After the claustrophobic feeling of having no internet for two weeks, catching up with events will not be easy, adding the softness of these days. I will summarize in three stories that remained me with me like feedback after the holidays.
North Korea is one of my favorite fears. The North Koreans are my confederation of dunces. I have seen and read enough about the subject, including an authorized biography of the recently deceased and the documentary One Day in the Life, by his Ministry of Foreign Affairs, both little gems. To see the dear comrade in his glass coffin surrounded by flowers, I don’t know about others, but I was reminded of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. I thought Asians were very restrained in expressing their grief, but I have seen a massive and unanimous cry on camera. Hysterical or histrionic, hinting of complications for those who do not cry. In sharp contrast with the death of Vaclav Havel, who only found space in a column of the inside pages of the newspaper Granma, Kim Jong Il and his designee Kim Jong Un, have been media sensations.
This monarchical succession has not faced the least objection to our media. The Juche idea, Marxism in a free version of the Great Leader, nor is it accused of being revisionist, a term indeed fallen into disuse because of the multiple interpretations and accommodations that everyone makes in the theory of Marx. I do not see such a succession for Cuba even though some people cherish the idea of leading by means of DNA. Yesterday I woke up to the news that the North Korean ambassador has just been awarded the Friendship Medal by our Minister of Foreign Affairs. With friends like these …
My first association on hearing the announcement of an amnesty for nearly three thousand prisoners, from the mouth of our President, was what that figure would represent as a percentage of the total prisoners in Cuba. I have understood that our prison population per capita ranks as one of the highest in the world, so the measure is positive from any point of view, but still do not know if the Black Spring prisoners, released on parole, are included. In my information isolation, I threw out a tweet asking for details via text message, and I got an account key to activate over the Internet, and the Internet was something I didn’t have at year end. Conclusion: I still do not know, but I’m told that the list of the releases is in the Official Gazette. In his long-standing practice of giving prisoners to distinguished visitors, the Cuban government will offer the highest figure to Ratzinger.
Cachita is what Cubans call their patron saint — something family and friendly that sounds very good to me. The Virgin has traveled around the country, and the demonstrations of devotion, as opposed to the outraged people (a phrase in common use by the government), have been spontaneous. The Cardinal seems to be interested in politics, and in that love-hate relationship, makes some space. It is not the figure that seduces me, but the drawing power of faith, which is something else, and the Virgin of Charity of Cobre has shown it.
January 6 2012