Octavo Cerco…. Tuesday October 28, 2008
The "comic" tribunal-tribulation adventures of Ciro. The kamikaze.
Photos: Claudio Fuentes Madan and OLPL
Text: Ciro Javier Diaz Penedo
¡GORKI, GORKI, GORKI, Gorki, Gorki ... ... ....! And they fall on us with blows, it was the night of the day of god knows what where Pablo Milanés gave a concert at the José Martí Anti-Imperialist Grandstand on the Malecón. Gorki had been in jail three days already awaiting trial on charges of “pre-delinquent activity” which provided a motive for the authorities to silence our group, Porno para Ricardo.
Five people had decided to go to the concert with a banner to “remind” Pablo that many intellectuals and artists in Cuba and abroad had sent a letter asking him to comment on the current situation.
Four GORKIs and the so-called Rapid Response Brigades that had been called to the scene attacked us, three of us escaped and they captured Emilio and me, they were able to restrain me because it is not in my nature to fight.
Immediately, a colossal Fatso wrapped his arm around my neck and squeezed while others beat me with their hands and feet, but the key to strangulation is that it’s a perfect anesthetic for the blows that I could feel raining down on me.
- Careful! Don’t break his neck! (Another brigadista said to Fatso.)
In this pleasant state they lead us to a nearby office of the popular power where they gave us a comfortable location in a corner against the wall with two guys holding us. Then having recovered my breath I confess to the one who’s holding me up:
- Hey, that Fatso really crushed my neck.
- Shut your mouth!
- He was really strong, does he lift weights?
- How ‘bout you shut your mouth asshole?
- I lifted weights in school, but I never got that strong, it’s a problem with my metabolism.
At this moment another nearby compañero asked in a hysterical voice,
- What’s that shiteater say?
- He seems to have a problem with his metabolism – answered the one holding me up.
At that point someone decided we were too comfortable for the occasion and repositioned us on our knees on the floor with a third knee on our backs which often exerted an annoying pressure on the ribs. To make it a little more unbearable they demanded that our hands must be crossed in front.
- How do I have to put my hands? I asked with a slight shrug of my left hand.
- Like thisssssss! Answered the combatant meanwhile returning them to the indicated position.
- Like this? I asked, changing the position of my hands again.
- No, like this! He said putting them back in place.
- But the problem is the floor is slippery and I slide.
- You want him to give it to you?!?! – He said in complete hysterics while the other one took the opportunity to sink his knee a little deeper into my back.
Then I pretended I was suffering from low blood sugar to see if literally he’d take his foot off:
- Help him please! shouted Emilio, confused.
I just didn’t know how to grin at him, so he’d understand that I was pretending (like I was acting in a movie) and they wouldn’t beat him up for showing solidarity with me, poor guy, he’d already had enough of a good thrashing on the same day he’d arrived from France with all kinds of great anecdotes.
Fortunately at that moment the savior patrol came looking for us and a mastodon dragged me to it and threw me in. Sitting next to me was a pathetic higher-up from MININT saying that she was a professional, that she would take me to the doctor, that afterwards we’d talk and she was my neighbor, among other inanities.
At Calixto García there was a young security guy at my side who, to amuse me, pretended to be afraid.
- Madam, shall I give it to him? he asked the police woman.
- Let’s go Ciro, I haven’t touched you – The boy was her puppet.
The other cops who were there were trying to control their laughter.
Finally, at the station! Air conditioning, cold water… (seriously)… The interrogation.
The police woman asked me about all the dissidents there have been, from Oswald Paya all the way to some unknown X, later she left and I never saw her again. In her place an expert appeared to make a record of everything they’d taken from me and he put to his right a group of papers that I was carrying in my bag when I was detained, nothing important, only a couple of songs against Fidel Castro and Che. And so he picked up the first paper.
- What’s this, “The Che didn’t Bathe”?!?!
At this moment a security guy there intervened to explain to him that he shouldn’t give any weight to that, that I had a rock band that basically sang songs with bad words and we offended the leaders. Not very convinced, the cop continued with the second paper.
- “I am citizen X and I don’t suck Fidel Castro’s prick,” but what about this? – He asked, unsure about what he should do, the security guy shook his head saying no.
In a choreographed act everyone left, leaving me alone with the little boy who threw me the classic cliché, “Tell me about your life,” and I threw back at him the classic cliché, “When I was just a child…” After a few minutes kissing that bitch’s ass we began to talk about more interesting things, MICROPHONES. Ahhh!!! I love microphones. I asked him what kind of microphones they had in their technical equipment for spying on dissidents and I mentioned some of my favorite microphone brands, Senheiser, Shure, AKG, and I was telling him about how they worked and the range of frequencies they stressed but the kid didn’t seem to specialize in microphones and seemed a little fed up with my chitchat. He then informs me that:
- I am your personal biographer, I know your whole life.
I always dreamed of having this conversation with security so I asked him,
- Have you heard my songs?
- Yes - He said.
- And……… do you like them?
- I’m not a fan of yours! – He said, half indignant and then confessed – I like some, “The Kitty” for example.
The Kitty is a stupid semi-childish song I composed one day when I didn’t have anything to do, in fact it was well received by the semi-childish public of the University of Habana and they asked me to put on a few concerts. For a moment I was tempted to ask him if he liked my song “El Comandante,” and I could already imagine him cloistered in his room (without air conditioning) evading the vigilance of counterintelligence and humming the song.
- What I don’t like is when you start to offend people who in one way or another have played an important role in history.
Wow! It seems like he read my mind!
Then a new agent, Rodney, came in the door (we have photographic evidence) who told me, laughing,
- Listen Ciro, I want to explain to you a little bit about what happened down there. First of all, as everyone’s told you, none of those people there were our people; the problem is that no one knew what you were going to take out and well… you know how it goes with the people.
I was always left with the doubt about who it was who didn’t know what we were going to take out and how they knew we were going to take out something, anything, the minor inconsistencies of the official, but to come to the point I asked him about Gorki and he said he didn’t know anything, that he believed there was a problem with the noise in the building and that…
Well, to end the choreography they took Emilio and me to my house in a patrol car accompanied by the expert whom I asked, during the whole trip, about interrogation techniques and about an official from MININT who, on getting out of the car, declared a great admiration for rock music but then dropped the disguise to explain:
- Rock has nothing to do with politics.
Without much desire to pull out the example of the Sex-Pistols singing songs mocking the Queen of England or that the majority of Spanish punk rock bands play leftist songs, I asked him:
- And my friend in prison?
- We don’t want to talk about that – he said without changing his tone – You keep on playing your rock and no one here is going to bother you for that, but don’t get into politics.
He got back in the patrol car and left.
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