“We Are the Root of The Change,” by Raudel of the Patriotic Squadron

This video was made yesterday at a concert organized by the group OMNI-Zona Franca in Gaia house. There was very little light and the audio is bad, but the song of Raudel shines out above any technological problem.

I transcribed what I’ve managed to understand, any contribution from a reader with a better ear than me is welcome:


“We Are the Root of Change”

Ten months later I have to remember my position, given that we want the best for all and ensure a life with tolerance, balance and harmony for all the people of the nation and the diaspora, but also with a lot of progress, balance and spiritual evolution because there are many dreams and much faith.

The Squadron shows:
I am Afro-descendant and Cuba is my country,
We are not a threat to anyone, pay attention:
We do not want violence and confrontation,
They insist that our message is counterrevolutionary,
This is called reality and commitment to the nation,
Love conquers fear, the word to (inaudible)
We remember the mind the voice, not the resignation:
Revolution is change, it is progress and it is transformation,
Do not hide the hopes of millions for no reason.
Conspiracy against the Squadron, why? In my view
Who knows knows the worst side of this nation
Neither bourgeoisie, nor family in Yuma, nor a good position
I live in the heart where people suffer and swallow the pain
I do not sing to them of politics, mistakes,
I have a critical awareness and this is my projection
And of course I worry, I live in the center of the cyclone,
The demands of the country are so many without enough investigation:
Inequality, deprivation, poor nutrition,
overcrowding, isolation, repression,
disoriented generation, misfortune, separation,
racism, destruction and a list with no definition.
But we they still see us as a provocation
Who justifies that the shelters weaken the nation?
We are the blood flowing from the open wound of the revolution
The flag of the soldiers (inaudible)

May you stay in the light that this is revealing,
Let’s go, We are the root of the change!
Much time thinking and no action,
What are we waiting for? We are the root of the change!
They can’t with us: the truth is in the people.
They know, We are the root of the change!
For the children and the elderly, for the blacks and the whites:
We are the root of the change!

I’m not lying when I say that this control was
Surely (inaudible)
For the safety in action
The orientation of which is not to call for the arrest
And in each presentation there is respect and reconciliation
I know it takes a ton of work to wake up
(Inaudible) as I was a fatal victim
Certain partial information, state ignorance
Isolation is deadly I can show it
I am unable to promote hatred, to manipulate anyone
Nor to launch the most (inaudible) testimony
I have family, friends (inaudible)
I am rooting for a change for prosperity, it is obvious
Because what most people think
What most people want
What most people think of this people I know
I have no fear that it happens
(Inaudible)
Take up space in every corner of my house
Tell everyone the Squadron is a threat
Stop them from being the image .. (Inaudible)
And silence on the lips (inaudible) undermines the soul
The truth may have relativity
But we do not believe it: We are the reality
The dawn of a new day will come from (inaudible) and music
It is a nation tired (inaudible)
After a declaration against heaven
I remain silent and ask the supreme
That for every tear shed
(Inaudible)

May you stay in the light that it is being revealed,
We are the root of the change!
Much time thinking and no action,
What are we waiting for? We are the root of the change!
They can’t with us: the truth is in the people,
They know it, We are the root of the change!
For the children and the elderly, for the blacks and the whites:
We are the root of the change!
Every child in every neighborhood in every town
With a fist held high, We are the root of the change!
Much time thinking without acting
What are we waiting for? We are the root of the change!
They can’t with us: the truth is in the people,
They know it, We are the root of the change!
For the children and the elderly, for the blacks and the whites:
We are the root of the change!

(Inaudible) … Even my nation Cuba: Love, peace and faith. Love, peace and faith in the name of the highest of creation, we are all the root of the change. We all love this country. We all love it and freedom we want to have harmony, spiritual progress, economic and social development for our island. We all have responsibility and we are the root of the change.
Thank you.

