Apartheid at the Young Filmmakers Exhibition (video)
Note: Before the death of Orlando Zapata Tamayo I had written this text about the talks on migration between Cuba and the United States. I had decided not to publish it because too many horrible things have happened. However, during the Young Filmmakers Exhibition – where several people were prevented from entering – one of those rallying (quite misinformed, of course) brought the subject to light, so I decided to bring out my text as well. I am also posting the video taken by someone, without my knowledge, when I was being refused entry to the Exhibition.
Silliness and Slobber
I find no better adjectives for the Foreign Ministry (MINREX) statements about the talks on immigration held between government officials of Havana and the United States. The note in the newspaper Granma, full of disinformation of course, says nothing about agreements made or not made. The words “civilized, spirit of cooperation and dialog” are repeated over and over. But sadly, I see not a single allusion to something concrete… How did you leave it gentlemen? You met, talked, made a tremendous spiritual connection, etc. etc., and then, what’s new? Did something happen, did you move some pawn? Sign some agreement? Apparently not.
Not to touch on a nerve, but the note makes an informative 360 degree turn and begins to talk about the meeting that, the following day, the members of the United States government held with some representatives from civil society and the Cuban opposition. Excuse me, Foreign Ministry, but what do I care about what the delegation did the day after the meetings? The news, frankly, seems more worthy of the magazine HOLA than a communication from MINREX.
If, in the first place, those dissidents who so offend the Cuban government had been invited to the meeting – sadly civil rights depend on issues of emigration – and if they had participated in the official talks, surely today the news would be more realistic and the agreements or disagreements would have first and last names.
The fact that the Cuban government is not capable of undertaking a coherent and mature dialog that endorses normalization of relations between the U.S. and Cuba, does not then give it the right to be gossiping about and meddling in the lives of others to justify the unjustifiable: its ineffective management.
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.