viernes, 24 de julio de 2015

LA VIRGENCITA DE MIAMI VUELVE A SU HOGAR



A instancias de prominentes líderes de la emigración cubana —tanto magnates como su relevo generacional—, gracias a gestiones de la jerarquía católica dentro y fuera de la Isla y, sobre todo, por la buena voluntad política del nuevo entendimiento entre el gobierno de Raúl Castro y la administración de Barack Obama, por fin se le hará justicia a un emblema de nuestra nación que durante décadas permaneció prácticamente secuestrado.

En efecto, la virgen llamada “de la Ermita de Miami” —que en realidad siempre ha sido la virgen de la parroquia de Guanabo, al este de La Habana—, y que fuera forzada a emigrar de Cuba en contra de su voluntad al ser literalmente contrabandeada desde la Isla en 1961 (con la complicidad de las embajadas de Italia y de Panamá), ha de regresar ahora a su lugar de origen, como parte del restablecimiento de las relaciones diplomáticas y el consiguiente proceso de normalización entre La Casa Blanca y la Plaza de la Revolución.

Es en Guanabo y no en Miami donde aún reside el humilde hogar de esta virgencita tan querida para todos los nacionales. Es allá, en su patria auténtica, y no aquí, en su pesebre postizo, donde pertenece su misión de misericordia y los milagros con la fórmula del amor triunfante. Es a la nación nutricia donde la Madre De Todos Los Cubanos por fin regresa, despidiéndose en paz de un exilio en la práctica ya inexistente, según revelan las más rigurosas encuestas de sus propias universidades en el sur de La Florida, así como lo reconocen los jóvenes descendientes del cambio generacional con que se ejecuta hoy la reconciliación del pueblo cubano.

Acaso la visita de Su Santidad el papa Francisco a la Isla, en septiembre próximo, sea la ocasión fraterna para esta fiesta de la espiritualidad y la memoria fiel y sin saña de los cubanos. En cualquier caso, la no tan sorpresiva presencia del mandatario norteamericano Barack Obama en la ex-Ermita, el pasado 28 de mayo, sugiere que la transición ha de ser muy pronto bajo su mandato, para así también evitar cualquier exabrupto de los escasos cubanos que aún se aferran a un pasado de confrontaciones que durante décadas fracasó.

El santuario vacío del 3609 de la avenida South Miami fungirá entonces como otro tipo de templo, más acorde a los tiempos de restauración que se viven entre Washington y La Habana, donde Miami no será ninguneada, por supuesto, pero sí debe ir asumiendo racionalmente su condición de plaza temporal, desplazada a la hora de los hornos y de la asunción de nuestro verdadero hogar.

Dad a Cuba, hermanos y hermanas, lo que de Cuba es. Y dadlo sin miedos ni miserias, pues, como rezan los cánticos de restitución de esta campaña con todos y para el bien de todos: a Cuba va, quien de Cuba vino. Lo que honra a su vez a la carta pastoral del Episcopado Americano:

Juntos en el camino de la esperanza: ya no somos extranjeros.

Consummatum est.

viernes, 3 de julio de 2015

Por la libertad de una Cuba sin Castros


http://internacional.elpais.com/internacional/2015/07/03/actualidad/1435956130_492450.html

ENTREVISTA | 
ROSA MARÍA PAYÁ
líder del Movimiento Cristiano Liberación y Cuba Decide.


“Estados Unidos está negociando
  con la casta cubana”

La opositora cubana, hija de Oswaldo Payá, señala las carencias del deshielo
ALBA CASAS 
Madrid 3 JUL 2015 - 23:03 CEST

A Rosa María Payá (enero de 1989, La Habana), hija del fallecido opositor cubano Oswaldo Payá y miembro del Movimiento Cubano de Liberación —que fundó su padre—, no le tiembla la voz al afirmar que el deshielo no va a acabar con “el embargo de las libertades” que el Ejecutivo cubano impone a sus habitantes. “Estados Unidos está conversando con el Gobierno y los que le rodean. Pero la sociedad civil queda fuera. Es un privilegio reservado para la casta cubana. Para el resto, la situación es de exclusión”, sentencia.

