FRIGHTLESS / Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

(this time without visuals)

Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

Fear was a literary attribute from George Orwell (there is no fear in Kafka, only suspicion) until the Cold War pushed and pushed to overthrow the totalitarian Iron Curtain.

In the calcified Cuba of today, among the digital copies of the film 2012 in every pirated video collection, a blow to feudal cellphones and internet, with the trumpet blasts of Fidel Castro certifying that only a nuclear holocaust would be a glorious finish for his Revolution, paradoxically, fear has ceased to be a genetic defect. Virgilio Piñerahas suddenly aged as an author, since he established his panic before his own Premier at the beginning of Utopia: I only know that I am afraid, very afraid…

But the Cuban fear today is hardly an oedipal justification. Pure paternalism behind a mask as comfortable as it is inertial. This, our features are more recognizable under the disguise: we are more authentic the more we are in character.

Fear is, also, a wildcard because the Cuban exile does not incite us, in Cuba, to go a step further. To blackmail them to they’ll respect our shameless bullshit. In fact, fear is a magic mirror to blame them a little bit for their condition as the Cuban exile, for abandoning us in the unsupported arena of the absolutely obsolete State.

What our nation is now living in could be the true Little Icecube War, a theatrical conflict whose script requires very little correction by the CIA and the G-2, because it is a perfect ruse. A great plot: a trap, this time, genetic. Cuban hypocrisy as a survival instinct recruits more agents than all the intelligence agencies. To abandon this mattress of marvelous lies is, at least, an irresponsible act of madness. The maxim of Saint Solzhenitsyn, back-stitched into the Declaration of Inhuman Rights, today would read in Cuba as: no one should be condemned to live in the truth…

In Cuba, only the foreigners still suffer from fear (perhaps the dead also suffer the myth): it is a reflection of their poor Eastern-European readings and Capitalist-Phobia of being left unemployed and losing a certain status. In questions of paranoia, culture advises: ignorance saves. In particular, left-wing foreigners are particularly terrified to contact dissidents in Havana: most notably the academic Yankee who, without the Cuban Revolution, as well the intuited Ernesto Ché Guevara, would have to kill themselves at the loss of their PhD scholarship.

Still less do the powers-that-be fear. Many are unaware that technically they are in power. They organize their more or less repressive roles and go on vacation until the disturbances of this or that summer pass (enough with the cops at the time of the billy-clubs). The nomenklatura ahistorically inhabits a kind of child labor that at times becomes heart attack labor. As an old class, they are the rearguard of the proletariat. Their fatigue is comparable to the fallen angels among the signers who never sign the next resolution.

Cubans simply don’t want to participate too much. They don’t want to be involved at all. The protagonist is branded a pathetic poseur. It’s the cunning art of the post-political. Perhaps a plot of zero calling. No one calculates what is cooking clandestinely here. Switzerland and Haiti, all already seething but without any racket.

For now, in the absence of constitutional democratic tics, such as a free press and other luxuries that the exile exhibits in the rest of the world, I guess we at least have the right to plagiarize Epicurus: to live in secret, very much in secret…

August 20, 2010