I don’t know why you think … / Dora Leonor Mesa #Cuba

What a sad life if you don’t see!
don’t see the guitar
don’t see the woman
don’t see the sparrow flying away
when it’s about to rain
nor the little lizard
on the wall.

Song, poetry byN. Guilln

I went from the internet straight to the police station known as the “eagle’s nest”. Earlier, some activists told me that about 5 pm at the Acosta police station nobody was there anymore. The brave activists of the civil society, who were there, were beaten and thrown in jail. Around about 7 pm, and in effect there was nobody around.

I was also at risk of being detained for the simple fact of going to the police station to ask about and show support for those arrested.

As they explained to me later, the State Security order was:

“Straight to the slammer with anybody who comes to ask questions!”

That Tuesday 6th of November, I saw at the eagle’s nest police station a relative of the activist Mario Moraga, who was also imprisoned. One way or another, God helped me, and a polite police official was prepared to see me. On learning about Laritza Diversent, the only independent lawyer being held there, they asked me if I was a relative, and with sincerity I said:

“We are like family. We work together for the rights of Cuban youth,” I replied.

He looked at me strangely, asked for my identity card and then went off inside the premises, I don’t know where. I had to wait quite a while, but I wasn’t being held.

When the card was returned to me, I went off with my tail between my legs. I hadn’t been able to find out hardly anything. The police weren’t authorized to give me information, they explained:

“The official in charge of the case will be here tomorrow. Ask him your questions.”

From Tuesday 6th November up to Friday 9th at midnight we passed an anxious time while they let us know little by little that Yaremis Flores, Laritza Diversent and other independent lawyers had been freed. Nevertheless Antonio Rodiles was still being held.

The way I see it, the important thing is that although I knew my investigations could mean I ended up in jail, I never felt aversion for any police agent. They have hit me on other occasions. Now there was someone who was looking at me with disdain. Others pretended not to notice anything. An official shouted at me for asking something, and I replied to him like I do to my students: with lots of patience, and in a gentle voice.

Teachers are facilitators and teach by example. Anger and contempt have to be banished by anyone who really loves the teaching profession, especially if those we are teaching are little boys and girls. I know it’s difficult. Nevertheless, quite clearly, this blog is essentially from the Cuban Association for the Development of Infant Education (ACDEICuba) and we dream that Cuban boys and girls will one day read these lines. We want them to know the feeling that always was and will be present in us and in those texts in very difficult moments. One of Nicolas Guillen’s poems best describes our feelings – he is the author of the unforgettable verses “A Paper Boat is floating over the Sea of Antilles.”

I don’t know why you think …
I don’t know why you think,
soldier, that I hate you,
if we are the same thing,

You are poor, me too;
I am from the lower class, so are you;
where have you got the idea,
soldier, that I hate you?

It pains me that sometimes you
forget who I belong to
for goodness sake, if I am you,
I am the same as you
So, what you have done is nota reason for me
to dislike you
if we are the same thing
I don’t know why you think,
soldier, that I hate you.

We will see each other, me and you,
together in the same street
shoulder to shoulder, you and me
without hatred, neither me nor you,
but both of us knowing
where we come from, me and you,
I don’t know why you think,
soldier, that I hate you!

Translated by GH

December 18 2012