Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo
Dear friends of Cuba and the world, in any order:
I’m a bit tired. The climate in this country is horrible from May to September, and I don’t even feel like going out into the street.
The vertical light scorches and distorts everything, making any attempt at a nuanced photograph futile.
People are more brutish and ugly. Even making love is a bother. Conversation among Cubans in this heat is a Utopia.
The United States of America has been for me a great enthusiasm from an early age, back in the 70’s in Cuba in the last century and millennium. Once, very young, I asked for a visa to a scientific event and they refused me. Now I came to ask for one as a writer and I have a visa on my personal passport good for 6 months…
With a letter of invitation to an event of the Americas Society in New York, I thought that was enough. The Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC) now only had to process my Exit Permit, period. But it turns out they do not process passports visas. They want to do everything from scratch with their own hands. Or so I was told at the Department of International Relations. I do not care if it’s true or not (I guess it is a half truth, like everything else in the half remains of Revolution). Passport. Permission. The visa. In that order it must be and that was that.
It is an apparent absurdity, but the truth that to endorse my passport makes UNEAC lose face.Even the Chinese doctor didn’t save me. Now I must come up with a personal invitation letter sent by someone from the USA to try to ask permission directly from the Interior Ministry, as UNEAC ignores the issue. They don’t represent me any more. All this, moreover, almost in the middle of summer.
I’m sorry. I’m exhausted with running back and forth. Traveling is worse than a venereal disease. I will wait for winter. I will surely go somewhere further away. Where no one recognizes me. Cuba corrodes.
I do not claim anything for myself. The error was mine on going back to see the shameless snarkiness at the institution.
I lost my temper. Hope is a temporary effect. Blogging dull. Everything around me is caution and fallacy. All is despair and hostility. I am sad and do not pretend to hide it. But I will survive in the midst of mediocrity (in fact, at the limit). I survived a worst heartache in the years zero. And, just in case you doubt it, I will never shut up. If I do at times is because my throat hurts me so much at such laziness and lack of solidarity.
Cuba is on the brink of a cataclysm, for good. You’ll see. But before there will be the absolute barbarity, worse, that’s what cooking right now from the Politburo to the UNEAC cyber-cafe UNEAC, you’ll see that too. And there’s nothing entertaining about a solitary kick in the guts of this monstrosity of post-country.
As far as I can, I will help you to keep reading and seeing, through me, words and pixels that break into the spectrum of our national unreality. I just ask you for patience on days like these, where the feeling of having been made a fool is atrocious.
Before I finish, I will take the opportunity to confess that I do not believe in any literature. I no longer read. I am a functional illiterate and an unstoppable machine of visions and ideas ranging from delirium to idiocy. If they want to expel me from the Association of Writers, they have excellent reasons.
Dear friends of the world and of Cuba, in any order: I will never tell you goodbye, just leave me alone for a few minutes.
I’ll be back, I promise. Please, if you can, don’t forget me.
April 28 2011