This blog is my support, in it I find a catharsis, one day yes and one no, and I release a little bit of what sticks in my throat. The other day a girl, a teacher like me, asked me very seriously what I was trying to achieve with my blog. We were at a party and I could see her skepticism, her doubt, her paranoia and her distrust… she was my mirror, she was me two years ago: I remember living literally in 1984, I didn’t believe anything, I didn’t believe in anyone, everyone was State Security, the dissident movement was a branch of MININT in my eyes, no one was sincere and I was completely alone in the world.
I have no solutions, I said, I have no political aspirations, I have no party, I belong to no institution, and in addition I don’t believe I lack anything I need to exercise my rights, no one represents me; nor do I consider it necessary to dress up my social critiques and my political opinions in avant-garde artistic concepts: my blog is not art nor does it try to be, it’s a simple blog, like millions of blogs out there. I defend my right to express what I think and to criticize what I believe is bad, my right to think differently and, therefore, the rights of others to think differently too. I think that in my country civil liberties are not respected and I say it, I think there is no democracy and I say that too. I don’t wait for it to be enough: I am one more who is tired and now, I’m not responsible for what the government has done nor, thankfully, is the “Better Future” written in my eyes. Not only do I not have the responsibility or the obligation, but I don’t want them: what I ask is freedom for those who have better projects, more democratic, more free, less exclusive and where there is respect for human rights that is better than what we have been living with so far.
She told me that many democratic countries aren’t exactly a model for Cuba to follow, I don’t doubt it, that much is clear. Although a democratic society would not be a perfect society, but because of that we shouldn’t assume a totalitarian one is either, no doubt. On the other hand, I can’t help thinking that in these fifty years there have been many people with political aspirations who unfortunately ended up throwing their vocations into the latrine of a prison for common criminals.
I’m sorry to disappoint all those who look to this blog for the answer for the “Perfect Cuba,” only to find here my little cry that one day we can say, “Plural Cuba,” “Cuba with Rights,” “Cuba with Independent Citizens,” and “Cuba with Democracy.”
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.