When they told me, while Gorki was still a prisoner, that Amnesty International had accepted his case and that if he were sentenced he would be one more prisoner of conscience in the Cuban prisons, it made me super happy because everyone said it was the best thing that could happen, that Amnesty International was the most serious organization and the most able to put pressure on the Cuban government. But I didn’t know much more about them that, nothing about how the organization works, who and where they are, how bad it has to be for them to take your case, etc. etc. etc.
So I invite everyone who is interested and who also fears that one day they, like me, could be in the category of prisoner of conscience (even though I can’t yet say if it’s ominous or illuminating), to read this material.
Also, speaking of rights and amnesty, I wonder how they categorize the egg seller, who has been freely selling his eggs on the street for the last five years, and today is sentenced to three years in prison, one year for each carton of eggs that he had.
Photo caption: Adolfo Fernandez Sainz, imprisoned since the Black Spring of 2003.
This is an excerpt to a version of the song, Epitaph for Vladimir Visotski by Karsmarski Jacek (Polish dissident songwriter), which includes Ciro Diaz in his latest album, The Blue Slug, that I listened to compulsively for at least two months, especially on the street with my mp3 inherited from a friend who now has an I-pod. (Download the lyrics here) (Download the recording and album cover here) The song (in summary, which runs about ten minutes) is about a desperate artist going through the circles of hell in search of an answer or death, and at the end of his journey there is only loneliness and the weight of the supreme power above himself. So I found myself at times catching the bus across Havana at 12 noon in August under the perennial sunshine and with the distressing feeling of not going anywhere, or arriving too late, or going for pleasure ... I feel that I have already arrived at the eighth enclosure (this is the finale of the song) where there is nothing, and I feel useless and empty, and I look at people without faith who walk along the street and who have so much fear that they no longer know they're afraid, and who have seen so many Roundtables and so many news broadcasts that they no longer know what belongs to reality or just to the TV screen. They cannot discern that they no longer believe, but cannot disbelieve either, and just move along past me not going anywhere.