Nameless Animal / Claudia Cadelo

Last October 16 my blog turned three years old. As is normal for me, I forgot the anniversary — I always forget important dates which has cost me dearly but that’s my head — but I can’t stop feeling, every day, that Octavo Cerco is my luxury. The ineffable luxury of writing whatever occurs to me in Cuba, as Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo would say, post-everything. I reached the point of going out to buy a copy of Granma. This so-called newspaper that provokes spasms of disgust in my friends has become, for me, study material.

I have not lost my fear of State Security and from time to time I fall into states of paranoia, but I’m doing what I want. I watch the soap opera “Cuba’s Reasons” and relax: They reach levels of paranoia and fear unknown to me. I’ve lost the fear of the nameless political animal on this island. I speak of what I want when I want and I discovered, on the weekend, that this could be disturbing.

There are many cases of self-described “revolutionaries,” Communist Party members and even once zealous fighters who once told a free electron like me: “Be careful with your words, you’re putting your life and the lives of those you love at risk.” Who is really the “worm”: Me, who says what I think? Or those who believe in a system with the ability to “eliminate” people like me?

Although these are not the ones who leave me speechless, because there is a whole generation of terrorized communists without faith in yesterday, today and tomorrow. Rather than being brainwashed by a third party, they wash their own brains every morning before leaving the house and so they survive. What makes me gulp are those who “set everything aside,” those who swing their hips to the rhythm of national decadence and when they hear a political lyric they turn down the volume and shout: “Not for me! Politics is nothing to me!” But then they get up the next morning and curse, quietly, a new dawn of their bodies in Havana.

March 15, 2011