Scar Case / Rosa María Rodríguez Torrado

Taken from

Dictatorships leave indelible scars that neither a psychiatrist nor the best plastic surgeon can repair. We Cubans, forced to ignore the definition or concept of a personal computer, organize ourselves within our families to work in an orderly way on the computer. Disciplined by lines and trained in the art of waiting, we bite our nails waiting for our turn to use the machine that allows us to reveal that scholarly and cybercompatible vein that hides in our DNA. As if they were prehistoric tools, we no longer take paper and pencil to color our opinions; our fingers travel more rapidly on a keyboard than tied to a pen, and it is easier to “cut and paste” changes in our writing, than to use the old eraser from our childhood, with which we began to smudge our written language.

I have taken to dreaming nonsense to the fullest. I dream I can say what I want without being labeled by the political police; that I can travel to any country, that I can claim my rights without being told I am subversive or going against the usual traffic. I dream I can receive any foreign books without the censorship of an authority, start a newspaper, see unions and syndicates arising, associate myself according to my opinions, see my country’s workers exercise their right to strike, and the disproportionate desire, almost unattainable, of having internet at home.

The postures of liberty we have been planted for years, have become trees, and their branches threaten to spread too far for official taste. Maybe the answer is for the electric company to cut them a bit, producing a lasting black out for our dreams. Sometimes, the mere olive green presence of its employees with light interrupting guns, paralyze the act of dreaming. But it’s a recipe that doesn’t always work, and every time a right is violated, a scar is left, like a new scar left in the face of this sad period of more than half a century of our nation.

Translated by: Claudia D.

September 8 2011