Signs? / Yoani Sánchez

karl_marxThe interior stairs of a building collapse on the same corner where the socialist character of the Revolution was declared. A desperate group of thirteen people occupy the Church of Charity in Central Havana and are taken out by force in the middle of the night. The television shows a report about the bridges vandalized by people who dismantle them to build houses. The Archbishop publishes a note in the Communist Party’s newspaper, with a tone that emulates its official editorials. Potatoes appear only sporadically on the stands at the farmers markets, and at higher prices in the black market. A hip-hop musician is arrested for protesting his son’s treatment at school and taking a photo of Camilo Cienfuegos from the entry of the high school. The Cardinal makes a speech on prime time TV, on the same date that 55 years earlier a young man forced his way into a radio station.

Hugo Chavez spends his postoperative time in Cuba surrounded by secrecy and rumors of a return to the Special Period. Fidel Castro’s book is presented to Latin American intellectuals, using up in its thousands of copies the paper destined for the entire annual production of a publisher. A doctor declares a hunger strike so they will restore his right to cure patients. The “cyberwar” rises to incredible paroxysms and manipulates the social networks as nothing but a weapon in the struggle, or an enemy to be defeated. A man with a mobile phone films a fire and later the police confiscate the gadget for showing “the ugly side of things.” In the midst of the information battle against secrecy, a journalist rails against those who buy enormous quantities of cookies and pastries to resell them. Winter says goodbye to Havana without our barely having taken out our coats. It was announced that an illegally exported crocodile will return to our Island from Italy in the same retinue as the Pope.

And I wonder: all these signs, these events, are they indications of the end or of the beginning? Are we all going crazy or is it only now that we’ve arrived at sanity?