Aunque ve con buenos ojos el avance en las relaciones de estos dos países —en sus propias palabras: “Cualquier intento de inclusión de Cuba por parte de la comunidad internacional está bien, siempre y cuando la inclusión sea de todo el estado cubano y no solo del Gobierno”—, Payá considera que el restablecimiento de las conversaciones otorga un “halo de legitimidad a un Gobierno que viola cada día los derechos de sus ciudadanos”, y defiende, vez tras otra, la necesidad de que este progreso conlleve un cambio para la sociedad: “La confrontación con Estados Unidos es la excusa que el Gobierno ha usado para justificar algunas de sus medidas represivas. Ahora la excusa ha caído pero la situación sigue igual, lo que demuestra que no era Estados Unidos lo que oprimía a los cubanos, sino el propio Gobierno”.

Entre los motivos por los que el gigante norteamericano debería, según Payá, defender “la apertura de Cuba a los propios cubanos” se encuentra el de ofrecer una seguridad jurídica a los empresarios que quieran embarcarse en nuevas actividades comerciales en la isla. “El totalitarismo es una amenaza tácita para ellos como puede serlo negociar con la mafia. No espero un altruismo de los inversores extranjeros, pero negociar sin las garantías de la democracia es aceptar las reglas del Gobierno cubano”, asegura esta joven de 26 años con unas tablas propias de un político que llevara ese mismo tiempo dando mítines frente a las cámaras.

Al hacer un paralelismo de ese “juego que sigue las normas del Gobierno cubano” con la actual situación del deshielo en la que Estados Unidos, pese a su exigencia inicial de asegurar los derechos de los cubanos, ha finalizado el embargo y sacado a Cuba de la lista de países patrocinadores del terrorismo sin un avance real en libertades para la sociedad, Payá afirma: “Es terrible cuando conversar pasa a ser más importante que el objetivo de las conversaciones. Cuando eso pasa, la impunidad es total y el Gobierno se siente libre para asesinar a un premio Sajarov y que no pase nada”. Se refiere a su padre, Oswaldo Payá, quien murió en 2012 en extrañas circunstancias en un accidente de tráfico. “Hablar de accidente es utilizar las palabras del Gobierno”, sostiene.

La crítica de Payá contra los Ejecutivos que prefieren “ignorar las violaciones de los derechos humanos” no se dirige tan solo al gigante norteamericano. La joven llega incluso a vincular “los 15 años de recesión que han experimentado las democracias de la región” con la dictadura cubana. “No digo que sea el único motivo, pero sí un denominador común. Y se puede observar en el silencio cómplice de la alta política latinoamericana con todos los crímenes de la región, ya no solo los de Cuba”, afirma.

El instrumento que el Movimiento Cubano de Liberación propone para conseguir ese avance en derechos e iniciar un proceso de transición democrática es hacer un plebiscito para preguntar a los ciudadanos de la isla si quieren participar en unas elecciones libres, en las que cualquier ciudadano pueda presentarse como candidato a la oposición, una plena cobertura mediática y, ante todo, “con garantías para los votantes de que no habrá consecuencias por parte del poder”.

Al situarse en ese escenario utópico, no puede sin embargo asegurar que el llevar a los cubanos a las urnas se vaya a traducir en el fin del mandato castrista. “Yo creo que si los cubanos pudieran votar, votarían por la libertad. Pero si no lo hacen, nosotros todo lo que podemos hacer es darles la herramienta. Los cubanos serán libres cuando quieran serlo”.

miércoles, 3 de junio de 2015

FIDELOMA





F con F, Fidel
Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

Dame la F.

La única literatura del castrismo que sobrevivirá al castrismo es la literatura anti-castrista. Parece un trabalenguas, pero es algo peor.

En efecto, en Cuba no se publica nada en serio sobre Fidel. No circulan sus fotos ni información documental. Apenas se repiten las viejas poses icónicas en cada aniversario o cumpleaños: dos fechas que ya se confunden a fuerza de efemérides y eufemismos.

Dame la I.

El oficialismo está tomando distancia de Fidel. Y aún más, están traicionando a Fidel cada vez que lo exhiben en público como una momia, con sus manos de melanoma, su sombrero de yarey, sus ojos de ídolo ya ido, y su voz de ultratumba que ya no asusta ni a los bebés, a la hora de darles la papita o ponerlos a mimir.

