Sayings and Truths / Miriam Celaya #Cuba

The new champion of Latin American democracy. Photo taken from

In the people’s collection of sayings, there is a well-known refrain that goes as follows: “Justice takes its time, but it will get here”. Judging from the more than 50 years’ of dictatorship expertise of Cubans, the syntax of the phrase could be changed to come up with a result that is more representative: “Justice will get there, but it’s taking its time!” Nothing could have predicted that 54 years after power was snatched in Cuba, and 24 years after that house of cards that was socialism in Eastern Europe fell, the chameleon-like Castro regime would not only have survived, but that Cuba would become the virtual metropolis of a huge oil country.

So, when so many Cubans from all shores peeked, hopeful, at the calendar, calculating, with a certain morbid relish the years that were falling on the octogenarian caste of the anointed, bringing them closer to their end, they were forgetting that perversity has so many recourses that it often resembles perfection, that the calendar is unforgiving to all, especially to those who are suffering, and that it’s not worth it to wait passively for events to happen, but that it is necessary for us to make things happen. Just as thunder announces itself, the storm rages on.

So Cubazuela (not Venecuba) is a reality. At last, the Castro caste has managed to extend its political power beyond the narrow island boundaries to control the fate of a nation that far exceeds Cuba in its extent and riches. Havana, and not Caracas, is the new capital, and it is in this city where the Government Council carries out affairs, and where control strategies over Cubazuelans are settled. Meanwhile, the octogenarian vessel sails on a river of oil whose flow is said to be inexhaustible… or at least almost so.

As if that were not enough glorification of the dictatorship, Castro II will soon be the new president of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), an intergovernmental organization of more than 30 countries whose aim is, among others, to promote democracy. Castro I must be exultant in his retirement of leafy moringas*. Who could have told him (us)!

They say there’s no evil that will last a hundred years, and there is no body that could endure it, but the fact is that we Cubans have already covered more than half of that time and the agony -more ours than theirs- continues on. Cubans who were waiting for the demise of Mr. F. as the beginning of the end of the Castro “model” will have to come up with a new prospect. We are only at the beginning of another resurrection cycle that we know will be limited, but in the conditions of wear and tear of this nation, it can have disastrous consequences. A lot of people are packing their suitcases, to go seek elsewhere what we have not been capable of constructing here. As far as the Cubazuelans, tighten your belts, because the trip may be longer than expected. And I want to assure you that I am not glad of your misfortune, which, after all, is also ours. There is another Spanish saying that goes: “Evil of many, consolation of fools”.

*Translator’s note: Fidel Castro praised the nutritional benefits of the moringa tree extensively in October, 2012, for which he has been highly ridiculed by common Cubans and the exile communities abroad.

Translated by Norma Whiting

January 21 2013