Message from Jorge Luis Sanchez / Polemica, 2007 Intellectual Debate

This debate seems far more serious and interesting than the candles feeding the shadows of study, in this I agree with Arturo ArangoI have no time to sit and watch TV, I saw the little programAnd I doubted, for when the pavonato took place, I was a child and didn’t suffer it directlyIt touched others, more recentin the eighties.

But this man of the seventies, I hadn’t seen his face. It drew my attention that whomever make the report skirted around, olympically, the fact that Pavón was the President of the National Council of CultureNor did the narrator’s voice dare to name the charge!

Maybe for the younger generation, a word as undesirable as “parametrado” doesn’t disturb our memory. I wrote this and circulated it on the night of the 6th, after reading Desiderio and Arturo, now add that I agree with all this fruitful debate. That it should not be only the responsibility of those affected. Nor of those who lived through the nonsense. It should not the responsibility only of those affectedOr those who lived through the nonsenseMy grandmother used to say this refrainIf you saw me I was playingif you did not see meyou‘re fucked. When ignorance and malice unite!

Count on me for anything.

Jorge Luis Sánchez

Another message from Jorge Luis Sánchez


A group gathers inside, to discuss and analyze.

A larger group, from outside, follows — with more or less computerized information — the result of what those inside discussed.

As in those bad American movies of the “Tanda del Domingo” (Sunday Show) TV series, it would seem that with the statement by UNEAC (Cuban Writers and Artists Union) all is resolved. It is subtly conclusive. It does not satisfy me. I do not feel represented by it, even though I am not a member of that organization.

Meanwhile, TV — which, full of incoherencies, censures Strawberry and Chocolate, among other films produced by the current political culture, a film that it contributed, not just to the culture, but to all of society, making us less medieval — our TV continues its particular Political Culture which in general is no more than the historic application of the not-Political Culture. Remember that what does not appear on television in this country simply does not exist. It is not.

Meanwhile, on the wound (the conflict), a band-aid (the Declaration) is applied, which lacks the demand for an efficient solution, thus it becomes a palliative, or something like a methodologically antique response, inefficient and unsatisfactory. I think that the UNEAC should have demanded, and TV should have responded. In this case, TV responded via the voice of the UNEAC, so that one should be left positively frustrated, and more confused.

Once again, the screwed-up practice is repeated of publishing a Declaration which, for the people, is incomplete, destined to be interpreted by clairvoyants, being that it omits any amount of data, and it dissolves in its generality.

In Centro Habana they have asked me what happened, and it tires me to summarize what has been happening all these days, all these years, all these decades. A paradox, this, because the majority of Cubans — for whom their existence is designed to be lived attached to the television set — don’t know what happened in the three television programs mentioned in the Declaration.

Serenity should not be related to the application of old solutions to old, and new, problems. I quickly tuned in, in case anyone said, publicly (more or less), that the Revolution is already tired of justifications.

Never will a clumsy move be resolved by another clumsy move.

At least unless a better outside sign of tranquility is desired, lessening the focus on the inside–another old practice.

Since I was born all the great and essential debates about the culture of my country continue to be postponed, with the conservative, monotonous and worn-out argument, “It is not the right time.”

So, when will it be the right time?

The Declaration might have been a better sign. It is not enough that they write that the Policy of the Revolution is Irreversible. To which provisions can one appeal when that guarantee is threatened? To which historical figure? Where? To a Declaration? To a Self-Criticism?  Well? All right, then, it must be that sorrows beat up on each other, and Sindo said this is why they are not lethal.

Shall we eternally be children of contexts? Naively, someone told me that, between the 80s and the start of the 90s, it caused plenty of headaches for artists. Remember the film, Alice in Wondertown.*

*Translator’s Note: This film, which satirized Cuba’s bureaucracy, caused the early retirement of the then-director of the ICAIC, Julio García Espinosa.

Jorge Luis Sánchez.

January 18, 2007

Translated by Regina Anavy and Alicia Barraqué Ellison