Too Much Uncertainty to Claim Victory

Recently the Archbishop of Havana announced the release of 52 political prisoners over the course of three to four months. A rather strange act, this being a secular state. In turn, Miguel Angel Moratinos, Spain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, told reporters that those released will travel to his country, and once they are out of Cuba, they will require government authorization to return, while their family members may do so whenever they wish.

We should not be misled. Do not confuse a humanitarian gesture with a willingness to change. If those who are released need permission to return to the island, then the government does not have the slightest intention of removing restrictions on the freedom of movement of its citizens. Is this a breakthrough in human rights?

If they do not eliminate the entry permit, it means that they will continue to confiscate the properties of Cuban emigrants – measures imposed by the same legal provision, Law No. 989 of 1961, that also governs permanent abandonment.

Moratinos also said that the island government agreed not to “expropriate” the homes of dissidents in Cuba, among other unspecified compromises. Some doubts remain. Under what legal assumptions will the Cuban state fulfill the concessions?

The government declares a permanent abandonment and proceeds to confiscate the property of nationals who choose to reside permanently outside the country. Permission to reside abroad is given to Cubans who are married to foreigners, which does not apply in this case.

Will there be a legal formulation about this? What guarantees do these people have that, once they are abroad, the government will fulfill a commitment made by the representative of a foreign state? Who will compel it to comply? What will happen when it asserts the principles of state sovereignty and non interference in internal affairs? There is too much uncertainty to claim victory.

Laritza Diversent

Translated by: Tomás A.

Without Fanfare, But Without Results

Image taken from adn.es
The July 26 event started early, in fear of the evening rains and to avoid the sun that makes the neck itch and annoys the audience. It had the solemnity that is already inherent in the Cuban system: heavy, outdated, and at times dusty. Nothing seemed to jump out of the script; Raúl Castro didn’t take the podium, nor was the speech addressed to a nation waiting for a program of changes. His absence at the microphone should not be read as a intention to decentralize responsibility and allow someone else to speak at such a commemoration. The general did not speak because he had nothing to say, no launching of a reform package, because he knows that would be playing with the power, the control, that his family has exercised for five decades.

In previous speeches, on this same date, the phrases of the Cuban Communist Party’s second secretary have created more confusion than certainty, so this time he avoided analysts reinterpreting them. Enough doubts have already been created with his 2007 predictions of mass access to milk, his unfulfilled forecast of having Santiago de Cuba’s aqueduct completed, and the unfortunate phrase “I’m just a shadow,” with which he began his speech last year. Perhaps because of this he preferred to remain silent and leave the address to the most unyielding man of his government: José Ramón Machado Ventura. Some portentous cannon shots shook the city of Havana just as the first vice president approached the podium and began his harangue filled with platitudes and declarations of intransigence.

Referring to the postponed measures to address the economy and society, Machedo Ventura declared that they will be made, “step by step at a pace determined by us.” The old confusion with the first person plural, the well-known ambiguity of the apparently consensual. The pace, the velocity and the depth of these long-awaited apertures are decided by a small group which has much to lose if they apply them, and time to benefit if they delay them. Some will say Raúl Castro’s silence is part of his strategy to avoid bluster and bravado. But, more than political discretion, what we saw today is pure State secretiveness. To make no public commitments to change, no visible implications of transformation, can be a way of warning us that these do not respond to his political will, but rather to a momentary despair which — he thinks — will eventually pass. By saying nothing, he has sent us his fullest message: “I owe you no explanations, no promises, no results.”

Cold Air or the Fridge Up in the Air / Regina Coyula

On Mother’s Day last year, my niece gave my mother a refrigerator as a gift. My mother was delighted, since in spite of being larger, the new refrigerator consumes less electricity than the former one.

