This Monday, my daughter and I went to her school at 9:15 in the morning. The neckerchief ceremony had already ended.
The teacher did not ask me why we were late this Monday, but she didn’t want to know why my daughter had not come on Friday. I waited until the children had moved away: “This Thursday the political police kidnapped my friends and my boyfriend to block them from going to the court where the trial against Angel Carromero was being held, the only witness to the death of Oswaldo Payá. That day the political police knocked out Yoani Sanchez’s tooth with a blow.
In all countries, especially in Latin America, in which any type of dictatorship has been suffered, it has been also possible to prove that one of the worst social effects, for being the most generalized, is the moral degradation into which people fall. For this reason, when a person becomes aware of herself and decides to practice a life in truth she automatically becomes a dissident, especially in those countries governed by a state dictatorship that also has a discourse about justice – “all justice” as the Chancellor says – and about peace and friendship. The hypnotic power of great ideas.
When I ask myself if perhaps the women of the political police who beat Yoani are, in fact, human beings, the one who falls into a dangerous form of discrimination about what is human and what is not is me.
On returning from school I ran into the wife of good old Orestis in charge of surveillance for the Committee for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR), who asked me why I hadn’t taken my daughter to the ceremony. She knows the answer, but this time I opened my mouth to say: “She will put on the neckerchief so as not to create an adaptive conflict among her little friends, but she did not go and she will not go to any political activity because, among other reasons, behind all of this, of this adoration for the ’work’ of the leader and all those symbols that don’t mean ’the fatherland,’ are the guys who ordered the repression against my boyfriend and my friends.
This lady is one of those cases of addiction to the regime and even CDR activism and and she hopes to get a visa to travel to the United States based on being claimed as family by her stepdaughter. When Anita expressed her complicity with the politics of the government you can’t help but make note of her being in waiting for a visa to live in the United States and depending on family remittances to defend the dictatorship, only that, the one who is paying, stupid thing, is the stepdaughter in exile in the country repudiated by the politics of an extremely unjust, abusive, kidnapping government that she still defends.
It’s a mouthful; much worse, because in this violent paradox many have lost their lives.
She started screaming, really screaming, that “you can’t hold me to those words.” And then her daughter came out, who is the mastodon to bet on in a contest for people who are ugly within, and instigated by her mother, she began to hit me until I fell to the ground. I regret not having responded to the blows because I am not afraid. I was reminded of all the times that I avoided coming to blows in school simply because I don’t know how to fight by punching.
I told them I would call the police for their assault and so I did. The cops on patrol heard my whole story and I even presented myself as an opponent, doubting that the opponents that I admire would concede my taking such a title, that to me honors me. They then changed their tone, they spoke to me more sharply but they did not refuse my right to go to the station to make a complaint for assault. I told them to give me a few minutes to take my daughter to the home of the only neighbor who is my friend.
When I came down the stairs and out the door of the building, I saw Isabel, the MINIT Lieutenant Colonel, who has made a type of campaign among some of the neighbors not to speak to me, talking with one of the police and I clearly heard her tell him, “Let her make the complaint, we will go and be waiting for her there.”
I thought about saying something but continued walking with the cop and when we got to the car he told me, “Come tomorrow and make the complaint, but I’m not going to take you.” I said, “I am not afraid. If it’s about what she said I have to make a complaint because I don’t respond to their beatings because of cowardice but because it’s not my language and the police are there to stop mobs of people like her who physically assault others. That is a crime anywhere.”
We both argued for some minutes. I telling him that I was not afraid of “Security” if they really were waiting for me, and he said that if I wanted to I could go, but I had to do it on my own two feet. The police station is quite far from my house. The other patrolman came and told him, “Take her to make the complaint.” And that policeman still intrigues me, as if he was wanted to avoid my being ambushed, he never stopped saying, “You’re not going in this car.”
October 9 2012