Yoani’s prison wall is nothing more than the wall of the Malecón. You can move your body as far as that point and from there beyond the sea only your Internet identity can continue – talking on Twitter, showing up on Facebook, living in Wordpress – to “the outside world.” Many have not been able to read Generation Y from within Cuba, but everyone knows the blogger’s record of denials for Exit Permits.
In a country where nearly everyone is obsessed with leaving, there is nothing more sadistic on the part of the government than punishment with imprisonment. Paradoxically, the thing that increases the solidarity of citizens the most is to see the Cuban dream – travel – crushed by grotesque legislation.
While the Cuban authorities play cat and mouse with their prediction – in their declarations abroad – of eliminating the White Card, in Cuba they use their last days in power to deny it. Yoani Sánchez is only 34, not Raúl Castro nor anyone inside the circle of power is going to live long enough to keep her within the borders of this island: they have already lost the war.
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.