En este teatro de títeres sin titiritero, en esta Cuba decrépita del día a día, es como si Fidel fuera un dictador, digamos, del Cuerno Africano. O del Cono Sur. Un Videla con su piyamita Adidas y una corona criminal de moringa. O un Pinochet en su clínica anglófona, intraducible en sus bisbiseos de viejo milico (como su argot de guerrillero hecho un guiñapo es ya intraducible, la TV cubana le impone subtítulos en español a Fidel: apócrifos, en su mayoría). O un Arafat tropicalosamente marica (como lo soñó el suicida Reinaldo Arenas). Porque, aunque nadie se atreva a pronunciarlo, su hermano Raúl Castro cada vez luce más macho en público, mientras Fidel se nos mariconea entre pioneritos y espías.

Dame la D.

La arqueología no se da bien en nuestra Isla. La ingravidez, sí. En el Archipiélago Cubag el ambiente es muy blando bajo la demasiada luz, la memoria se blanquea a la primera oportunidad y tras el último horror. Por eso Fidel flota tan fácil. Todo lo socialista se desvanece en el aire. El futuro será fósilmente feliz, después de decadentes décadas de Fidelidad. En tanto zombis de un país-páramo-patíbulo, ahora corroemos a ese fantasma entre afeminado y fascistoide del Compañero Fidel.

El legado de toda gerontocracia es ese: desvalijarnos del derecho de un cadáver donde escupir. Nuestro Matusalén marxista no terminará mancillado como Mussolini, sino canonizado por la tétrica Trinidad de un Big Mac en la punta del Pico Turquino, y un Mall martiano en el lobby de la Plaza de la Revolución y, el Comité Central del Partido Comunista en el pent-house de la Torre de la Libertad (Miami como una Habana del Norte mucho más castrista que la original).

No sólo no hay justicia en la Cuba de la auto-transición de la dictadura a la dictacracia, sino que tampoco habrá ni injusticia. El desierto atenaza a los cubanos, y únicamente Disneylandia puede redimirnos de semejante tragedia. Desde mucho antes del capitalismo —si es que hubo un “antes” del capitalismo—, a nuestro pueblo le encantan los muñequitos (como lo soñó el suicida Guillermo Rosales). Por eso nuestra historia es una historieta. Carecemos crónicamente de biografía: en nuestro pueblo no hubo ni un solo Camilo, pero sobran millones de Elpidio Valdés. El castrismo como un cómic incorruptible.

Dame la E.

Ah, ¡que Fidel escape cuando ya había alcanzado su definición mejor…! Pero, precisamente para canonizar las dos tibias y la calavera de nuestro tirano, ahí están los académicos norteamericanos, esos gurús gays que a golpe de grants han creado y consagrado al Ur-castrismo más homofóbico. Nada es como un macho sabroso en clave de sadoculturalismo: en una mano el cañón de la AKM, en la otra el pocket-book de la última constitución comunista.

Semejante ejército de ensayistas no está solo en esta epopeya. Paradójicamente, en las bibliotecas de exilio y medio, en las ONG “terroristas” de la capital del Imperialismo yanqui y en las fundaciones “mafiosas” del Miami de “línea dura” más “radical”, en los anaqueles de la “derecha reaccionaria” cubana, allí, fulgurante como un alef maléfico o apencado como un vulgar guayabito, allí se incuba por los siglos de los siglos hasta el fin de los tiempos, la imagen magnetizante de Fidel. No hay ícono mejor representado por el exilio cubano. Nadie representa más a los exiliados que Él.

Dame la L.

Entonces, hasta la reconciliación de los cubanos será gracias a ese Fidel en sí, a su réquiem en Rev Mayor, donde el cardenal católico Jaime Ortega podría bendecir guardaespaldas en Su misa de capilla ardiente, mientras la nación reza el Cubansummatum-est del Sermón de la Sierra Maestra.

Dame la F. Dame la I. Dame la D. Dame la E. Dame la L. ¡¿Qué dice…?!

