Miracles and Coincidences / Miriam Celaya

Before the end of this hectic 2010, I wish all readers health and prosperity in the new year. Some responses to messages you have sent me are still pending, some requiring deeper analysis than a few lines. I assure you I will reply in a few days, as soon as I can sit down and write in the midst of this year-end maelstrom.

We could list everything that has happened over these last 12 months, but that would be too lengthy. Suffice it to say that this year has struck a climax: the popular consensus is that the era of communist totalitarianism in Cuba is coming to an end. Castro’s socialism is collapsing.

2011 may possibly be an even more difficult year and, without a doubt, it will be crucial in many respects; I think that the main thing is that we should get ready for a new era. For my part, I’m always optimistic, though not overly confident, and I wouldn’t be able to predict the future either: the only thing I can assure you of is my willingness to remain in the network, alongside all who may wish to join me in this little virtual forum to try to broadcast from here the successes and — above all — to relay, for the readers to consider, my personal beliefs about them.

In retrospect, it seems clear that this year was intense from the start, full of incidents and milestones that have determined the precursors and aftermath of many events. The inertia has begun to break and, apparently, there is no turning back. Not to be ominous, but I see the slight and persistent signs of a civic gestation in some segments of Cuban society. I am hopeful that, this time, we have a safe delivery. None of us knows how changes will take place. The spark that will set off the process might occur in a most unexpected way, or in the most unpredictable context: it might be a drivers’ strike, a demand by a handful of disgruntled young people, or a mere push in a crowded bus. There may even not be a spark, and I hope from the bottom of my heart that there is no violence, but there will be changes, and many of us will be conflicted by them. I propose that, in the last minute of 2010, we have a moment of remembrance for our political prisoners who remain in Cuban jails because of the unfulfilled promise of this regime. Let’s not forget.

Just yesterday I talked to the poet Rafael Alcides about the Cuban situation, its generational legacy and the historic events from where it is derived. His fluid, emotional and profound dissertation climaxed with a sentence that only a poet could dream of: “Miracles usually take place under the guise of chance.” And I suddenly understood that what we are all manufacturing is just that: a miracle that may arrive at any moment, disguised in the trappings of the most unexpected happenstance. My wish for the new year is that we push the saving miracle by changing the situation that excludes and oppresses us; by finding each other in the midst of so much fog; by electing what we are and what we want to be, because it is definitely always about making choices and taking responsibility for them. I already know that there aren’t many reasons to be optimistic, but, like the poet, I choose to believe.

Translated by Norma Whiting

December 30, 2010