And everybody was happy in my mother’s house until this New Mother’s day. First the refrigerator and then the freezer stopped working. As the refrigerator had a guarantee of three years, the following day my sister decided to find out how to repair this important piece of equipment. Now things began to get worse; the fridge stopped being cold. My sister spent all morning on the telephone trying to find the Copextel shop that was supposed to maintain the sick refrigerator. When she finally got through, the young person on the phone who receives complaints told her to expect the visit of the technicians between three days and a week. Ten days later, they appeared, and in one glance diagnosed a fault in the source of the manufacturing lot and said the sick refrigerator couldn’t be cured. It should be exchanged.

“Now?” Hopeful, my sister began to ask about the conditions for the replacement.

“No, señora. Two technicians will come from the other shop to certify that there wasn’t a fraud and that the refrigerator should be replaced.”

“A fraud?”

“Yes, so that we don’t exchange a repaired refrigerator under the table for a new one.”

“And how many days will this take?”

“Between three days and a week.”

Improving on the record of the former visit, the new repairmen appeared within two weeks. They lingered, more in hopes of getting coffee than because my mother ordered them to certify the broken refrigerator. More cautious than before, my sister asked:

“And now what?”

“They are coming from the Division with the new refrigerator.”

“Yes, but how long will it take?”

“Between three days and a week.”

Ten days later, my sister again found herself on the phone calling all the workshops of Copextel. In her latest telephonic escalation, my sister talked with the workshop chiefs, the head of public relations, and the head of the division. A kind of smokescreen existed there. And always the same words:

“Don’t worry, we’re going to solve the problem.”

She called so many times that now they knew her case. But – big surprise! – one Friday she got a call saying they were going to bring the new refrigerator on Monday morning. Finally she could stop leaving packages of food and water at the neighbors. But it wasn’t until the following Thursday, after 65 days, that the new refrigerator arrived. Finally! it took the place of the defunct fridge.

Translated by Regina Anavy

With Shame, But No Glory

Another celebration, more evidence of lack of spontaneity which we have all become so accustomed to.

As always, many expectations were created, especially for those who continue to refuse to accept the cruel reality. My grandma would always say, “The worst blind man is he who does not want to see”.

The event took place very early in the morning, almost at sunrise. The person who most used, or abused, speech was an alien from our sister republic, later the maximum chief of the party in the province, and the closing act was done by someone whose name reminds us of two disastrous personalities of my small planet.

It was expected. What was the point of the second one talking if the first one has already said everything. Nothing people, I have said it in other occasions, this is just like a bad marriage under the church: Until death do us part.

Translated by Raul G.

Waiting for Orders

An acquaintance of my mother, who lives very near to a Lady in White, told her that they are under orders not to assault these women in light clothing with gladioli in their hands. The same lady, who until recently wore a sneer of disgust when talking about the masses at Santa Rita and the pilgrimages on 5th Avenue, today was on the point of shaking hands with Laura Pollán and asking for her autograph. Perhaps another neighbor, who screamed “The worms are rioting!” last March on national television, is now confused and waiting for new orders to return to her rants. The mechanisms of false spontaneity have been exposed by this truce: the manufacture of that supposed popular response is confirmed by this interruption in the attacks.

From the point of view of the official discourse, the people who have been released from prison in recent weeks deserved to be prey. Using this argument, and certain known pressures, they mobilized Party militants and members of the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution to participate in so-called “repudiation rallies” where they spat on, insulted and knocked about the Ladies in White. Now the energetic troublemakers who came to “defend the Revolution against the mercenaries in the pay of the imperialists” should be expecting some explanation to justify the prisoner releases. It would be interesting to go to a meeting of the Party nucleus to see what secret revelations they come up with, because if none are offered they will end up seeing themselves as pawns in the control of those who incite them one day and then the next day command them to keep quiet.

