I looked at the picture of the political prisoner Ariel Sigler, taken after his release from prison. I closed my eyes, while various feelings swept over me. Once again I felt the reaction of the effect of his example. I wiped away the tears and composed myself.
I tried to imagine the future, before shouting aloud, “What destructive power and indolence! Who will pay for so much suffering? What is the formula for not harboring hatred and resentment? What will those say who today claim that all who dissent on the island do it for money? How much is seven years in prison worth, or the risk of going there?”
It is time to think in the present. What present? We live unique moments, but we can’t stop breathing uncertainty and incredulity. What will happen tomorrow? Doesn’t anyone know how and when the situation will end (if some day it will end)? A question to which there is no answer. Which is more disastrous, Greek tragedy or Cuban?
As they saying goes: “Everything that begins must end,” and another, “There is no evil that lasts 100 years, nor a body that can resist it.” Proverbs are laws of daily life, but how sad when daily they fill you with pessimism.
This is my present: daily walking the streets, taking public transportation, and feeling the reign of alienation. There is a single reality and worry for the preoccupied faces that pass by along the avenue: what to put on the table to eat. They sleep, but they do not have dreams. They know that there will be a tomorrow, but they are resigned not to think about the future.
They don’t know that there is an “unprecedented dialogue” between the church and the current leadership for the release political prisoners, that democratic governments of the world are pressing for respect of human rights on the island. They only know that there is a “media war against Cuba.” So they are informed by Granma, the Round Table, and Star News (NTV).
Instead, I try to find out and convey what is happening, so that the news runs from mouth to mouth, forming the snowball and later the avalanche. The listener keeps silent. You feel the look of doubt when with faith you pronounce the word “change.” It seems you do not understand, you are confused. Are you deaf, blind or dumb? No, they just think you’re crazy. There everyone stays, afraid to repeat what they hear, and your words remain, like a whisper in the wind.
Translated by: Tomás A.