Long-Distance View / Regina Coyula

There are people who cannot look forward. It’s not about them being dispossessed or abused after 1959, it’s not even about their refusal to support the ideology that dominated the country. It’s about their personal philosophy, a feeling of inevitability, because I have talked to people who have been heavily affected by the revolutionary laws yet their major interest is not getting back their worldly goods but getting back freedom.. the country !<em>Patria</em>! the poor country, so worn out. Looking at one’s past is more about personality than the magnitude of loss.

There is also the idea of punishing those who collaborate with the government. In a country where the State has been the sole employer for the last 50 years and where any kind of job with responsibility, at any level require political endorsement, everyone turns into a collaborator. Those who didn’t adapt or refused to applaud, have paid for it.

This is not my case, nobody had to convince me. The hardest part came later, when I started raising doubts, when I felt I was betraying my ideals and the memory of my father.

I know that this political process failed by having all the defects of socialist countries in Eastern Europe. The only difference, the one that prolonged the agony of this corpse, is that the leader of the 1959 revolution is still alive; and while Stalin imposed friendly governments in the countries where the Red Army defeated the Nazis, nobody put Fidel where he is.

I’ve already been in the Communist Party and for that now I feel immunised against joining another party, not even one for the protection of flora and fauna. I like the idea of having this space to criticize the current administration and the future ones….but also for talking about friendship, tv series , and what happens to me, because we can’t live only for politics.

ps. Miriam de La Vega thank you so much, I’ve already sorted things out.

Translated by David Bonnano

September 29, 2010


After many days without being able to access my blog, I was dismayed to see what it had turned into. When I opened this space, I believed it would be for exchanging ideas, opinions, that it would help to develop a debate among people who only had to agree on one thing: the good of Cuba. And what did I find? An escalation among the commentators, some wasting testosterone and others trying to annoy those who took seriously some jokes in order to make a succulent inventory of insults. I wonder how could I have brought all this about, and the feeling of failure is inevitable.

I claimed that I didn’t want to use moderation, assuming the naive and tricky concept of democracy as absolute freedom. This is not true. Every social organisation has its rules, its laws. Even at home one sets out things in a proper order. I attempted to prevent these “lunatics” with a banner but it didn’t work and it had no effect at all. So some of you come to my space, take off your shirts, putting your feet on the chairs and don’t even ask permission to use the toilet. I don’t know… am I too old fashioned? Is this relaxed attitude normal on the Internet or is it that these commentators are not really ready to argue with someone who has a different opinion? It will also be a failure if I do not succeed in giving my readers the perception that this national debate, so necessary, must be carried out with respect. A member of the government speaking about the Big Bad Wolf, seems equally unserious to me as an opponent talking about Coma-andante (thus, substituting “walking coma” for “Commander”). Please, think about this.

Many of the readers don’t know that nowadays you don’t need to have an internet connection to publish. It simply takes a friend who has access to e-mail so he can send a text to a certain address for me and this becomes a new post, with photos if you want to include them; platforms like WordPress or Blogspot are very smart.

I invite the most suspicious among you to ask yourselves why I didn’t rise in MININT (The Ministry of Interior Affairs) or another institution at my convenience. I didn’t lack the intelligence and the contacts to profit in any ministry or foreign firm. Contrary to those who firmly believe or merely pretend to believe, I asked for my discharge in the same year as the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Cause I, by my account twenty years, and not those of Gardel.

My life is very simple, and if you have any doubts you can come visit me. You have nothing to lose. I live at #693 24th Street, between 35th and 37th, in the small garage under the Royal Poinciana tree, near the Acapulco cinema. Since I don’t have a telephone, it will be a surprise, a cup of coffee and we’ll be able to talk. I’ll make the coffee.

Translated by David Bonnano

August 20, 2010