History of Cuba

I want to throw out an idea that is going to generate a lot of detractors.

When Latin America got its independence from Spain, in the early XIX century, the always loyal island of Cuba, kept the Spanish flag until 1898. It was a small group that fought for independence; we even have the paradox that there was a moment when there were more guerrilleros (Cubans fighting on the side of Spain) than mambises (Cubans fighting for independence).

In the XX century, the fight was led – against Machado and against Batista – by a small group of people while the majority of the Cuban population continued with its business as usual. The famous number of 20,000 dead Cubans actually has an extra zero.

In our times, exile has been the escape valve to those unable to put up with this; the opposition groups are not a solid or attractive force. We Cubans – as opposed to the stories told in the anorexic textbooks used in history classes – have always been a passive populace, and with the sole exception of a small group, we have always been manipulated by whoever is in the position of power, while we keep waiting for events to unfold.

Translated by Mailyn Salabarria

The Most Cruel

This month’s days are placing their heavy weight on me.  I’ve heard the delegates to the Young Communist League (UJC) congress reading fiery speeches. I’ve seen in the news the “revolutionary reaffirmation acts” in a careful schedule, where every day a workplace, a school, an association or any other group stages a protest to condemn imperialist manipulations; during these demonstrations, the news reporter place their mics in front of people who say things that would scare the hell out of anyone.

At the stage on the Malecon intellectuals and musicians gathered against the foreign media campaign, in a Saturday afternoon marathon in front of a young audience that was there to take advantage of the free entertainment. The celebration of the victory in Playa Giron (the Bay of Pigs) became the “people’s reaffirmation” to continue down the path of Fidel and Raul’s socialism. The elections of the municipal delegates mutated into a massive condemnation of the imperialist’s manipulations. On May 1st,  the Plaza of the Revolution will host a million people marching to show their support to their Revolution and their Socialism.

In the middle of all that revelry, Guillermo Farinas is dying in Santa Clara.

The poet T.S Elliot has given me the words I needed: April is the cruelest month.

Translated by Mailyn Salabarria