Carlos Serpa: From Chump To Know-It-All / Silvio Benítez Márquez

Punta Brava, La Habana

In the calendas griegas* they tell us that empires based part of their hegemony on the recruitment and purchase of courage. The strategy soon bore fruit and lead to a powerful army of slaves charged with the most dirty and hair-raising tasks that human beings can imagine, unrelenting practices which they still carry out today in closed societies like ours.

I bring up this ancient text due to the similarity between what was previously expressed and the official documentary Pawns of the Empire which aired Saturday night on Cuban television.

Cuban Intelligence organs drive themselves to delirium repeating the sketch with the idea to create an atmosphere of unfair public opinion against internal dissidents at the moment when criticism and discontent is rising toward the political system.

In the crude documentary the journalist Carlos Serpa Maceira, (Agent Emilio) sits giving a detailed report to the viewer about how dissidents on the island are manufactured and trained. Also the informant paints the activists and leaders of the opposition movement as heretics, individuals without principles or values, motivated only by the common denominator, finance capital from their puppet masters (terrorist groups based in Florida).

To curry favor and give a mocking tone to the hackneyed operation, Serpa the informer confirms how easy it is to mount any campaign through information media opposed to the Cuban revolution (Radio Marti in this case).

Clearly we are looking at a rare species unacquainted with ethics and consideration. An individual without scruples who took advantage of the pain, the oppression, and the family separation of the steadfast (the Ladies in White) in order to sell them to the highest bidder and move up the ladder at the infallible Department of State Security (DG2).

The Department that, on the eve of the documentary, rubbed its hands together with the new achievement. Soon the tiny snoop Serpa Maceira would make public his despicable betrayal of the country and longstanding friends in the dissident movement. The biggest irony of fate is that the journalist was decorated with the Order of Hero of the Fatherland for his chibatiante** work inside the ranks of the Cuban counter-revolution.

His protectors, on the other hand, with faces of contentment and frowning a bit with worry at the uncertain future, set off for home after organizing the next hunting party. The General, with an unfriendly gesture, ordered his subordinates to call the Cuban Institute of Radio and Television (ICRT) to have them repeat the documentary, they had to hit the minuscule opposition hard before they return roused up. The situation with the American government had worsened in recent weeks. There wasn’t good news.

Carlos Serpa Maceira, the screw-up independent journalist, has no idea of his unfortunate next stop. The way the situation is here on the island I doubt that he dares hang around his beloved Isla de la Juventud as he boasted in the documentary. The reaction of the population wasn’t the backing that the Communists hoped for. Well now the third-rate snitch should prepare his nerves for what’s coming his way and remember the old saying — Rome pays its traitors, but it despises them.

Silvio Benítez Márquez
Promotor for Proyecto Voces del Barrio

Translator’s notes:

*calendas griegas refer to greek calendars, i.e. something which never existed
**chibatiante- a sarcastic combination of chivato, i.e. stool pigeon, and combatiente, i.e. fighter.

Translated by Dodi 2.0

March 1 2011