Saturday, January 2, 2010

Differences With The Same Tone

Photo edited: Leandro Fiales

My mailbox is filled with Christmas, with a strange Christmas of consolation or despair: theories about the “evil”—as I have ended up baptizing it—that afflicts us.  I have received messages from the total political-ideological spectrum; some justify themselves—writing me seems to be a major step in taking a position with respect to the national situation—and they send me weird messages for third parties who don’t have time, or who fear, to answer.

Luckily the crowd of anonymous dialoging strangers is not what inspires me, rather it is my friends: my friends and I—scattered, confused, confident, desolate, far away, frightened and alone—trying to save our ties, to find a point that would unite us in the consciousness that from so much wanting to be one has become none.

My friends ask me but I have no answer, they advise me but I don’t want to hear, I explain to them but they misinterpret, they love me but I cannot hug them.  We have been Generation Zero, the lost, the Y, the post-revolutions, we all have done nothing.

We should be the monolithic block that immortalizes a revolution made by mortals, however the density was so high that it ended up exploding into atoms over the whole planet: the Generation BIG BANG.  We dispersed in a projectile that wasn’t even ours: without Guilt, without Answers, without Faith, The Children of Fear and Distance.

My friends and I tried, GMail knows how much we tried, but we ended up diluted in the turn of the century and guilt… Christ, Fidel, Or the Year Zero?  We discoursed about conscience, the market, and geographic fatalism. Nobody knows but for us—children of disinformation—the world is theory and speculation, what is the antithesis when the thesis doesn’t exist?  My friends and I are the personal universe, the return to subjectivity, to introspection, to life experience as the height of knowledge  We understand each other by halves, tolerate each other with tenderness, and do not agree with each other because, deep down, we each speak from the laughable desperation of feeling ourselves to be the last Cuban.


Humberto Capiro said...

MIAMI HERALD ARTICLE: Cuba faced worst economic crisis in '09

"Havana faced its worst economic crisis in 20 years, myriad scarcities, freezing foreigners' deposits in its banks -- with promised reforms stalled and its political cohesion put in doubt by one of the revolution's worst-ever leadership purges.

Crime and corruption increased, according to official reports. Bloggers as well as black Cubans fired increasingly daring darts at the government, but Castro gave no ground on human rights."

"With his coffers empty, Castro set out to cut government spending and imports, step up production and reduce labor inefficiencies. In the most telling sign of Cuba's crisis, he also reportedly froze at least $600 million in foreign businesses' deposits in Cuban banks.

``It's one thing to fail to pay a loan, but to seize money in Cuban banks, that tops it all and shows the chaos in the country,'' said dissident Havana economist Oscar Espinosa Chepe.

On an island that spends some $1.4 billion buying 60 to 80 percent of its food abroad, Castro slashed imports by 37.4 percent -- U.S. imports alone dropped by about 27 percent. An order to cut electricity consumption by 12 percent led to the closing of thousands of factories and workplaces."

Humberto Capiro said...

NY TIMES ARTICLE: Cuba's Santeria Priests See Unrest in 2010
Published: January 2, 2010

HAVANA (AP) -- "A panel of Afro-Cuban priests are predicting a year of social and political unrest, struggles for power, treachery and coups d'etat, and they say the world will see the death of an inordinate number of political leaders in 2010.

In the forecast announced Saturday, they recommended older leaders move aside and make room for the young, a politically delicate statement in a country that has been led by brothers Fidel and Raul Castro for more than half a century.
''The older generations should pass their experience on to young people because times change, and the younger generation is better prepared,'' said Victor Bentancourt, one of the island's leading Santeria priests, or babalawos. ''Time is growing short'' for such a change."

"A rival Santeria group, which enjoys official sanction from the government, came out with its own predictions later Saturday, saying 2010 would be a year of improving health."

Humberto Capiro said...

LATIN AMERICAN HERALD TRIBUNE: No Government Events as Cuba Celebrates 51 Years of Revolution

HAVANA – Cuba celebrated Friday the 51st anniversary of the revolution with austerity and without any government ceremonies planned, though the public’s traditional dancing in the main squares of the communist-ruled island to celebrate the occasion were maintained.

Communist Party daily Granma published Friday on its front page a photo of ex-President Fidel Castro with the headline “Viva la revolucion,” and used most of its pages to recall what life was like in the country before 1959 when the uprising led by Castro ousted dictator Fulgencio Batista.

The official media also gave space to telling how this weekend the island will be one big party, with the usual dances and public concerts.

Unlike last year, when official events were organized to celebrate a half-century of revolution, this time no activity was planned with members of the government, nor has there been any word of a message to the public from President Raul Castro, Fidel’s younger brother.
Although the anniversary was prepared with austerity amid the worst economy in decades, the streets were decorated with Cuban flags and posters bearing revolutionary slogans.

At midnight Thursday the traditional 21-gun salute sounded from Havana’s La Cabaña Fortress to kick off the anniversary, and at the same time every TV channel transmitted a music video dedicated to Fidel Castro.

But the television aired no official communique to the people referring to the anniversary of the revolution.

Paul Selwyn Berry said...

Happy New Year, Claudia. I come to Cuba every year and hope to meet you one day. Your bravery and insight constantly amazes me and I pray that your people find the life you desire. Blessings and love from Canada!

Humberto Capiro said...

LA TIMES: Black activists launch rare attack on Cuba about racism

"A group of 60 African American artists and thinkers have launched a rare -- and some say unprecedented -- attack on Cuba's human rights record, with a particular focus on the treatment of black political dissidents.

In a statement issued in November, luminaries including Princeton professor Cornel West, actress Ruby Dee and director Melvin Van Peebles criticized the Communist government for its "increased violations of civil and human rights for those black activists in Cuba who dare raise their voices against the island's racial system."

The statement, "Acting on Our Conscience," was denounced by the Cuban government."

"Meanwhile, Obama has also had an effect on the Cuban streets, said Carlos Moore, a left-wing Afro-Cuban scholar and Castro critic.

With Obama's election, "it's not that black Cubans became pro-U.S. or pro-Washington, but they said, 'A black man can become elected head of state in a country that we were always told was racist -- but here we are with [a majority] and we cannot come into power,' " said Moore, a Brazilian resident who supported, but did not sign, the Americans' statement.",0,5391302.story

Acting on Our Cnscience-A Declaration of African American Support for The Civil Rights Struggles in Cuba

Humberto Capiro said...

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