Cynicism Without Ambiguity / Luis Felipe Rojas

Photo: Luis Felipe Rojas

Just a few days ago, the Cuban ambassador to the United Nations asked the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay, to join the demands of protestors around the world who demand freedom for 5 Cuban intelligence officials who all reside in US prisons. The diplomat Rodolfo Reyes has pleaded this in the same exact spot where, just a few years ago, Cuba denied the entrance of Manfred Novak, the international torture inspector and whose position is similar to the one Mrs. Pillay now holds, into the country. Both the denial of letting Novak into Cuba and the petition issued to Pillay can be taken as acts of provocation.

Why did they deny Mr. Novak the right to enter Cuba’s prisons of Guantanamo province, where methods of torture known as “the rocking chair” and “Shakira” are employed in order to break down both political and common prisoners? Why does the Cuban government carry out what it considers to be a just demand, pleading to Mrs. Pillay to tend to the case of the well-known agents and not for others like Ana Belen Montes who did testify about their acts of espionage and even worked with the North American justice system?

A few days have passed since here in Holguin they celebrated the so-called International Colloquium for the Five, a political event in support of the Cuban intelligence officials who were caught in US territory. Streamers, signs, marches, concerts and parties were how they tried to entertain (us hyper-disconnected Cubans, natives of the Eastern provinces) to protest for the freedom of the constantly promoted Cuban agents. After all the planned festivities, the delegates who participated stuffed themselves with hope and solidarity as they marched off to their “indignant” worlds, leaving the rest of us here alone, among the ashes of this poverty.

Translated by Raul G.

29 November 2011