Remember That I Always Want / Regina Coyula

Image from eCured

What Robertico Carcasses improvised during a demonstration at the Protestodome[1]last week, has been added to our folklore.  The accompanying refrain is now a sort of musical password that identifies the supporters of the musician and/or supporters of what he asked for.  I have only talked to one person who watched in disbelief on live TV the much talked about improvisation by the talented director of the band Interactivo.  The rest get the story through seconds or thirds who add to or take away from it, but on the streets people are talking a lot about it, mostly because it is so unusual.

Everyone had pondered the gesture.  It was not until yesterday that a young man of less than thirty confirmed to me that unanimity is not true the other way around either.  Concise and serious, he told me that he disliked what happened across from the United States Interest Section in Havana.  He said more. He finds dangerous that desire “of yours” (we were five, six counting him) of electing the president by direct vote.  Although skepticism seemed to form his objection, he considers any change negative based on the always useful argument that we are in bad shape, but others are worse. I did not have to reply, the others, all who are much younger than me, did so with arguments that I fully support.  I did tell them, because in that group no one knew, that Robertico had been separated from his band, a measure that undermines the entire transparency and “shirts removed”[2] of the Raulista reforms even if there was a subsequent rectification.

At home, this early morning event was the topic of after dinner conversation. Alcides, old and wise, pointed out something obvious that I had missed: The dissonant voice belonged to a private employee of a private business with a permanent location.  The conversation took place there.  The rest of us were casual customers protected by anonymity.

–It seems incredible, Regina, that you hadn’t realized that the young man thought the same as the rest, but sought to protect his business from potential accusations.

I remembered the yellow ribbons that many tie without conviction these days, and I remembered General Resóplez[3] when he said:

–What a country!


[1] Protestódromo in Spanish is the slang name for Tribuna Antiimperialista.  It is a large stage set up in front of the United States Interest Section in Havana to show state-sanctioned protests against a number of actions by the US.

[2]“Camisa quitada”:  Spanish expression that means something done in the open for all to see.

[3] Character from Cuban popular cartoon Elpidio Valdes.

Translated by Ernesto Ariel Suarez

18 September 2013

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