Saturday / Claudia Cadelo

Since Friday, April 8, the heavens have announced to us the march is coming. Under beautiful blue the war planes rehearse, it’s not clear what or why, and down here on the ground we cover our ears against the roar. My dogs are losing sleep, the male barking desperately at the ceiling and the female cowering under the sofa. I wish I could explain to them that it is nothing more than a deployment of military vanity in a country tired of repeating to the world that it condemns war. I go out into the street and am surprised to see some tanks file past right before my eyes. I cross 26th Avenue and breathe deeply, it’s a fact: this island is governed by madmen. Traffic is diverted and the cars lost in the alleyways are a mess. I spend fifteen minutes trying to cross Paseo.

For ten days I’m living in a countdown: minus seven, minus five, today, finally, minus two. Never have I been so desperate for the coming of a Sunday. From Friday, everything will be paralyzed, schools, businesses, the city. With so much need and such a crisis I wonder how many zeros there are on the price of the mega-march for the fiftieth anniversary of the Bay of Pigs.

We Cubans say we are paranoid, and honestly, if we weren’t we’d be really sick, because there is nothing more chilling than to stand on the balcony and see a squad of soldiers screaming obscenities and stomping the ground, nor more theatrical than an army mobilized in times of peace, nor more irrational than taking men from their jobs to mobilize the reserves several times a year. Nothing as sad as this week, reminding us, mercilessly, that it is not the war of a whole people, but the war against a whole people.

15 April 2011