Cuba, Born Again!

On the night of June 22, in the Cotorro municipality in Havana, we celebrated the 80th anniversary of the coming of the Evangelical church to this country.

At Villa Rosa Baptist Church the different denominations of the town were brought together: Church of God in Christ, God of Prophecy, Assembly of God, The Open Bible, First Pentecostal, Full Gospel Church, Brethren in Christ, Free Baptist and Western Cuba Baptist. Also represented were churches from the cities of Atlanta, Georgia and Houston, Texas, in the United States of America.

It was the Western Cuba Baptist church that started the missionary activity in El Calvario in 1930. And so the pastor of this church gave the sermon. He called for the unite of Christians. For living in harmony with the faith, and firmly defending the unity of the family. And to boldly keep all the good that God has given us.

I remember that in the decade of the seventies the evangelical seminaries were closed and the students were put in forced labor camps. The law of Obligatory Military Service was also established and those who for reasons of their faith refused to take up arms were put in prison.

Therefore it was gratifying to confirm that it works to eliminate the traces of hatred and resentment. The young guides will convey to their congregations a message of peace, love and family unity. They will seek to rescue the values that years of materialistic atheism destroyed.

We know that the struggle for civil rights led by the Rev. Martin Luther King was conceived and developed in the evangelical churches of black communities. These people were brought together by their faith and shared way of life, which enabled them to act as one to fight for full integration into society.

In our country, for decades, they have promoted hatred, violence, and confrontation between people. And so it is commendable to see preachers reclaiming, peacefully and with strength and determination the inherent rights of human beings. To instruct people in education programs and to train people in programs for non-violence forms the future leaders of our community and government.

Request from Guillermo Fariñas Hernández to the Newspaper Granma

Imagen: La redención de Horus, por Luís Trápaga

Taken from the blog Hunger Strike

Request from Guillermo Fariñas Hernández with regards to the interview by Deisy Francis Mexidor, of the newspaper Granma, Saturday, July 3, 2010, with the Chief of Intensive Care at the University of Arnaldo Milián Castro Hospital.

The request was dictated by phone by Guillermo Fariñas to Licet Zamora Carrandi

The journalist Deisy Francis Mexidor intentionally omitted to detail the entire medical team attending Guillermo Fariñas Hernández. It includes: Dr. Armando Caballero López head of Intensive Care and Specialist in the Second Degree, Dr. Elias Becker Garcia, Second Degree Specialist in Nutrition Parenteral, Dr. Luis Alberto Pérez Santos, Second Degree Specialist in Intensive Care, Dr. Mauro López Ortega, Second Degree Specialist in Intensive Care, Dr. Mario Rodríguez Domínguez, Second Degree Specialist in Intensive Care, Dr. Rodolfo Delgado Martínez, Dr. Israel Serra Machado, Dr. Ernesto Fernandez Aspiolea, First Degree Specialist in Intensive Care, Dr. Marcos Castro Alonso, First Degree Specialist in Intensive Care, Dr. Yoniel Rivero Lóbrega , Third Year Resident in Critical Care and Dr . Cartaya Carlos Herrera, who is not part of the medical team because he is fulfilling a mission to Venezuela but on a visit to Cuba he has attended, every morning, the discussions of the medical team with respect to the progress of Guillermo Fariñas, because of his years of experience with the various strikes previously carried out.

Professor Armando Caballero made a slight error because I entered weighing 53 kilograms on March 11, and on occasion have been as high as 69.75 kilograms. All this has been thanks to the nutritionist Dr. Elias Becker, which makes us certain that Orlando Zapata Tamayo was assassinated because had he been given the medical attention that the newspaper Granma reports that I have been given, at this time he would not be deceased.

She omitted explaining the reason for my fast and suggested in the newspaper that it is a suicide and it was not explained to the readers that Guillermo Fariñas has been on a hunger strike since last February 24, demanding parole for 25 of the political prisoners in Cuban prisons as prisoners of conscience because they are in poor health.

