Translation of Audio: Voice of "Carlos": Claudia, it’s the independent journalist Carlos Serpa Maceira. I’m here in Isla de Pinos where I was beaten and detained by the authorities. Please, my cell phone number is 52914540. Please, I tried contacting Yoani, I sent her a message. Help me with this. Take care, Serpa. Voice of Claudia: Tell me, what do you think of that? Voice of Yoani: We should send him a message saying 'what a spy', 'what a low life'.
State Security has launched a soap opera entitled “Cuba’s Interests,” and it’s awful. Whoever wrote it -- oh my -- was included like an extra in the script. Above I’ve posted the message Carlos Serpa -- confessed agent -- left on my answering machine the day before Saturday night’s premier on Cubavision, which exasperated half of Havana which doesn’t want to hear even one more second of ideological propaganda on television.
I mean really, Villa Marista is in need of an image manager and also a speech therapist. Perhaps they are short on budget and human resources, but it’s important -- say I -- that people know how to talk, especially when they are giving speeches or launching themselves as tropical-James-Bond-style soap opera actors. Nothing is as depressing as the vulgarity, the lack of education, the trashy accents of the latest characters who have made their leaps to fame from the ranks of State Security. If these are the presentable ones, what do the ones we don’t see look like? The Ministry seems more and more like a zoo, the officials poor classless puppets that the system moves at will, like pawns. The last remaining pawns: The snitches.
Who is paid for being a snitch? That’s the harsh reality facing Power, because the human qualities of those who accept such work at this stage of the championship leave much to be desired: Twisted principles, lacking values, shameless, amoral, uneducated, vulgar and extremely mediocre and envious, two feelings that always seem to go hand-in-hand.
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.