Dice eso mismo: F, I, D, E, L. Cinco letras sin conexión entre sí. Pero sin las cuales Cuba y su carroñita de cubanos sin Castro no sabríamos cómo sobremorir al Funeral en Jefe de nuestro Fidel O´Akbar.


Améen.


miércoles, 27 de mayo de 2015

OLPL in LASA 2015 CONGRESS in SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO







1. THE CUBAN STRANGEVOLUTION

Mother died today. Or, maybe, yesterday; I can’t be sure. The telegram from the Home says: YOUR MOTHER PASSED AWAY. FUNERAL TOMORROW. DEEP SYMPATHY. Which leaves the matter doubtful.

As in the beginning of Albert Camus’s novel The Stranger, Mother Revolution may have died today. Or yesterday. The tweets from the Homeland —the last disconnected spot in the hemisphere— are misleading. No funerals for Fidel, despite the successive unsuccessful farewells on-line. Abroad, deep sympathy for socialism all over the US academy and surprisingly also from its supposed archenemy, the State Department. Within, reforms emerge as the new style of repression: the Realpolitik of Raúlpolitik. Soldiers turned into salesmen. Spies into diplomats. Which leaves doubtful the matter of Marxism after the handshake of markets, with the US Chamber of Commerce approaching our Central Committee, for the sake of avoiding chaos in Cuba and converting another Communism into Consumerism.

A hyper-nationalist environment is opening up 25 years too late to the global economy. This process implies an overdose of estrangement. Strangers are reaching out before Cuba changes to commonplace capitalism. Cubans themselves are learning fast profitable practices, copy-and-paste from abroad, driven by the numismatist osmosis from exile to insile. The figure of the foreigner is no longer —as in the 20th-century Cuba— a taboo imposed by the totalitarian State, much less the dramaturgic dilemma repeated from poetry to playwrights and from short-stories to cinema screen —with Strawberry and Chocolate as the transgender example par excellence. After dealing with more than 3 million tourists in 2014 alone, the open code of our closed society is now obvious: wealth and welfare are imported effects in Cuba and do not depend on any endemic effort.

The Sugar Curtain, with its ideological filter of loyalty to the Leader, its secret alliances with dictatorships both from left and right, and the export of violence to every continent as a way to divert subversion out of the Island, is crumbling in Cuba; yet the Castro elite in power keeps total control of a self-transition not to democracy but to dictocracy. A second generation of Castros is knocking at the foreign door of the Oval Office. And their olive green guerrilla uniforms, in an act of transvestism, fit into luxury guayaberas and civil suits cut by the tailors of our post-totalitarian State capitalism.

We, the others, are now approaching you, the other others, in a close encounter of the Cuban kind. The alternative model that used to play the victim —first during the Cold War and then in this unipolar world— is about to join the classic canon of capitals and cops, without quitting the revolutionary —technically, retrovolutionary— rhetorics. Decades of autocratic Asian experience, and billions in geopolitical loans, legitimizes our Caribbean experiment.
In consequence, in our popular vocabulary the feared term “foreigner” has mutated into the much more noble “amici” —the plural which welcomes singular citizens from the First Europe—, the colloquial “pepe” —who generously share even our mother tongue, preferably from Spain and Argentine—, the efficient “fula” —a reduction of the visitor to the color of his hard currency—, the astounding “faste” —which in Cuba is the flying metaphor of “fasten your seat belts” before takeoff, and the unique “yuma” —to avoid any derogative reminiscence of the Yankee imperialists.

All these etymological delicacies of our vocubalary are just the first step of a neighboring procedure that doesn’t take foreigners for granted. On the contrary, Cuba is expected to cubanize them right on the spot. And such a hyper-politeness is the secret shortcut to foreignizing ourselves. We are really committed to this conversion from claustrophobic comrades to cosmopolitan colleagues. The New Man of Ernesto Guevara is the New Manager: “Ché” is overpronounced in Cuba today as “check”.