I believe that because of my serious condition they have used the humanitarianism of the doctors to prepare the international media for my future death. I am aware of my upcoming death and consider it an honor to try to save the lived of the 25 political prisoners of conscience which our country needs as leaders. The only ones responsible for my future death are the brothers Fidel and Raul Castro. I trust in the medical and paramedic team treating me. That is why I have rejected the various offers that have been made to me to go to other countries. I want to die in my country under the noses of the dictators with their guns, rifles, canons and bombs. I have only the moral standing of a member of the ordinary people, misled and subjugated for 51 years by those who have weapons, violence, totalitarian laws and misgovernment from above.

Guillermo Fariñas Hernández

From an MP4 to Silence

Today could be a special day, and in fact, it is. In addition to the marital pavilion meeting, my unrivaled wife handed me an emotional letter from Sebastian Lebriel, a Dutch television host. I will respond to this letter soon through my blog, Voices Behind the Bars.

Too good to be true, I thought. Thirty minutes after I returned from the pavilion, the functionary from the Order of the Interior of Detachment 3 informed me that I had to accompany him to the room at the entrance of the prison. Something must be wrong, I thought. I completely forgot about the dialogues between the Cuban Catholic church and the government in favor of the Cuban political prisoners. Perhaps these 7 years of captivity and of suffering from the darkest part of humanity activated my intuition. The sense of smell that I have been using these days for the World Cup did not fail me. I was lead to the room of lawyers and was being questioned by none other than the State Security Chief- Agustin- who is in charge of the prisons of Ciego de Avila province. Also present was the infamous Lieutenant Jose Marino, chief of Political Police Operations and main culprit for the pompous searches of my home and the home of Pedro Arguelles Moran on the 18th and 19th of March 2003.

If I say that I was not afraid, I’d be a flat out liar. Just like if I say that I did not foresee something negative coming, I’d be lying to myself. The State Security officials told me that thanks to a diverse range of sources, they knew that I had a digital memory device and that these technologies were strictly prohibited in Cuban jails. They told me that I had to turn it in and that they would be responsible to hand it back to Oleidis. I acceded without a fight, though I must say that such ridiculousness gave rise to an uncontrollable and ironic laughter in me. This apparently surprised the main henchmen.

It is an incredible fact that the international community must know that in the jails of this island video and photo cameras, radios, DVDs, recorders, fans, cell phones, and phones in service for prisoners are all either restricted or constantly monitored. Flash drives, Ipods, MP3s, and MP4s are all prohibited as well.

What is interesting about this story is that I simply use my 4 GB MP4 to listen to music, to play mind challenge games, and to stare at pictures of my beloved family. From today on I will have to do without staring at the one thing that I long for the most from within this wretched place. Such an insignificant thing is capable of worrying the informants of the Investigative Technical Department, Interior Order, Internal Control, and State Security of this detachment B of the provincial prison of Canaletas in Ciego de Avila, especially in galley 43.

It’s quite possible that the culprit of so much denunciations has been observing me for days on end, to inform his employers as they violate basic rights. Perhaps while I record this story the architect of passing on so much valuable information will hear this and applaud it. Their lack of human value leaves a lot of things unanswered. Even so, I’d still help him with whatever I can, but please, I won’t accept that someone will manipulate my intelligence. I am solidary by nature and if I have learned something during these 87 months of captivity it has been to forgive my fellow human beings. Even if so much human misery makes it seem absurd. We must keep in mind that such kinds of men are only pawns of the government and their political game. This is very common in Cuban prisons.

Sebastian Lebriel is right when he says in his letter that it is very terrible that one must live through such an injust struggle in this lifetime. But, my friend, if it is not me, it will be someone else. As long as evil exists in this world there will be men and women determined to fight against it. I do not doubt that one bit.

In addition to being prohibited from freedom, I am also prohibited from entertainment, from listening to music, and from seeing the pictures of my Odeilis and my only son, Jimmy. But it doesn’t matter, this means that I will only have more time now to continue what I dedicate myself to in prison: writing down what my conscience dictates and denouncing the constant violations of human rights in Cuba.

