Monologue of an Unemployed Cuban / Iván García

Photo: Jan Sochor

“I’m sick of everything. Fidel Castro and his brother Raul’s “blockade.” I can’t stand one more speech. It’s all lies. False promises. At this point in my life, after working for 50 years and fighting in all the wars they sent me to, they come and say now is the time to build socialism.

“Fuck this government. And what hurts most is to see how they’ve used me. I’ve been manipulated like a puppet. That’s what I’ve been: a common puppet moved at their will. This is as far as I go, as Saramago said.

“Not one day more will I support those two who have ripped off my future, my dreams, even my family. For supporting them I lost three marriages and neglected my children. Both left the country and we stopped talking, because I was a Party member. The first thing I’m going to do is call them ask them to forgive me.

“After taking part in every kind of Revolutionary idiocy, from planting coffee in the Havana Cordon, cutting cane like a slave in the ten Million Ton Harvest, even training the Latin American guerrillas in subversion and putting my own skin on the line in the wars in Angola and Ethiopia, now comes some guy wearing his white guayabera and chatting about the past and after giving me a pat on the back, he tells me I should write a book about my Revolutionary career and suggests I should rent out my Russian car, my Lada. And the only thing I have after half a century of being a true believer, I should chase some bucks with the Lada? That’s the solution they have for me, after leaving me in the street without even a latchkey?

I’m 68 and now that I’m old it seems I’m not the right person for my job. That we have to do everything to move the country forward. That the economy can’t support State paternalism. Then, why the fuck did they install it? Nobody, at least no one I know, asked the government to be our father.

“I don’t have a cent and the easiest thing is to lie and pretend that we’ll keep applauding those who are leaving us unemployed. Machiavelli is a baby at the tit next to the Castros. To do this to me, who never stole a thing; who traveled halfway across the world in the name of this government, and it never crossed my mind to flee with a suitcase full of dollars. They throw me out like some disposable object.

“That hurts. But the worst thing is that they’re not capable of facing reality. And they say what goes on in Spain is bad, the United States is hell, and nuclear war is around the corner. They are not capable of explaining, looking you in the eyes, that the Cuban system is broken and we have to change it.

“At this age, I have to go back to my beginnings, when I was 18-years-old and driving a taxi to help my widowed mother. I don’t mind that I had to do that. What pisses me off is having been such an asshole. I distanced myself from a part of my family and many of my friends because they thought differently.

“Now, after it’s all gone to hell, I feel like a free man. Without political strings. I’ve learned my lesson. I hope it’s not too late.”

October 7, 2010