The Space and Time of Words

As if something that has not yet happened could overshadow what is already registered as a historical date. As if November 20th was not the continuity of July 11th. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 6 October 2021 — Something that I have never managed to do is pronounce two words at the same time. This “deficiency” has led me to understand how difficult it is to state two ideas simultaneously in a grammatical sentence. In this arduous struggle of half a century, I have also learned that I cannot say everything in a 400-word text.

When I speak, for example, of blackouts, a commentator usually appears who reproaches me for not mentioning food shortages, and if I focus on the absence of products, another appears who is outraged because I have not mentioned the critical housing situation, the disastrous state of the streets or the calamity of public transport. There will be no excuse if I forget the plummeting health services or the crushing indoctrination in schools. But the most unforgivable thing will always be not to cast the blame on the dictatorship.

The most current scolding rails against the intention of promoting the call for the November 20 (20N) march because “it is intended to overshadow what happened on July 11 (11J),” as if something that has not yet happened could overshadow what is already registered as a historical date. As if the 20N was not the continuity of the 11J.

Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara has not gone out of style because we expose the arbitrary detention of Hamlet Lavastida; denouncing the unjust imprisonment of Maykel Osorbo does not leave behind the systematic repression against the Ladies in White; reporting the attack on the Unpacu headquarters in Santiago de Cuba is not a trick to negate the assault on Cubalex; exposing the seizures of the working tools of independent journalists is not done to forget the outrage to which the prisoners of the Black Spring of 2003 were subjected.

If we manage to expose all of the above in a single page, the crime against the March 13 tugboat, the parameterization of the Five GreyYears, the UMAP camps, the forced evictions in the Escambray, the express executions of 1959 will always be conspicuous by their absence.

Trying to say everything every time one speaks or writes, in addition to being boring for the reader, runs the serious risk of not mentioning something or someone. I prove it in this note where I have omitted so many things that should be unforgettable.


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