Huber Matos Foundation For Democracy
The mission of the Huber Matos Foundation for Democracy is to foster democratic rule, human rights, social justice and education in Latin America. This mission is inspired by the ideals that first moved Huber Matos to join the ranks of the revolutionary Cuban insurgency against dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1956. The struggle for democracy and justice in Latin America is largely unfinished, but we recognize that Cuba lags behind the rest of the Continent because of Fidel Castro’s long-lived tyranny. Consequently, most of the efforts and resources of our Foundation are invested in promoting democracy in the island.
We firmly believe that free minds are the foundation of free societies. Therefore we pursue a non-violent, educational, scientific and cultural strategy to achieve the goals of the Foundation. Thousands of talented individuals in Cuba are eager to contribute in edifying a new society, but they lack the means to develop their full potential as educators, researchers and democratic consensus-builders.Our Foundation identifies those persons and directly supports their individual or collective efforts in the fields of Education, Economics, History and Ecology.
Why those four areas?
We all understand the critical importance of Education in the construction of democratic societies. In fact, education is basic for the survival of any political system. That is why dictators such as Castro exert tight controls over the work of teachers at all levels. Those who deviate from the official ideology or develop original and creative proposals are quickly repressed and marginalized. However, they continue to be professional educators at heart. No measure of repression can change that. With a small financial assistance, many of these teachers can pursue their mission independently by conducting extracurricular activities and providing educational services in areas not covered by the official system.
Cuba and the Cuban people are meant to be prosperous. The island’s fertile territory, its rich sea platform and strategic international location, as well as the Cubans’ legendary entrepreneurial spirit are enormous resources for economic development. It has taken a ruthlessly stubborn political regime to hinder that tremendous potential. We believe that a different Cuba already exists in the minds of many Cuban economists inside and outside the island. Bringing to light and combining their ideas will undoubtedly point the way to a bright future of economic growth and social justice in Cuba. That is one of the aims of our Foundation.
Like most dictatorships, Castro’s regime has re-written the History of Cuba to accommodate its own designs. There are, however, important lessons to be learned as well as great sources of democratic inspiration in Cuba’s historical past. Those lessons have to be retrieved and placed in the light of contemporary realities, as a way for Cubans to find their common roots despite decades of division and strife. As Abraham Lincoln wisely said, a house divided will not stand. A better knowledge of the island’s sometimes glorious, sometimes painful history will provide a new sense of commonality to Cubans inside and outside of it.
Cuba’s rich biodiversity has been devastated by decades of over-exploitation and subordination to Castro’s eccentric economic policies. Recovering and protecting Cuba’s natural wealth is relevant not only to Cubans but to the entire world, as its tropical forests and other ecosystems can contribute to reduce the effects of global warming, which threatens insular territories in the entire planet. Support for Cuba’s environmental scientists is critical for a better understanding of the island’s ecosystems and the best way to protect them.
How you can help?
You can support the Foundation’s efforts by donating.You will receive periodical progress reports of the work done by sponsored individuals or groups in the field of your choice. These reports will be illustrated whenever possible with video and audio recordings, photographs and other documentation to provide you with a vivid and concrete idea of the work done. However, sometimes anonymity will be required for the participants’ personal safety.