Laura Pollán Is With Me / Lilianne Ruíz

A photograph of Laura Pollán in her coffin.

The sun is still rising in Cuba. The natural cycle of birth and death never fails to mock ideology and power. It is the rag that will wipe away all the actors of this diabolic drama.

Recently I got to know through a friend who is a veteran of  the Ladies in White, that a few days before going into Calixto García hospital Laura Pollán was cut with a sharp utensil by a woman from one of the repudiation rally mobs that the State Security organizes against the Ladies in White.

Immediately after being wounded, Laura started to feel very ill. The mutual friend went to see her and told me that she found Laura weak and ill, and “she was not one of those who would let them (the state security mobs) intimidate her.”

It was not the first attack against Laura Pollán, the one that probably caused her death. There is a documentary titled I am the other Cuba, by the Italian filmmaker Pierantonio Maria Micciarelli, which shows in real time, during an interview with Laura Pollán, how the car in which Laura and he were riding was mysteriously hit by another car which pushed it out of its lane.

If the anti-Castro Cubans had 1% of the money that State Security attributes to them, I would vote to fund a massive media campaign, as big and expensive as that for the five agents from the Ministry of Interior — the so-called “Cuban Five” — demanding an international investigation into the mysterious death of Laura Pollán. A death probably organized by colleagues of the five Ministry of Interior spies. Of course, those in charge of the investigation of the crime would not be allowed into the country and the world would have to put it where the sun don’t shine, once again, before the arbitrariness of the government of this island. The bitchy world that makes so many mistakes so often and so badly.

By the way, imagine if any of us, we Cubans who inhabit this island, were to organize a Solidarity Club for Allan Gross, an American citizen imprisoned in Castro’s jails under the dubious charges of having bought, in the most ordinary technology shops of today’s world, equipment, instruments, and communication tools which, once in the country, had some destination independent of the Cuban State and its sacred control.

Would the Cuban political police be more respectful of my hypothetical Solidarity Club for Allan Gross, would they organize solidarity parades in the United States, even a parade of four people whom the political police would pay with the money that is not even enough to cover the basic needs of the Cuban people? Cubans’ basic needs that are administered by the paternalistic State according to whatever level of hunger people in Cuba can endure each day?

Anyone in the world, I repeat, can buy technological equipment like that involved in the sin committed by Allan Gross without being accused of high-profile espionage or being linked to weapons of mass destruction. You would think connection, communication, are crimes in Cuba, especially when these kind of crimes serve as good bait to get the five Ministry of Interior (MININT) agents out of trouble.

You know what? I recommend that these spies be returned — I say it with my deepest respect for the pain of the surviving brother from the organization “Brothers to the Rescue” which saved Cubans found in open waters, Cubans who threw themselves into the ocean running away from the rough life conditions on the island — because this has been another repugnant episode of the Castro regime, and Alan Gross does not deserve to be suffering in prison.

Now, how can I express that I started writing this post from the discomfort provoked by an article that I read in the El Nuevo Herald, on June 27, about Mariela Castro’s visit to the United States; Mariela whose name and entire family’s name I wish I didn’t remember, honestly. The social life of my country, occupied by such a clan, is a nightmare. Their cynicism, which seems hereditary, would scandalize anyone who gets to know the gruesome details of the truth about Cuba.

Mrs. Castro says she belongs to civil society by virtue of being the director of CENESEX. The real civil society in Cuba is chased down by the henchmen of the family to which the intolerable Mrs. Castro belongs. Civil society must be independent from the State power, an alternative to political power; therefore Mrs. Castro is anything but a representative of our civil society.

In Cuba, the men and women who celebrate Gay Pride Day do it under threats of detention and police beatings, because she — even when it seems unbelievable that everything continues to be in the hands of one person — only allows the celebration of the “International Day against Homophobia,” a parade organized by a State institution, CENESEX, not by civil society.

It seems easier to control how this rainbow flag can wave by isolating it from the rest of the representatives of this flag in the world, imposing a line of what is politically permitted. I have hopes that the LGBT community, after so many centuries of resistance, keeps being as rebellious as it has been forced to be because all of kinds of repression, and it continues to rebel against wearing a uniform.

The Director of CENESEX, the daughter and niece of bloody tyrants, always taking advantage of the historical sense of the moment, pretends to line up gays and gain the sympathy of this growing social group in Cuba and in the world. Perhaps Mrs. Castro is after the sympathy of LGBT groups at the international level because people here don’t buy her story at all.

It will be like the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC), designed to consolidate and better control women in Cuba; it is a system that does not tolerate freedom.

Consequently, people should know, so that they can decide to sympathize with Mariela Castro or not, that she has been responsible for proposing the exchange of prisoners, ignoring the pain of Cubans oppressed by the claws of the complex apparatus of repression that works to ensure the power of her family and the pain of the Americans who follow the case of Allan Gross. In such a no man’s land we should all be heckling her.

The speech of the First Lady of the Castro regime where she declared that she, too, is a dissident, “a dissident against the global hegemonic power,” is the same as that of her family that has wanted to gain power from the aspirations of millions of people from around the world to be free from the powers that oppress them; gain power so they can throw over them the same net with which they hunted down Cubans, Cubans whose souls were stolen before being condemned to hunger and misery.

Translated by Chabeli

July 2 2012