Pablo Pacheco, Prisionero de conciencia

Hunting in Placetas

Agents of State Security in PlacetasAgents of State Security in Placetas

In the early morning hours they arrested Adriano Castaneda Meneses while aboard the Yuton bus on its way back from Sancti Spiritus. He was detained at the entrance of Placetas by a national political police unit. Officer Idel Gonzalez Morfi, aka “Railroad Spike”, did not notice Yordanis and only charged Adriano. When Yordanis got to his house, the dissidents Rolando Rodriguez Lobaina, Jose Cano Fuentes, Isael Poveda Silva, and Idalmis Nuñez Reinoso were all there. I told Yordanis and the others that “they are going to arrest you for sure.” Since the night before last the chief of the political police has been prowling around my house, and the presence of these titans had them (the police) terrorized. The meeting called by Yris, along with the situation of Coco Fariñas, was more than enough to alarm them.

“He has the message of an arrest on the tip of his tongue,” I insisted to Lobaina, “although Blas would go with you all to the terminal to let me know what happens.” In fact, about ten minutes later my cell phone rang with the message of the arrest. Upon his return, Blas told us that they were waiting for them at the Marti house, they arrested them, and that Idalmis was beaten just for screaming slogans in favor of human rights. That all happened at around 11 AM, but at around 2 PM I got the same text message on my cell, this time from Yordanis’ phone. He said that he was arrested along with them. Rolando, Jose, and Isael were transferred to their Guantanamo province. The next morning Yordani called me to tell me that he had been released along with Adriano. Now, these dissidents from Camagüey, Virgilio Mantilla Arango and Belkis Barbara Portal Prado, are honoring me with their visit. They will most likely be arrested when it is time for them to return. All that can be said is that, as opposed to repression, the solidarity is increasing and becoming stronger.

Translated by Raul G.

The Right of Association

Pedro, a commentator on the site, asked me how a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) could be established in Cuba. I will dedicate several entries to explaining this issue according to Cuban law.

To associate for any lawful purpose is an element of freedom that is protected, in principle, in Article 54 of the Constitution of the Republic, stating that:

“The rights of assembly, demonstration, and association are exercised by manual laborers and intellectual, peasants, women, students and other sectors of the working people for they have the means necessary for such purposes.”

The associations give life to entities with legal personalities distinct from their members. The term is defined as a voluntary group of people pursuing a common purpose, on a non-profit basis. They respond to a form of freedom that corresponds to the exercise of other rights such as speech or petition.

As a recognized human right, this implies the right to form associations, to not be compelled to belong to one, and the right to resign from the association to which you belong. If a public servant interferes in this right, it is a violation.

That is, if they impede the creation of an association, or of someone’s becoming a part of one, without legal grounds to justify it; or, where appropriate, someone consents to it. It is also a violation to force someone to be belong to an association or, conversely, to force someone to leave one.

The right of freedom of association has legal restrictions on its exercise, since the purpose must always be lawful. It is enshrined in international law, and in some cases expanded upon.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, enshrines the right of peaceful assembly as a freedom for all people. The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination also guarantees it. Children also require this right, as recognized in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Basic principles regarding the role of lawyers establishes their right to freedom of expression, belief, association, and assembly; in particular the right to participate in public discussion of matters relating to legislation, the administration of justice, and the promotion and protection of human rights.

The instrument also emphasizes that lawyers are entitled to form professional associations or to join them in order to represent their interests, promote their continuing education and training and protect their professional integrity.

