03/15/13 - PROGRESO WEEKLY (Miami) - Cuba Aruca forever
By Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada
HAVANA - In a place in Colorado, in the heart of North America, far from
the anti-Cuban Miami whose irrational violence he fought so hard, died an
admirable human being who, among his many virtues, always evidenced an
Francisco González Aruca was an exemplary patriot. I learned to love and
respect him several decades ago, when he and other young émigrés,
confronting the hatred and fury of the Batistan-annexationist mafia, toiled
to embrace the distant motherland once again.
Heroically, they faced bombs and the threats and hostilities from a
community that was held hostage by that mafia. Carlos Muñiz Varela paid for
that with his life, the victim of a crime that still remains unpunished.
Aruca resisted and survived without ever faltering. He was a pioneer and
for years accomplished a prowess before which any homage pales. In Miami
itself, in the bowels of a counter-revolution that has never ceased to
enjoy impunity, he started a radio program, to which he later added a
digital magazine. They have been alternatives for true journalism and
Radio Progreso rose like a beacon to shine amid the shadows of irascibility
and rudeness and remained irreducible, defying terrorist attacks, insults
and all kinds of pressures. There, one could hear the way he replied to the
clumsiest provocations with elegance and wit. Above all, it was possible to
follow the well-thought, intelligent commentaries and analyses of someone
who never stopped thinking for himself or declined to say what he freely
Progreso Weekly is already an important publication in the Web, opening new
spaces to independent thought. Both are the fruit of the talent and
constancy of a big man, a moral colossus.
Our friendship remained unbroken and grew beyond our youthful years. Every
time he came to Havana, we met to recall the old days, yesterday's friends,
the experiences shared and also the dreams. We always spoke about our
families. I don't remember ever chatting with Aruca without hearing him
talk about his love for his wife and children.
Because, above all, what defined Aruca perfectly was that he was a good
man. He exuded kindness from every pore, toward his family, his friends and
his people. He used to joke about his height. Physically, he did not grow
much and always wore the face of a mischievous boy. In the distant past,
those qualities served him once to slip out of prison.
Some may think that he disappeared far away, in the heart of a country that
wasn't his. They would be wrong. He again broke the ties that bound him and
moved freely and smilingly toward the sun. Though he might not have
suspected it, Francisco González Aruca was a giant.
And here's something that Aruca knew: he was ours, and with us, his people,
his motherland, he will always be.
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