Almost all countries have a government more or less corrupt but approximately every five years it changes and also it must answer for its actions before a civil power. They have secret services charged with protecting the interests of the country against possible external interference and against corruption among their ministers and officials, among other complicated and bureaucratic things. Under no circumstances does their work involve limiting the freedom of their citizens by repressing them, screening them for their political profile, worrying about what they say or whether they meet freely with others. Instead of occupying themselves with denying permission to leave the country, or keeping citizens from attending cultural events, attacking artists and writers for their work, firing people from their jobs because of the ideology, among other “activities” that our ministries specialize in, those of less paranoid countries perform more commendable functions in accordance with the laws of the country and the work assigned to them.
Because of this, I think that for Cuba to transition to an open society from a society “with some emergency exits”, some of the people now occupying positions of power in the government could take a long vacation and dedicate themselves, for example, to offering services, which by then won’t be so difficult to get a license for.
It is obvious that this little island, for some time, has not been governed only by two old men, but by the many mid-level and high officials of the Cuban Communist Party (PCC) while Central Intelligence maintains the status quo and enjoys power almost at the same level as the old-timers, but in a more surreptitious way. It’s obvious that the person who today decides that Yoani Sanchez cannot travel cannot continue to occupy decision-making positions in a plural Cuba where we will all have the same rights regardless of our ideology. A civil servant whose decisions protect corruption and crime cannot later be responsible for prosecuting social vice. To purify does not mean to discriminate nor to despise, but if the National Assembly of the People’s Power continues with the same people who today applaud and raise their hands, I don’t think that change in Cuba is going to be very successful.
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.