Removing the Corset / Luis Felipe Rojas

Days and weeks rush by while people keep waiting on a miracle.  The Political Bureau of the Communist Party of Cuba is entranced before the mirror.  Their makeup has to be perfect; 52 years of wrinkles are not easy to hide.

The show has begun, the audience begins to cheer at the top of their lungs, but the main actress still does not appear on stage.  The falsettos from rehearsal remain behind the backdrop.  Seeing as the tickets have all sold out, one suspects that it will be a long and terrible night in this grand theater where they have promised marvels but where, instead, disaster lurks behind each and every crack of that old building.

Many furiously searched through the resolutions presented by the Lineaments to see if they could find some sort of consolation, but nothing can be done amid hieratic discourses and medieval immobility.  Lineaments 278 and 286, referencing the relaxation of purchasing, leasing, or selling of homes and of automobiles, are some of the most searched for and awaited for pieces of legislation.  Finally, the slave will be able to sell his small plantation, finally the everyday citizen can sell his or her old motorcycle which they brought over nearly 30 years ago from former Eastern Germany or Czechoslovakia.  Some see this as permission to be able to breath, blink, or sleep when one is tired.

Despite the fact that massive media sources of information (or “dis-information”, as a friend of mine says)  publish reports each day of supposed debates which only their journalists pay any attention to or of a supposed public approval of these measures, nothing is said about eliminating clear and absurd impositions applied to the right of a large number of Cubans (who go against the ideology of the communist apparatus)  from entering or leaving the country.  As if these human comings and goings would not produce income for the only slave owner.

Despite the winds that seem to be blowing, the neighborhood Cubans continue to return their self employment permits.  The drought which whips across the Eastern region of the country has impeded the sowing, recollection, selling, and earnings cycle which many agriculture workers were awaiting for during this time of the year.  Meanwhile, the watchdogs of social life tighten their grips, and increase the fines and constraints.

Translated by Raul G.

9 June 2011