My mother’s acquaintance doesn’t hide her confusion. “There’s no one who understand them. Yesterday they called us to insult them, and today we’re not allowed to touch a hair on their heads,” she says. The truth is that here, where it seemed like nothing would ever happen, we are suddenly in a situation where anything can happen. At what point did history begin to change? Perhaps in the damp, dark, vermin-filled punishment cell where Orlando Zapata Tamayo decided to sacrifice himself; or in the sterile, chilly intensive care ward where Guillermo Fariñas stuck by his decision to die if they were not freed; or in the streets of Havana, where some defenseless women defied an omnipotent power by screaming the word freedom, where there was none.

  • The truce — brief and fragile — appears to be limited to Havana as in Banes Reina Tamayo continues to be a victim of the same methods.

A Personal Theme

I am against war. All weapons, but especially nuclear ones, seem to me to be an aberration. The armies should be disbanded and spend their budgets to solve the problems of hunger in the world (an issue in which the Vatican would be decisive with its influence, but above all with its wealth). I believe in an economic independence that guarantees political independence. I see the United States as a neighbor. And here I apply the same principle as in my neighborhood: I say Good Morning, I help if I am needed, I ask for help when I need it, and if I don’t like the neighbors sticking their noses in my business, I don’t stick my nose in anyone else’s.

Trying to go along with the new century, I like to think of the global village, and whether you live in Africa or in Europe, it makes no difference. I know we have a long way to go, at worst the natural state of man, as history shows, is one of confrontation. But it is now with the visionary and arrogant heads of state that we find a balance between our ambitions and the common good. And how good it will be when we define the common good as that of humanity.

The fact that I have absolutely no influence in these events makes this a rant, a catharsis, that I write one weekend for people I don’t know and who don’t know me, but if my readers take the smallest thing away from this, it could be a butterfly effect, and if not the youngest, their grandchildren, or beyond, will see the result. That is, if some lunatic hasn’t already pressed the button.

My Husband is Worth it, Telephone Interview with Suyoani Tapia Mayola (II)

Part Two: Kilo 5 ½ Prison in Pinar del Río

– When did you decide to follow the fate of Horacio and move out of Ciego de Avila to Pinar del Rio?

It was difficult to get them to give me authorization, me being a doctor, to go visit Horacio after they transferred him. We intended to make the relationship work and so I had to move there. Also, I couldn’t keep up the pace of the visits from Ciego de Avila.

I have been living here in Pinar del Rio for four years with no one, only his family and the friends I’ve made since I came. The families of the other prisoners supported me, for example I would stay in the house of the family of Victor Rolando Arroyo when I came on the visits.

It was hard to separate from my family, I never dreamed of living in Pinar del Rio and look, here I am. Then my mother-in-law died, which was a very hard blow for Horacio and for me. She helped me with everything, she died March 2, 2008, of cancer.

I was very lonely but months later God gave me the gift of becoming pregnant and now I have a daughter of 15 months; we named her after Horacio’s mother: Ada Maria, she’s the youngest little Lady in White.

Despite everything I think we are happy, despite being separated we have a lot: a family on a sound footing. We, Horacio and I, have always had a great deal of faith, and at times — my mother also tells me this — I feel as if it were a mission, that only God knows why he does things.

I can’t say it is completely happy, having him in prison is very hard; we are all prisoners, we have no life. I take my daughter to all the visits, she plays for two hours and on leaving him she cries. For us as parents, also, it’s very difficult, he has missed so much: her first steps, her first words. We miss having Horacio very much, as do his children and their spouses. We hope that everything will be solved and we can live as a family, as the real family that we are.

– Are you still practicing as a doctor in Pinar del Rio?

I finished my social service and I continue working here, the move was difficult, at first no one wanted to give me a position. My career is very practical and I always want to work. State Security made sure that my position here in Pinar del Rio was very far away, there wasn’t even a road, I had to get there in a horse cart, and I was there for six or eight months. When I was pregnant I had to travel by wagon with my big belly, coming and going every workday.

Eventually I approached the town and then the municipality, but with all that I’m still very far out. In my work I’m assigned to the municipality of Sandino, about twenty miles from where Horacio’s family lives.

