Another Pedro Navaja* / Rosa María Rodríguez Torrado

Image taken

Sunday, November 27, we woke to the “red” news of a death in the neighborhood. On the Goicuría block between Freyre de Andrade and Espadero, in Vibora, Havana, they stoned a man whom they said had a bad social attitude. I couldn’t find out much, because the neighbors — given the secrecy of the National Revolutionary Police (PNR) — were unaware of the details of the case. The surrounding population did not show much interest in the event, because they were upset that the eggs hadn’t arrived at the shop and they weren’t going to come the following day, either. So I went from shock to outrage in the blink of an eye.

My neighborhood is fairly quiet — with the well-known exception of a person they extradited from the United States some years ago and who today is in hiding for having stabbed the sector chief of the PNR — so the lack of repercussions from this event among the local people came as a surprise. Two or three hours sufficed to spread the news of this Pedro Navaja*; after which interest waned in the search of something to put on the lunch plate, the required protein (or something like it) and some other vegetable to accompany it, along with the Sunday movie.

Some might think Cubans are lazy, but that’s not the case. It’s that we don’t have any time to look around when so many of our problems are not resolved and the majority of society is worn out by the fight for daily survival and almost no incentives exist beyond the horizon.

When we have a government whose leaders — with few biological-strategic changes — are the same ones we’ve had for half a century, helping the rest of the world while neglecting their own national home. The government has “instructed” us to ignore the events of the capitalist tabloids in order to put us to sleep with their own daily social, caudillo, and political chronicle. However, I hope that some day we can have a free press where events such as these can be told, among the many others that interest the population, and that we will have the option to “turn the page” to another through our own election, as we finally pass beyond the history of this long political process that has been imposed on us.

I hope to be there then, although surely — by repeated practice of my freedom of conscience — the variety and focus of the topics dealt with won’t be any different than they are today.

*Pedro Navaja is the title of a song from the Panamanian salsa singer Ruben Blades, who was very popular in the ’70s.

December 13 2011