Marcos D in NYC

Another Crime Committed by the Foreign Minister

Placetas, July 5, 2010

I confess that I am one of those who feel justly scorned by the servile and complicit posture of the Spanish Foreign Minister. I commented sincerely while I was reading the official newspaper, Granma, which took up the task of misinforming us about the situation of our brother hunger striker. That article, I thought, was a ratification of his death sentence. In this very moment, there is one person who can save the life of Coco, and that is Moratinos, when he arrives here on Monday. But today, we Cubans heard on the news on Radio Marti that the Spanish chancellor, Miguel Angel Moratinos, will not be visiting Guillermo Farinas Hernandez. Once again, the feeling of human sensibility and the hope that there would be miracles faded, while this chancellor and his government ratify the conspiracy and also, in my opinion, are complicit in the possible death of this peaceful and courageous Cuban who continues on his mission of giving his life for the freedom of his jailed brothers.

Translated by Raul G.

Guillermo Fariñas in the Newspaper Granma

Saturday’s Granma newspaper featured an extensive interview with the doctor treating Guillermo Fariñas at the hospital in Salnta Clara. I was overwhelmed by so many technicalities. Although the interview does not mention figures, I sense that so much attention could cost a considerable sum of money. Money that could be saved.

The unusual presence of such information in the official media tells me that Fariñas is in critical condition and the defensive posture of the government will focus on showing Fariñas died because of refusing to eat, because the doctors did everything to avoid it. And that is certain, but it is not the truth.

In his hunger strike, Fariñas is not asking anything for himself. Fariñas calls for medical parole of sick prisoners. Prisoners who attacked no barracks, who placed no bombs,  that was bombed, who executed no enemies, who undertook no kidnappings. Inmates who continue to pray to Marti, a man who said: a man who does not dare to say what he thinks is not an honest man.

I have discussed with my family and friends, the impression it makes on me that Fariñas does not want to die but is prepared to die. The cries will come for the  intensification of the media war, and garmets will be rent at such an injustice. But the death of Guillermo Coco Fariñas will be a shadow over the current Cuban president everywhere he goes because he could have avoided it.

Moratinos Wants to Score a Political Goal

Everyone knows that the Spanish Foreign Minister has character. No one doubts that Miguel Angel Moratinos is a diplomat of the old school. Of those who don’t try to sugar coat the pill. A guy who speaks frankly and looks you in the eye.

But on the subject of Cuba he has achieved little. The Cuban government always has managed to fool the Iberian executive. Anyway. Above all the presidents of the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE).

They are their favorite targets. The Castros delight in showing up the Spanish socialist leaders as fools. Felipe González knows this well. The Seville attorney always believed that in his game with Fidel Castro he held the winning hand.

The old guerilla, shaken by the collapse of the USSR and suffocated by the lack of hard currency in state coffers, lowered his head and seemed to listen to the political advice of his friend, who invited him to make changes on the island.

In the first change, Castro took off the mask and did the exact opposite of what he’d been counseled to do by the Baron of the PSOE.

I fear that the situation is different now. Not because the Castro brothers want to make a 180 degree turn in the state of things in this country. It happens that in this summer as hot as Africa there are few traps and alternatives left to choose from in the commandante‘s trunk of tricks.

The Castros are up against the wall. The economy raised the white flag a long time ago. After 51 years of authoritarian government, people want a different kind of life. The mandarins have two options: either make the urgent changes that Cuba needs, or lose power in the medium term.

And the throne is pancakes with honey for those who have enjoyed it for half a century. Moratinos does not plan to come in as a bullfighter to deliver the last thrust. No. He plans to come to the rescue. Provide oxygen and a decent way out of the debacle that has engulfed the regime after the death on hunger strike of the opponent Orlando Zapata.

Right now, the psychologist and independent journalist Guillermo Fariñas is on the brink of death after four months without food in a bed Arnaldo Milián Hospital in the province of Villa Clara, 300 kilometers from Havana.

The government can not afford another martyred opponent. Not at this time. Fariñas is demanding the release of 26 prisoners of conscience of the more than 200 found on the island, according to Amnesty International.

The United States, the European Union and half the world have also asked for this. And of course José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and Foreign Minister Moratinos. The Castro want the pressure removed. They’re going to toss ballast overboard. They may release a significant number of prisoners. Perhaps all those imprisoned in March 2003.

