I read recently in Cubaencuentro about a call for "secret agents.” It may be an example of what happens when everyone is corrupt: there are staff shortages. Being a secret agent is not necessarily synonymous with working for the secret police, I don’t believe that the secret services are so bad as to put out mass calls.
What it’s about, as people say, is again more of the same: who sells chickens, eggs, meat; who has a particularly prosperous business; who rents movies; who gets money from abroad. In the end this sad note is more than a desperate cry of the government which seems to have fewer squealers than we can imagine.
So I wonder what happens with the Committee for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR), with the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC), with the mass organizations that are structured at all levels of society and that are supposed to report all these things. “The direction of the Revolution” has spent years tolerating that people live with illegality, no one has intended to solve the problem of wages and in they slyly overlook corruption. At this point it would be too complicated to have informants, the illusion would be to find informants who aren’t tainted by the black market.
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.