They gave me a job, but they have never made things easy for me. A doctor friend told me when I arrived, “Are you prepared for how you will live? I’m convinced you can’t even imagine how things are going to be for you.” And it’s true, very difficult things have happened, when I got pregnant it was even worse, with a huge belly for six, seven months, going alone to the prison, arriving with three or four suitcases of things for Horacio and the officers weighing them so they can start removing things. All of the prisoners’ families live through this, but looking at my story in particular and what they have done, there is cruelty.

– Do you have any special moment you would like to tell me about, something that has been marked you as a couple?

We have had very hard times but also very beautiful times in our relationship. I can’t deny that at times we’ve fallen, like everyone else, but we are always able to pick ourselves up and the proof is this: today we are together, after nearly seven years in a relationship, we are more united than ever, and that’s the truth.

There is a story that marks us — it’s even amusing — at times a person from outside hears it and it seems normal, but for us it has a great deal of significance: Once I was looking after a prisoner and Horacio called me to attend to him. I thought he felt bad, I was worried because I thought it was serious. It happened that I was examining other prisoners — the doctor in the prison usually goes in and examines the prisoners in the same cell — and the guard forgot about me and left me alone with the inmates. Horacio was calling and calling me, and suddenly he was at my side and without thinking he gave me a hug as if he wanted to say that no one could touch me. When I realized what was happening it frightened me. Afterwards we laughed and I asked him, “What were you thinking?!”  What he hit on was to hug me before the whole world!

– When did you get married?

We were married on March 21, 2007, the wedding was in the prison, a very simple thing: we brought a notary, signed. Perhaps one day we will celebrate our union in a better way with our family. Horacio has three daughters, the oldest is 22 and is very attached to us, she was 16 when her father was convicted.

Perhaps we’ve managed to achieve things other couples living together don’t manage, I daresay there are married couples in the street, you see it every day, who do not have what we have. This is not an heroic act of mine: Horacio is worth all this sacrifice, he inspires me to do all of this.

– What do you think of the negotiations taking place now between the government and the Catholic Church?

It is very difficult to have a daughter alone, to see how this baby walks, talks and grows without being able to see her papa, to see how she cries every time we leave him. It’s very hard to see him turn his back and know that he is enclosed behind a fence, to not know if he’s eating, if he’s going to be fine. Then, as long as it doesn’t go against our principles, I’m infinitely thankful for everything that is being done to free him and all the prisoners.

There was a time in my life when there was no light, I lived to live and today I have the hope of being able to form a family, to give my daughter a stable home. Her father is irreplaceable, his place can’t be filled by anyone else, not by grandparents, by no one, then the possibility to live together, to have a normal live, as God wishes, it’s something I am very grateful for.

(End of interview)

OPEN LETTER TO PÍTER ORTEGA Y DESIDERIO NAVARRO

Based on what aesthetic criteria, according to the debaters, do the political experts perpetrate under our noses the native performance of the most cultured State in the world that is left to die by the concept of a hunger striker ignorant in art?

Thanking you in advance for your eloquent silence.

Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo,

Havanothing, Saturday, July 24, 2010 (less than one month from the nuclear Cubapocalypse).

LAGE: THE CULT NOVEL IN PERU


LAGE DE CULTO EN PERÚ, originally uploaded by orlandoluispardolazo.

