Bayamo / Reinaldo Escobar

Great festivities today celebrated the 500th anniversary of the founding of Bayamo.

It was Diego Velázquez who, on 5 November 1513, christened this region as San Salvador de Bayamo. If we apply the same logic which leads the Cuban government not to celebrate Cuba’s independence day on May 20, we would have to be against celebrating what is, according to this way of thinking, a conquering victory by the Spanish invaders of our island. My share of aboriginal blood, recalling Hatuey’s ordeal, seethes with anger at the armed revelry for this event.

Television dedicated its prime-time show, The Roundtable, to this celebration, while the newspaper Granma filled its front page with a chronicle worthy of the Euphrates Valley (if it weren’t for the spelling mistake which, in Spanish, turned “burning” into “arm”), in which there is not the slightest allusion to the crimes that foundation allowed.

Personally, I feel good that each people has its own traditions and celebrations, starting with its birthday, what I can’t understand is the double standard that brings those who rule Cuba to remember with joy the act of conquering, and to ignore the instant we deprived ourselves of the metropolis, as incomplete as it was, as mediated by the Republic.

6 November 2013