Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

The first time I heard talk of the Ladies in White was on a Father’s Day. The Ciro and Claudio Fuentes made a documentary about the Cuban opposition, as a counterpart to three days of a fictional soap opera about the dissidents, which had been airing on the show The Roundtable.

I will never forget the contrast between the interviews in the documentary, and the manipulated images from Cuban television. A friend of mine always says that common sense is what allows us not to believe something that only shows one side, and I answer him: Exactly, I live in a foolish country. Despite knowing that the official press lies, the first time my instinct was confirmed, the delight was indescribable: I had proof.

Saturday, the day before Father’s Day, I had been to greet the Ladies; it is to them that I own my deepest congratulations. During the twenty-four hours of the festivities, they will be the voices of the fathers who cannot play with their children, and their white clothes will be a reminder that behind the bars of the socialist paradise there are just men. Pablo Pacheco cannot play with his son Jimmy. He is not alone, however: in a church in the capital a group of women will pray that next year they can be together.

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