cuba, Ernesto Zamora Fernández, and other officials of the Order in Cuba, except the Sovereign Grand Commander. For the Freemasons, this action was intended to humiliate the Sovereign, as well as destabilize and disunite the Cuban Freemasonry.
Due to internal and external pressures, the day before the appointment with the Cuban ruler, through a public message addressed to the Cuban Masonic community, Zamora Fernández notified that he would not attend the scheduled meeting with Díaz-Canel “in order to preserve unity masonic”.
Then, in May of this year, Viñas Alonso was not allowed to board a flight to Miami to participate in various Masonic events; Although they did not give him any explanation, State Security tried to prevent his possible attendance at the Summit of the Americas that would take place a few days later in Los Angeles.
Shortly after, while Díaz-Canel rejected the commemoration of May 20, the anniversary of the constitution of the Republic in Cuba (1902), the Grand Lodge of Cuba celebrated the date through a great cultural gala in which the speaker questioned the government position .
Undoubtedly, the Freemasons have begun to recover from the long slumber into which they were forced to enter due to the regime’s persecution. They still owe Cuba honorable positions and actions, in accordance with the glorious ideals that make Cubans so proud.
Receive information from CubaNet on your cell phone through WhatsApp. Send us a message with the word “CUBA” on the phone +525545038831, You can also subscribe to our electronic newsletter by giving click here.