The relief from the scarcities of Castroism points now to JetBlue, MasterCard, Netflix, Airbnb, Amazon, AT&T, US agricultural corporations, Google apps and other external et ceteras. True life is elsewhere, as poet Arthur Rimbaud put it. Given the current circumstances, the POW Rambo —himself a byproduct of the Cold War as well— is reference enough to start our journey back to the future. And, more prone to McDonalds than what Americans are ever willing to accept —as we recognize each other, we will realize how unknown we have been— at least we do agree that fundamental freedoms are to be excluded from this formula of fidelity. The rationale is that, if we Cubans have already waited for over half a century to fully exercise our rights, now we must wait a little longer. Until history freezes over. Till democracy do us part.


2. THE CUBAN DECALOGUE OF THE PERFECT FOREIGNER

The Cuban XXth century ended on Wednesday July 13th, 1989, with the bullets that killed a National Hero —general Arnaldo Ochoa— and a hitman —Tony de la Guardia. Both knew more about the crimes of the Revolution than Fidel himself, and thus they were sentenced to death by him in person. However, the Cuban XXIst century did not start until 25 years of Wednesdays later, on December 17th, 2014, with the simultaneous speeches of president Barack Obama and dictator Raul Castro, each announcing that all the revolutionary riffraff had been just a daydream.

Sovereignty in Castro’s Cuba has always been dependent on the notion of a foreign foe, in a sort of inverted annexationism that legitimates all governmental impunity: “in a besieged plaza, dissent is treason”, it’s the Jesuit quote that —Jesuit-educated himself— Fidel ordered to be painted on the front of dissidents’ houses, like Oswaldo Payá’s, the founding leader of the Christian Liberation Movement, until he was extrajudicially killed in July 2012 and the banner was immediately erased after 15 years in place.

Sovereignty on the Island is also sequestered by the legal imposition of a foreign friend. The first Cuban Constitution after 1959 consecrated in its Article 12 that the Republic was based on “its relations with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and other socialist countries in the socialist internationalism”. A redundant line from 1976 that in 1992 had to be similarly erased, after the end of the Soviet empire and the Eastern European satellites behind the Iron Curtain.

How do Cubans love thee, foreigner? Let me count the ways:

1. The foreigner as a goldmine. All transactions lead to abroad. Besides being considered “idoneous” by the authorities, any investment on the Island implies the condition of otherness. This applies to bureaucrats with relatives residing elsewhere, as well as to social activists of the Cuban alternative civil society. Despite their complaints and accusations of “mercenaries” against critical citizens who lead independent projects, the State ministers are not only the main beneficiaries of the solidarity of NGOs worldwide, but they also grab as secretly as possible the donations from other governments, private magnates, and terrorist regimes.  

2. The foreigner as a boarding gate, a springboard to leave Cuba behind. Every visitor is in risk of being used and then discarded as a human raft —a last boat for salvation— as a migratory catalyst or a catapult out of the catacombs of communism to consumerism. We favor freedom of movement, but our people-to-people exchange tends to be one-way. Cubans seem to be making room for over 3 million tourists a year, plus waves of artists, athletes and academics from “that absurd First World” —as Fidel used to describe it— who arrive in a rapture of fascination to document the esthetics and to edulcorate the ethics of our architectonical and anthropological ruins. Cuban hospitality wouldn’t let our guests suffer being crammed in a bus or a barbacoa, so we hitch to their passports, even if later this means breaking a contract or a heart. We dare not sign an on-line petition, but we have web access enough almost to graduate as MFAs in virtual love, typing typos that are taken for tenderness in this genital stampede: a DNA diplomacy that is diminishing the Cuban population within our shores, but it’s both inspiring and inseminating from Sarah Montiel to Madonna, from Camilo Sesto to Luis Miguel.

3. The foreigner as the fast and furious heroes of Fidel. The Cuban people prefer to ignore the details of this horror collection, since knowledge is the ultimate evidence of culpability for our ubiquitous secret police. Yet, the Island has been a safe haven for the spiritual appeasement of a gallery of international ex-convicts and fugitives charged with embezzlement, money laundering, bank robbery, drug trafficking, airplane hijacking, bombing, cop-killing, with violence and justice for all the liberation movements from the Basque Country to Puerto Rico, from the Tupamaros to the Black Liberation Army. Several of these now peaceful warriors and their otherwise innocent families ended up denouncing their treatment by a disenchanted Castro as hostages of the proletarian paradise —that is to say, as common Cubans. Some died of a timely terminal disease —like the American fraudster Robert Vesco. Others committed suicide —including the strange cases of one daughter and the sister of Salvador Allende. Others —as the official propaganda claims— are still the “anonymous heroes and friends” of our underground uncivil archives: in a Revolution rescued by foreigners to foreigners and for the foreigners.

