Hostages of the Revolution / Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

The media coverage (the nonsense of international reporters excitedly applauding on my cellphone until its batteries nearly ran out) is overwhelming: everyone is convinced that Raul’s reforms deepen and expand (metastasis of Marxist materialism?), because Cubans can finally buy and sell expensive stuff like houses and cars, and even the travel/immigration promise was kept earlier rather than later (abolishing one of the most feudal laws of Fidel, Law No. 989 of December 5, 1961); in short, that the Post-Communist Transition, compañeros, is now just around the corner…

Insisting on the little digital whines of the Cuban dissidence is now, relative to democratic journalist standards, practically an indulgence of spoiled children. The world’s not going so well, honey… to our paternalized people, of course, the lack of information (for that is paradise: a stockade that keeps out the crap and evil, Biblical-totalitarian kitsch). If we only knew… Europe is in free fall, for example, and the United States is being Latin Americanized. There will be a holy nuclear war in the uncaricaturizable name of Allah. The ex-Socialist republics are mafia (and don’t even mention Miami, please). As insular people, we non-conformist Cubans should shut up for a while. We must be humble and survive without those rights that were commonplace in December 1958 (ah, the putrid Republic), and even without many that existed from colonial times (independence encountered a great deal of legal work done by other less homicidal tendencies).

But, you already know, the Revolution justifies the means (including the mass media). And the fears.

I read and reread the travel/immigration prophecies for 13 January 2012 (13-1-13, the date could be reordered as 3-3-3 with a certain apoCUBAlyptical fervor). I am not a lawyer (as I quickly remind the experts of the political police every time they kindfully kidnap me), so perhaps that’s why I don’t understand anything. I live in Braille or in a guttural language of the mute. We must have faith, including fossil faith. That they read from Power. We must wait for the future. Wait for futility.

A detail very clear to me. We have lost the last documented evidence of the barbarity: our passport, which was supposed to be a State obligation to us. From next year, we will return to that ridiculous status of the citizens with only an identity card (a little plastic thing with digital fingerprints and organ donations, but with no value on the rest of the planet). Now no one will get a visa to any “enemy” country if the Government doesn’t want them to. No more incriminating shows about the violation of a human right key to our real liberation. The exile will be left in an extremely Cuban house of shit, while the “insile” will consists of legitimate citizens and citizens who are traitors to their class for the State. Raulpolitik caste. With a little luck, even the aeronautical nightmare of the paleo-revolutionary Ricardo Alarcon will come to pass.*

For my part, before it becomes an illegal object (who knows if incriminating), I will keep my poor little first passport under lock and key (next to the dry innocence of my umbilical cord and milk teeth), for my grandchildren or my biographers, as a reminder of when the Cuban crisis shattered the Sugar Curtain.

*Translator’s note: Ricardo Alarcon, president of the National Assembly, responded to Eliecer Avila — who was asking questions on behalf of computer science students at a large assembly — that among the reasons Cubans could not travel freely was that so many would want to do it the planes would hit each other in the sky.

From Diario de Cuba

October 17 2012