Although it remains to be seen who will reap the political laurels. America is the permanent enemy. The sullen and impassive European Union has treated the government of Havana rudely in recent years. Then you look at Spain. In the end, it is the one with the key that can unlock the Common Position of the 27 European countries.

Either way, the PSOE is the least of the enemies. And Spain, with its habit of mediating in Cuba’s thorny problems, the perfect actor to score the goal. Moratinos is the man chosen by the Castros to sing the victory song.

Closed societies like Cuba are unpredictable. And it only takes an inappropriate word, an outburst on a bad day for the leaders or for distrust, and everything goes down the tubes.

In authoritarian governments the heart counts for more than reason. Moratinos is about to score a political goal. But he’ll need to keep a sharp eye out to be sure the government doesn’t spring a trap. And he falls out of the game. With the Castros, anything is possible.

Administrative Silence

Parties to cases who exercise the right of appeal can expect their applications to be rejected by administrative silence (negative silence).

Administrative acts that result from administrative silence may be also be asserted before the public administration. They are effective upon the expiration of the final deadline for the issuance and notification of the written decision (or attempted notification), even if one hasn’t been produced, and its existence may be attested by any form of evidence legally admissible, including the certificate attesting it was produced by silence, which can be requested by the competent decision-making body (the court).

The deadlines for filing legal appeals have to be calculated from the expiration of the final deadline for decision and notification, applying the general rules (subject to adjusting the deadlines from the notification of the written decision).

Translated by: Tomás A.

Request from Guillermo Fariñas Hernández to the Newspaper Granma

Request from Guillermo Fariñas Hernández with regards to the interview by Deisy Francis Mexidor, of the newspaper Granma, Saturday, July 3, 2010, with the Chief of Intensive Care at the University of Arnaldo Milián Castro Hospital.

The request was dictated by phone by Guillermo Fariñas to Licet Zamora Carrandi

The journalist Deisy Francis Mexidor intentionally omitted to detail the entire medical team attending Guillermo Fariñas Hernández. It includes: Dr. Armando Caballero López head of Intensive Care and Specialist in the Second Degree, Dr. Elias Becker Garcia, Second Degree Specialist in Nutrition Parenteral, Dr. Luis Alberto Pérez Santos, Second Degree Specialist in Intensive Care, Dr. Mauro López Ortega, Second Degree Specialist in Intensive Care, Dr. Mario Rodríguez Domínguez, Second Degree Specialist in Intensive Care, Dr. Rodolfo Delgado Martínez, Dr. Israel Serra Machado, Dr. Ernesto Fernandez Aspiolea, First Degree Specialist in Intensive Care, Dr. Marcos Castro Alonso, First Degree Specialist in Intensive Care, Dr. Yoniel Rivero Lóbrega, Third Year Resident in Critical Care and Dr . Cartaya Carlos Herrera, who is not part of the medical team because he is fulfilling a mission to Venezuela but on a visit to Cuba he has attended, every morning, the discussions of the medical team with respect to the progress of Guillermo Fariñas, because of his years of experience with the various strikes previously carried out.

Professor Armando Caballero made a slight error because I entered weighing 53 kilograms on March 11, and on occasion have been as high as 69.75 kilograms. All this has been thanks to the nutritionist Dr. Elias Becker, which makes us certain that Orlando Zapata Tamayo was assassinated because had he been given the medical attention that the newspaper Granma reports that I have been given, at this time he would not be deceased.

She omitted explaining the reason for my fast and suggested in the newspaper that it is a suicide and it was not explained to the readers that Guillermo Fariñas has been on a hunger strike since last February 24, demanding parole for 25 of the political prisoners in Cuban prisons as prisoners of conscience because they are in poor health.

I believe that because of my serious condition they have used the humanitarianism of the doctors to prepare the international media for my future death. I am aware of my upcoming death and consider it an honor to try to save the lived of the 25 political prisoners of conscience which our country needs as leaders. The only ones responsible for my future death are the brothers Fidel and Raul Castro. I trust in the medical and paramedic team treating me. That is why I have rejected the various offers that have been made to me to go to other countries. I want to die in my country under the noses of the dictators with their guns, rifles, canons and bombs. I have only the moral standing of a member of the ordinary people, misled and subjugated for 51 years by those who have weapons, violence, totalitarian laws and misgovernment from above.

