Hecce, it seems to me that WT believing it is God's org, did what they did in the past also believing God would fight immediately in their defense, they were not expecting seems to me that they would have to go through what they did for so many years. Again, but who knows- but it appears to be the case that they may have considered a different philosophy back then given the new stand on non-combat military service.
Fidel Castro and the WT
We locals had the firm conviction that we were doing the right thing by following all the instructions coming from "mother". The results were a major disaster, I can see and say that right now but at that time we were blinded by "our faith".
I don't excuse the WT and I don't relieve them of responsibility because they are at the present time still acting with the same "God complex" and ruling and dictating over others.
We locals had the firm conviction that we were doing the right thing by following all the instructions coming from "mother".
Hecce, you have to show that what the WT did at that time from a spiritual position was not proper to prove WT wrong.
One thing is true,many actions by the government against JW are reprehensible. IN the US, many letters from US governmental agencies have been written to the WT to apologize for wrongful actions. Some of these actions resulted in the death, torture and violations of freedoms of JW guaranteed by the US Constitution. In spite of amendments by the government, their shame and reproach will never be wiped out and requires justice in the form of retaliation from God.
I put down in my introduction that by the start of the Castro Government in Cuba the WT had more than 30 years of experience dealing with Nazis and the Communists. They behaved in a way that was suicidal, an American based religion attacking the core beliefs that the Revolution was trying to implant in the public was a no no. Over the next 30 years the WT did very little to change the conditions of the JWs in Cuba, finally in the 90s they decided to cry "uncle". No different than Malawi, the record is there and we don't have to go too far to find it.
They behaved in a way that was suicidal, an American based religion attacking the core beliefs that the Revolution was trying to implant in the public was a no no
So you are saying that the Cuban government persecuted JW because of WT position and actions against the gov and had the WT not have said the things it did about the government, it would not have persecuted JW for being JW. JW = preaching, neutrality, no flag salute.
Over the next 30 years the WT did very little to change the conditions of the JWs in Cuba,
WE really do not know what the WT did or tried to do and it must be shown that wt actually did nothing or as you say very little.
finally in the 90s they decided to cry "uncle". No different than Malawi, the record is there and we don't have to go too far to find it.
You have to show that the WT actually gave in and retreated from its former position.
I am not saying that you should do anything, I am only saying that there is a difference between an accusation and proof.
The Cuban experience is no different than the WT record in countries with dictatorial governments. I am pretty sure sooner or later the JWs and the Castro Government were going to clash, but certainly our defiant behavior accelerated that clash. I don't know if you have any proof of actions taken by the WT during those 30 long years to help the brothers in Cuba, I was a little bit closer to the situation and I don't know of any.
What I saw was a hard line approach, one that I can assure you was highly prejudicial like the instruction to open without permission all the KHs. What came after that fiasco was a nightmare and the start of a new wave of persecution.
By the way, the little bit of relief that the Brothers got from time to time, came from the influence of an Aunt of Castro who was a witness and kept pestering him about what was going on.
Hecce, it is a great post. It is an informative post. I enjoy reading your post. Very interesting information from someone that knows!
during those 30 long years
You correctly posted that during the 90's there was some change in the JW situation in Cuba. At Bethel, during that time, information was revealed about conditions in Cuba, such information to be held strictly confidential, some of that information was about the horrible torture of Cuban JW.
Specially in the US, since 1914, the wt had been triumphant in Court decisions, etc There was every reason to expect victory everywhere and Armageddon too-it did not turn out that way at that time but in the US the wt enjoyed victory after victory after victory. The US Supreme Court cases involving WT is proof. I can imagine what JW and others went through in Cuba but I am not convinced that WT error was the cause of JW suffering. I am not saying that it was not, I am saying that I do not know if that was the case.
A couple of years after the success of the Cuban revolution, FC, closed the doors of Cuba, some people managed to get out with only the clothes on their back since the government made it a crime to take out any money or currency out of the country yet others stayed, convinced that the FC government would not last. AS it turned out, those that decided to stay got stuck with no hope of getting out unless they had relatives in the US for example, in such case the US relative could petition for the Cuban relative, any blood relative would qualify, uncle, etc.. It usually took about 5 years. After the BOP invasion where JFK abandoned the soldiers that went to Cuba not backing them up with the air support he promised, they were captured put in concentration camps, etc but JFK passed a law giving asylum to all Cubans.
As you know Hecce, under Batista, Cuba was the "corrupt little Island of the Caribbean"-Howard Cosel -at least in Havana- but that description did not apply to the Guajiro peasants who were iliiterate, gullible but noble hearted people.Cuba at that time was high in illiterate people. Poverty and hunger was shameful, not to mention the corrupt government (I am talking about prior to FC.) Anyway, FC deployed methods to change all that and kicked the US out too, but after the Cuban ban by the US, "hasta banana" for the Cuban economy. Everyone kept hoping that the Fidel Castro government would fall even after JFK promised Nikita Khrushchev never to invade Cuba , Cubans should have seen that that was the nail on the coffin.
Anyway, aren't Cubans very Catholic and superstitious? How did the JW movement do at that time, were the Cubans buying the message?
A previous post covers the WT popularity and the growth in Cuba:
Your point about the growth is an interesting one. The conditions today are quite different from the past, the WT has plenty of freedom to conduct their business under strict official supervision; a lot different that the harsh past persecution.
However the growth has been constant, before the Castro takeover there were about 11,000 publishers with a rate of increase of about 10% annually, about 1994 when the WT had the negotiations with the government that number was 77,000. That shows a steady increase, even with the huge migration out of the country.
I know that in the early years, there was a void in the country as far as religion, culture, social activities and many other things and that many people came to the witnesses looking for refuge and comfort. Many prominent people in Cuban society became witnesses, included were former politicians, military, wealthy people, actors, commercial pilots, professionals and a vast array of “lost” individuals. But it seems that the religion is somehow attractive to the masses, your graphic shows close to a 96,000 presently.
From what I hear from my family, today the JWs work is something different to common life and like a form of occupying your time.
No disagreement with your description of the transition from Batista to Castro.