by Carlos Alberto Montaner
President Juan Manuel Santos has taken some victims to Havana so they may reconcile with their former executioners. The idea behind the ceremony originated in psychological therapies. It is an extension of the processes of marital healing where a serious offense was inflicted. Whoever committed the offense repents, and the victim forgives. At that point, they resume their relationship and, little by little, the emotional ties are restored. Without that process, it is difficult for one party to regain his or her trust in the other.
The problem with that model of therapy is that it works only among individuals, not collectively. It is probable that the victims really forgive, because that way they free themselves from the anguish provoked by hatred and the desire for revenge. Nevertheless, the repentance of those who commit crimes against “class enemies” while struggling for causes that they believe to be just is very rare, almost nonexistent.