It turns out he’s taken up his Reflections again. But this time with a force that tries to keeps up a chatter with the United States. In one form or another he always draws on topics that question the approach of the government of a country that it seems he once vowed, in secret or not, to make “war” on until the end of his days.
He complains that they’ve imposed an economic blockade on us for more than 50 years and it really seems that everything he does is designed to provoke them more and more to want to keep it. We know it would be convenient for him because the Blockade has come to bear the blame for creating hunger and scarcity, and served to justify the general blockade that we have inside the country that has produced many of our disasters.
The Reflections of Thursday, February 5th, “The contradictions between the politics of Obama and his ethics,” is formulaic, with approximately 14 questions to consider about the president. Once again he tries to remind him and, also clearly, us, about every bad thing the government of this country historically has done to Cuba and the rest of the world. Almost a full page asks if Obama is right or fair, this and that, and all that he, the Grand Maestro of ethics, wants to debate and call into question in the eyes of others.
And what is fair and right here, when will he engage in self-examination and see himself as we, the ones below, the ones on foot, see him? Or is it that his ego even now doesn’t allow it?
Doesn’t he realize that we’re no longer interested in knowing any more about what the president of the United States does or doesn’t say or do, but in what they have done here, in this country, he and his government, and what they are doing or will do to resolve what really concerns us? He writes of protecting Humanity from the deterioration of the climate, but doesn’t talk about the part of Humanity that lives in this country and the pure deterioration, through no fault of the climate precisely.
Why isn’t it the role of the great sacred figure, internationally important, questioning the dignity of others, and always referring to his interest in Humanity, to publicly reflect every day, asking those questions that he says have “no easy answers.” Above all about what we want to know, have, change and see here.
What did he do for us in 50 years of absolute power? And I ask you, please talk about more than the usual, agrarian reform, literacy campaign, “free” medicine and education, that is all water under the bridge. We live now in other times, other needs, another way of thinking and of life, we are OTHERS, I mean new, different, distinct. Enough of only living in the memory of disasters overcome and resolved by the Revolution, which soon ceased to be revolutionary.
He commits no sin, he says, modestly presenting his ideas. But he doesn’t allow anyone else to express theirs, also free and modestly (unless it’s to criticize the United States), much less if it’s to question anything in this county and very much less if it’s to make it public, because he imposes censorship, or here comes the tattletale without any ethical issues and almost ubiquitous powers and a cell phone designed to make an urgent call to the police, and having freedom of expression (even if you’re wearing in a suit) is only a dream turned into a nightmare where you wake up in jail, or at least with a warning and a fine.
I could pen some reflections with the title: The contradictions between Fidel’s politics and his ethics. Where I would also ask the Maestro his own question: “Is it right to promise a reconciliation of such contradictory and antagonistic interests without transgressing ethics?”
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.