“It was an endless city. Therefore, an unreal city. And the unreality exhausts.” So Jorge Enrque Lage offers us. A perfect metaphor for Cuba in the strokes of one of our most powerful storytellers. For this he constructs in Evelin a representation inwhich everything serves, in which everything is apt for developing a critical resistance where here personal traumas will keep a tight rein on the aesthetic tension that encodes the anguish of Latin America.Carbon 14: A cult novel, functions as a symbol of the decadence and the multimedia virtuosity that places Lage as a writer as one we must rad to understand the experimental possibility of a language that has lost, certainly, the idea of its border. Perhaps the most timely exercise to witness the vitality of the fictional landscape of America…

An Iranian Theme

Just the fact that I am a woman makes me look with disfavor on the current government of Iran. As a housewife who reads, I remember that the era of Mohammad Reza, with everything bad that could mean, signified for the Iranians the opportunity to emancipate themselves. I do not know very well what happened after Khomeini, but the Revolutionary Guards persecuted those who had opposed the Shah but did not agree with the fundamentalism of the Ayatollah, and in this purge of Persian society many Communists were killed. And for women, they imposed backwardness, the role of object, all at the expense of the most ferocious repression in the name of Allah.

It would be worth remembering who pulled the strings behind the Iran-Iraq war of the eighties. It would be worth asking why Mr. Ahmadinejad does not want to sit down to talk now, but would be willing to do it later.

And certainly it would be worth considering if the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Libertation or Exile?

The announcement of the liberation of 52 political prisoners was described by some as “great news”, while others received it with caution and even suspicion. However, the legal grounds for the release, an event considered to be the most significant of its type in a long time, remained unclear.

It would be incorrect to speak of liberation until the government has formally endorsed the release. Without this, the prisoners’ departure from the country would be the result of a coercion. In other words, we would be looking at an act of exile.

Let us take the procedural status of the released prisoners as a starting point in order to understand the issue at hand. Neither a furlough nor a parole would dismiss their criminal responsibility. In this sense, it would be helpful to envisage the risks of lifting their sentence, with their being out of prison but still within the country. The smallest risk is that they might be returned back to jail under some pretext.

From this point of view, it is not hard to understand why the relatives of the political prisoners preferred to leave the country. According to the statement of the Archbishop of Havana, the earlier suggestions made by the prisoners’ relatives to cardinal Jaime Ortega were taken into account during the release process. What remains doubtful, though, is whether the proposal truly originated from the relatives.

Let us think like the government for a moment without entering into details about the ranking of the priorities of its motives: A hostile international environment from an economic perspective because of the financial crisis and political isolation due to the international pressure demanding the liberation of the prisoners of conscience and respect for human rights within the island.

The act itself serves it well considering the internal situation, which grows more troubled every day because of the precarious economic development. Women dressed in white marching silently through the streets with gladioli in their hands, enduring insults and humiliations, demanding the release of their husbands and sons is not a conduct conforming with the model of social behaviour desired by the government.

Let us add that the prisoners’ release and their definitive, that is permanent, departure from the country together with their relatives would relieve the government from the presence of the group of women, called The Ladies in White. These women rejected the opportunity to convert their group into a civil movement when they distanced themselves from the “Damas de Apoyo” (The Ladies of Support). After the release of the prisoners the reason for the existence of their group will be gone.

Furthermore, the government would not be pleased if people approved of a group of citizens or families that had confronted it, managed to hold out against it and could walk free to tell the story. To put pressure on them in order to make them leave the country is the most convenient measure.

Laritza Diversent

Translated by: undef@rocketmail.com

Laws in Lemon Juice

There are certain Cuban laws that, from the looks if it, have a quality as native as it is original. A peculiarity so ours, it even takes us back to the rebel periods, when it was necessary to send subversive messages in absolute confidentiality. It is all about the laws that seem to have been written with lemon juice: at first sight, they are impossible to read. Nobody can affirm they have ever been stated. Perhaps, because in order to do so, it is necessary to add some warmth.

With lemon juice was written the law that forces doctors, nurses, x-ray technicians, dentists, or lab workers, to stay in Cuba for five years after requesting permission to leave the country. That wide population sector associated with the Health Department knows the process very well: after requesting permission to leave, you must prepare a piece of wood, just like ship crews, to mark off one by one, the 1,825 days (some more, some less) that await you before their immigration process takes effect.

