Message from Ena Lucía Portela / POLEMICA: The 2007 Intellectual Debate

Dear Reynaldo González:

In the middle of the little avalanche of e-mails that have been stirred up by Luis Pavón’s return to the stage, I have respectfully read your views. I am writing just to let you know that I fully agree with you, with every one of your words. Only in place of “mistakes,” for elegance rather than being obvious, I would put “criminal acts,” which of course continue and will remain so long as they are not openly and publicly recognized as such, with absolute transparency, which I fear will not happen under the present circumstances of our country.

I take this opportunity to tell you that what caught my attention — although not much, to tell the truth — was that in Cubavision’s program, This Day, on Dec. 19, they didn’t include among the important events anything more or less than the birthday of José Lezama Lima. Was it also a coincidence? I don’t think so.

Nor do I believe that our deplorable television (the same that showed mutilated versions of Philadelphia and The Kiss of the Spider Woman, and that glorious spot to alert us to the dangers of drugs and harmful substances that turn young people into homosexuals, the same television that has never broadcast a single image of the gay pride demonstrations taking place in other parts of the world, the same that indulges in jokes all the time, or rather promotes the worst kind of homophobia, among other insults), is a being apart from our culture. No, it isn’t. Come on, at this stage of life we’d have to be very naive to believe that. As our Desiderio says in his magnificent and very timely article, Symptoms of what?, let’s ask ourselves about the causes of things; these dirty tricks, to put it gently, are signs of … something. And not precisely of something good.

Dear RG, I thought first about sending you this little message in private, just for you, partly because I’m not used to screaming in public and partly because you and I, if memory serves correctly, know each other personally and… Well, I was afraid maybe you would misinterpret me. But then I thought that if one is to express support and solidarity with someone who shouted, he shouldn’t do it quietly. So I’m sending copies to others. I hope you don’t mind.


Ena Lucía Portela

Translated by Regina Anavy

January 2007