Spring for Cuba / Lilianne Ruíz

The Ladies in White (Laura Pollan, now deceased, right front)

The situation in which we live incites violence in many ways, and we must not allow ourselves to provoke it. Not only because they have the weapons and the power to annihilate any popular uprising, but also because we do not have to be like them, the men and women who have managed to free themselves from a dictatorship have persevered in their personal freedom and proven that that is the way.

The Spring has arrived when a great deal of work has been done for peace. Sometimes I mistrust that we Cubans can gain it with the same beauty as the Czechs in St. Wenceslas Square, because I see us as so gullible, such simple gluttons.

Elizabeth Garcia Guerra

But when there is some remnant — as with the Hebrew people — miracles can occur. There are still people like Maceda, Daniel Ferrer, Antúnez, Darsi Ferrer, the Gladiators in White, Oscar Elías and Elsa, who are the remnant of this people, and some more that would make a long list and who, compared with the sea of submissive people, seem to be few.

But they were always a few, and labeled “tiny groups,” the opponents of totalitarianism. That did not stop them from nailing the stake through the heart of the threatening beast. Nothing can face the unknown. And from one day to another Communism ended in Germany, Czechoslovakia, the USSR. I know that those here studied the phenomenon well, but its very superficiality killed. Nothing can face the unknown.

Darsi Ferrar and his wife Yusnaimy Jorge Soca. "We are Castro’s hostages." "Our freedom is being snatched by the government."

I have discovered that “the Revolutionary government and the Party leadership” have removed Christ from the hearts of the people because when you have the Son of God in your heart you can bear the cross and follow it with faith in its protection and blessing despite everything. This valor gives you transcendence and the living and permanent relationship that the celestial lineage gives to us. A stream of increate bees bite the wake, ask it its side. Thus the mirror silently confirmed. Thus, at high tide, Narcissus escaped without wings.*

Instead, “the Revolutionary government and the party leadership” have led the people to go to the priests of Ifa — telluric gods, material priority, fear of death — who counsel them not to look for problems with the law and stealing and trafficking in silence. Another way to be submissive and that reminds me of another verse from the Death of Narcissus, the bewitching of Trocadero: The perfection that dies on its knees.**

*Translator’s note: Liliane is quoting the last two lines of a 1937 poem, Muerte de Narciso, by Jose Lezama Lima:
Chorro de abejas increadas muerden la estela, pídanle el costado.
Así el espejo averiguó callado, así Narciso en pleamar fugó sin alas.
** and here the last lines of the first verse of the poem:
Mano era sin sangre la seda que borrabala
perfección que muere de rodillas
y en su celo se esconde y se divierte.

April 1 2012