Who, as naïve or uninformed they may be, doesn’t know that today in Cuba, this is already a ritual practice, from which families are planned and couples’ ties are destroyed? However, has anybody ever seen the written law, the official ordinance that justifies it?

With lemon juice is written the law that prohibits all Cubans to contract for the same internet services available to foreigners residing in the island. The ordinance that justifies on rational grounds (or really, what are laws then?) why a foreigner that lives in my country can pay 80 convertible pesos for 60 hours of internet at their house, and a Cuban born here who has the same amount of money in their pocket can’t. Nobody has been able to verify this law and yet, has anybody doubted its power?

If the agent, official, or enthusiast knew anything about the power that stopped and questioned, right in the street, the authors of the documentary Que me pongan en la lista (Put me on the list), they may not have seen these deeds but they don’t doubt their existence. Although  the critics are notoriously scarce in our grocery stores, there will always be reservists to write these laws.

Because, yes: someone who, I repeat, seems to belong to a sector empowered to impose “order” and ask for identification, without even wearing a uniform, had done very well by the youngsters from the Instituto Superior de Arte who, camera in hand, went out to the streets of Havana asking what their fellow citizens thought about the function of the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (Comites de Defensa de la Revolucion, CDR). The incident was reflected in the work Que me pongan en la lista (Put me on the list), a documentary that recently won prizes in various Cuban audiovisual contests. The energetic compañero forgot that just because the camera has been lowered from the shoulder, it hasn’t stopped recording.

At the moment of informing them, in all honesty, in a very threatening, unbalanced tone of voice, that they were not authorized to be asking those kinds of questions, one of the filmmakers had the initiative to investigate the law that prohibited them from doing it. The answer was without a doubt delicious for its denigration: “Don’t come to me talking about laws, don’t talk to me about laws because if you do we’ll end up on other matters…”

Yes, this one was knowledgeable. This one knew that a legal basis exists. But to be able to see it, warmth needed to be applied to it.

I think also written with lemon was the modern exile that is tactically practiced today in Cuba. The algorithm is somewhat like this: A professional leaves to go work outside of his country. In the bellicose vocabulary of my island, this is known as “serving on a mission.” They leave to work: as physiotherapists, surgeons, or English professors. There they meet the woman of their dreams, or the country that best satisfies their desires. There, they decide to drop the anchor. Alright: they’re automatically marked with the Scarlet Letter of “deserters” for whom the doors of the tropical castle are forever closed. An invisible law dictates it.

I speak almost by personal experience: someone very close to me lost her father last New Year’s Eve. She has lived in Jamaica for six years without being able to come back into Cuba. This time, not even the International Red Cross was able to assist her in attending her own father’s burial.

Too much darkness, too much invisibility. What I have mentioned are only a handful among the hundreds that today condition our reality. I want to believe that they are verifiable, well founded laws, but I find myself incapable of declaring faith in these matters: I need to see them. I need to prove they exist. I am not afraid to be labeled as ignorant just like the ones who kept quiet before the King’s nudity, without daring to tell Their Majesty that the tailor had fooled him: he was naked. No, I will bear that stigma if necessary.

It’s already time that they respect a little our right to be governed by the laws that we can look at, touch, and above all, confront. Let them use the lemon for that most Cuban dish, red bean soup (many homes in our country will appreciate that) and write our laws with ink made up of honesty.

To comment on this article please visit:
Ernesto’s Blog: The Little Brother.

A Korean Theme

I would like to discuss a detail that I do not know, which the rest of the world has been reading about. The Korean heir must not have been very convincing on his trip to China following allegations about the sinking of the Cheonan, in that China voted against North Korea in the Security Council.

I still remember when that son of his father claimed to be developing atomic energy for peaceful purposes. I do not know if the poor Koreans will have electricity from the atomic plant, but their president has the Bomb. If he lied then, I don’t know why he wouldn’t lie now.