4. The foreigner as the defenestrated. There is the insistent investor who, generation after generation during the Castrozoic Era, trusts and thrusts his money in the black hole of a Revolution in bankruptcy or in bankcorrupt. They seem to search for no benefits at all, according to their own statements on national TV. They seek the development of our people, with the surplus value of a handshake with the Commander in Chief (before it’s too late). Their incomes are almost about humanitarian numismatics, although they are not allowed to pay their own workers directly: the money can go only to the monopolistic State. Until one day their illusion insurance expires. Then some manage to escape —like Chilean Marxist mafia entrepreneur Max Marambio, although his partner Roberto Baudrand died of a heart attack after hours of tortured interrogation by the State Security. Then some accept that it’s never too late to pay a ransom to be kicked out of business without indemnification —like Canadian transportation tycoon Cy Tokmakjian. Yet some are accused of espionage after years of revamping the Cuban economy —like British architect Stephen Purvis. Many externalize their pain by writing a best-seller out of their adverse Castro adventure —like Michel Villand, the expelled owner of the fine pastry chain Pain de Paris. One —Sebastián Martínez Ferraté— was invited to invest in Cuba only to then be captured at Havana airport, and thus punished for a documentary he directed a few years before on prostitution and corruption by students, teachers and the police. Still others still remain there on the Lost Island, foreignly forgotten behind the bars of La Condesa special prison for foreigners. David Pathe, CEO of Sherritt International from Toronto, the biggest foreign investor in Cuba, which has been mining nickel for two decades, summarizes it better than any Cubanologist: “It’s not about commercial outcomes; it’s about who can they trust".

5. The foreigner as the fool. Poet Allen Ginsberg in the 60s shrieking for sex with Ché Guevara, scandalizing the good revolutionary macho savages, who would get rid of him in the next airplane. Anthropologist Oscar Lewis in the 70s with his raw research confiscated as a CIA plan to impoverish the Cuban way of life under Fidel, plus the bonus track of a sudden death once released to the US. Commander William Morgan —the Americano— condemned by treason to die in front of a friendly firing squad. It’s a long list of foreigners that crosses centuries until reaching the risible of the Spaniard actor Willy Toledo pretending to survive in Cuba with his savings in euros. An ephemeral performance exploited in the media by Patrick Symmes from Harper’s Magazine, when he chronicled his ethno-tourism of being a fake Cuban for a month with just the 15 dollars of our minimum wage. This ridicule could only be surpassed by the USAID contractor Alan Gross, incarcerated 5 years as an internet martyr on the Island, only to be swapped for The Five Castro’s professional spies in the US —and a federal sample in advance of one spy’s faithful sperm.

6. The foreigner as a clown. Specifically, as Clownan O’Brian. Last March 4th he launched his Cuban comedy by TBS. He landed in Havana loaded with make-up, ready for incomprehensible gags in the face of his spontaneous Cuban partners. Laughter has the advantage of being always half way between criticism and complicity. He is the funny US ambassador who will precede the real ones. Behind cameras, his crew paid here and there to obtain filming permits and interviews. He doesn’t learn a thing about Cuba, but at least he exposes himself as the nerd that never asks where is or who was Fidel, since his TBS contract depends on that eloquent silence. Memories of undermemories. As an archeologist in a tropical theme park, his show is a time machine, from an out-of-date despotic iconography in a flash-forward to the Havana downtown that would be, where no Americans will rush to travel as they do now. He proudly shows off the prodigy of a tablet, like a forbidden fruit Made in Apple. He could easily buy the long island of Habananhattan in exchange for a couple of miracle mirrors like this. As fossil aborigines of the last Siouxcialist tribe, we adore his performance in our clowntry with a dose of distrust. It had to be a black kid in the background who reveals a truth that escapes the hermeneutics of subtitles: “Give me that, mister, so we can watch you later at home.” While Big Conan Chief brags, