Another Fateful May 1st / Agustin Lopez

Photo: Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

Photo: Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

Once again it is the first of May, once again the Plaza is filled, slogans that will never be accomplished, unattainable challenges, huge flags carried as if over coffins, people raising their fists and shouting against the ghosts of fear, and above, on the tribunal the tribunes, the Caligulas of this empire waving their arms like Caesars, hands up, hands down. Like petrified mummies. Perversity in those above and perversity in those below, and over the city the black wings of opprobrium.

Many eyes reflect indifference, others fright and confusion. There are those threatened at their workplaces with the loss of their little bag of goodies handed out at the end of each month with some toiletries, or with the loss of a few dollars added to their salary as a prize for fulfilling their monthly slavery, as well as those looking for the opportunity to leave on international missions where they could earn in a few years what would take their entire working life on the island, those who attend universities and others who have started working for themselves and who prosper thanks to corruption, also the heads of the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution who, on every block, applaud the Revolution. All threatened with the loss of something they need. They have never thought that this lie of their existence denies their identity and blocks their salvation making them live in the most absurd and miserable way.

It hurts to see a nation whose modesty is accumulated in landfills and whose honor is in the sewers. Tomorrow they will return all to the same things, stealing, lying, cheating, corrupted to the core, humiliating themselves to beg for a modicum of freedom and a crumb of rights.

If the José Martí of the Plaza, in front of whom they parade, weren’t made out of stone he would have fled the city in terror of a Cuba so shameless and vile. I hope there aren’t many of these May Days left in storage for the future.

3 May 2013