I Am Sure of One Thing / Lilianne Ruíz

I am sure of one thing: the day will come when Cubans will go out in peace to break down the wall. Peacefully, because we will not attack each other in the streets, we will just work together, as the Germans did with the Berlin Wall. The dictatorship we are saddled with, the great farce of humanitarianism only achieved with the sacrifice of individual freedom, will be overcome. Without the weight of the boots and the olive-green uniform, there will be a regrowth of Cuban creativity, imagination, and talent. The colors will return, and this ash will stain us no more. They cannot take that certainly away, no one can take it away, because I learned it believing in God.

I do not know how long we must wait. I prefer not to wear my religion on my sleeve, but if anyone reads my post, I swear to you that I have only managed to carry the load day after day in Cuba by the friendship of God. I pray to God to protect all those helpless before the power of the state: the bravest, who signal their opposition in the streets, in their actions, in their articles; those who suffer in silence, looking for alternative solutions at their own peril; all Cubans. I am certain that the only Judge of the Universe, the Lamb of God,will repudiate the Castros and their followers, and that will be punishment enough.

Once I dreamed I was watching a live painting representing a martyrdom: some men and women were in stocks, being trampled under the hooves of other men’s horses. There was someone next to me, a woman at my side looking at the painting with a superhuman tenderness, with an indescribable smile and very sad eyes. It was the Virgin, as she is depicted in San Juan de Letrán in Vedado. She let me know, not with an isolated voice but with a total communication that she put within me, that she knew the names of each one of those trampled.  She showed them to me and pronounced them: they were common names. She is our true mother. Years later, thinking about my dream and its meaning, I realized that she never let me know the names of those who did the trampling.

If I did not believe in God then I would have much fear, because we would be alone. Alone for good or evil, a meaningless existence. While waiting for the day — which everyone thinks about, it is logical that it will come soon, as night leads to day, because we have suffered too much in this experiment that the arrogance of no human monster could construct — every night I pray to God to paralyze the fury of the State. The State must be made for the man, and all men, not man for the State. There are still people — they must be very vile — who without having experienced it firsthand, write apologies for the dictatorship of the revolution on the island of Cuba, but who would not tolerate anything like this in their nations, in their lives. And they call our poverty “social justice”, and our blood-curdling fear “anti-imperialism.” You know what? We would gladly have given to Eduardo Galeano, that son of a bitch, and to the inconceivable author of “100 years of Solitude” (which I still hesitate to banish from my bookshelf), these 54 years of servitude and confusion.

January 17 2012