Guillermo Fariñas Hernández

Get Me Off The List

I happened to overhear a scrap of conversation between two nurses at a clinic near my home. “This coming week they will publish the list…” said one, while the other looked at her with alarm and answered something I didn’t manage to catch. A few yards further on a taxi driver, talking into his cell phone, said, “I was saved, there are a ton of drivers on the list, but not me.” The issue began to puzzle me. Although on this Island there are no shortages of lists and inventories — in some we are forced to appear and others they won’t even let us peek at — one of them is especially upsetting for my compatriots. I knew they were talking about the lists of those who will be unemployed, pages full of names of those workers who exceed the needs in each workplace.

About 25% of the current workforce could end up on the street after the layoffs already under way. Some employees have been advised a week before their company runs out of money to pay them, and they have been without any unemployment compensation to support themselves until they can find another job. Faced with the dilemma of staying home or working in agriculture or construction, the majority choose to dive into domestic life in the hopes of new opportunities. They figure they can work offering illegal manicures, or preparing food to order, and it might pay better dividends than bending their backs over a furrow or raising brick walls.

Today, the issue of layoffs is a worry shared by all Cubans, because at least one member of each family will be affected by the cuts. However, the official press only talks about the layoffs in Greece and Spain, telling us about the call for a general strike in Madrid or the collapse of the economy in Athens. In the meantime, popular rumors feed off the personal stories of those who have already appeared on the frightful lists. In workplaces employees crowd around the wall, running their index fingers over the lists expecting to come across their own names. No one can take to the streets to protest what has happened, nor will they appear on the TV that only mentions unemployment when it happens thousands of miles away.

Government Representative Sued for Impeding the Exercise of Freedom of Association

The Cuban Legal Association, an organization of independent lawyers, lodged a complaint on 24 June before the Second Chamber of the Civil and Administrative Popular Provincial Tribunal of the City of Havana, against Justice Minister María Esther Reus González, for refusing permission for the legal constitution of the guild.

The event, described as exceptional by the jurists, is unprecedented in the 51 years of “Revolution.” It is the first time that a dissident organization has brought a legal action in court against a government representative.

The Cuban Legal Association, founded on October 1, 2008, provides legal advice to citizens who require their services. It also has among its objectives to raise the level of legal awareness of Cuban civil society. All this is done on a non-profit basis.

The Agency of the Central State Administration (OACE), chaired by Reus González, was silent at three distinct stages with respect to the request for a certificate, when it was supposed to certify whether there was another NGO on the island with the same name or purpose as the Cuban Legal Association.

The first two requests were directed to the Head of the Department of Registration of Associations, in April 2009 and March 2010. The third request was made, by means of an appeal, to Reus González, for breach of legal formalities.

The lawyers union gave notice at the expiration of the term for responding to a citizen petition, as provided by the State Constitution and the Civil Procedure Act. The document is the first step in the process to legalize a non-governmental organization (NGO), as required by the Regulation of Law No.54, “Associations.”

The lawsuit was filed by the justice group on 29 June, with the intent of challenging the decision (administrative silence) by the Department of Associations of the Ministry of Justice (MINJUS). At that point the court has precise legal time periods for acting. The presiding judge of the case will be Jolene Pereira Basanta.

Laritza Diversent

The Commander’s Chiaroscuros

Commander Delio Gómez Ochoa has disappeared from the annals of the Cuban military and bureaucracy. Only his family and colleagues remember his actions in war and the energy he put into businesses and regions in the country. Some say he fell into disgrace after his failed intervention in the Dominican Republic where he went in mid-1960 on the orders of Fidel Castro, as head of a special command intended to overthrow the tyrant Rafael L. Trujillo, who was executed a year later by a group of intimates.

Ochoa Gómez and his company landed in the region chosen, but could not seize the airport, deliver weapons and initiate an insurrection. They were not waiting for him with flowers, but rather with shrapnel. He barely managed to escape into the nearby mountains, others were hunted down and tortured by the bloodthirsty Ranfis, eldest son of Trujillo, who pardoned the life of the commander aggressor and returned him to Cuba with his pilot and plane.

I am updating the story as a friend to whom I lent La Fiesta del Chivo, a fictionalized biography by Mario Vargas Llosa about the Dominican despot, on returning the book to me reread the passage where the Peruvian writer tells of the military misadventure of Delio Gómez Ochoa and the “act of goodwill of Trujillo,” who anticipating the continental leadership of Fidel Castro, enlisted in 1947 in the abortive expedition of Cayo Confite.

It turns out that my friend worked with Gómez Ochoa, when the officer directed the National Marble Company, located in the late eighties in El Vedado (20th Street and 3rd). According to him, Vargas Llosa would have been interested the following anecdote of the soldier turned entrepreneur.

“I practiced as a specialist in lubricants at the office of Vincent, head of transport and a close friend of the director, who used more as a personal intermediary responsible for the vehicles. Delio was then in his sixties, of medium height, going gray, he knew nothing of marble or building materials and used to snore in meetings. He distinguished himself with beautiful young women, especially his secretary, a Caribbean nymph who led to his divorce.

“I can’t forget that morning when Delio’s wife came to the company in her Chaika — a Soviet-made luxury car — and threw into the reception area several boxes of the director’s clothes and belongings, who calmly called Vincent and ordered him to accompany us to his lover at a residence in Siboney. As the secretary did not like the mansion, a little while later poor Delio asked us to leave everything as it was and we helped her to settle into an apartment in the Almendares neighborhood, with a terrace overlooking the river.”

According to the friend, Commander Delio Gómez Ochoa was later promoted, while Vincent was killed in a tenement fire in Zanja Street in Central Habana, where he lived with his wife and children, waiting for the apartment that his boss had promised him. Fate is ironic, No?

SATANAVANA

SATURDAY NIGHT PHOBIA

Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

Unmuzzled dogs, lines of patrol cars, cops in every possible color-of-the-rainbow uniform, drunken masses, mobs lined up to put on the one bus or to get brained with a bottle.

Hey man, I’ll cut your fuckin’ face, asshole…!

Walkie-talkies, handcuffs, zambranes, tonfas, mace, Cuban free-for-all of the midnight death of the nation. Once in a while a bullet in the air, a helpless bleat to the moon, limit of the forgotten locals of twenty-first century socialism.

Fuck the poor of the earth, fuck the slaves without bread…

These are the Satanic Saturday nights in Sad-El-Vedado, Havana-With-Nothing, Son-of-a-Bitch-America. With this mass of meat we must constantly plow. And drag. Scratching the reefs of the island platform. Insulated. Insipid. Insulting.

Get ready to give it up, guys: Get thee behind me Satanvolution…!

Official history like a feces filled toilet. No excuses no pretexts. Context content with its own barbarism. No reporter accredited to this city speaks of the spontaneous riots, the ambulance sirens blaring with the triumphalist fanfare of street level politics that leads to the cell or the slab.

Get outta my way, move it or lose it…!

The capital of none of the Cubans is a village freezing in the colorless heat of the early morning hours. At night all police are gray. Rudeness is gratis. Wholesale gesticulation. Elevator music. Sixteenth-note salsa of carrion and sixty-fourth notes with nowhere to crash-boom-bang and escape. Rioting before reggaeton. Pedestrian pop. Congenital concerts. Loudspeakers grate like recycled speeches on a record outside of revolutions. Avenue 23 as a launching pad to catapult you to the pediment of the same and always the same place. Claustrophilia of L Street Holocastro, rhetorical madness. Anarchic pressure cooker.

Rice with cadaver: Da da da DUM, It’s almost over…!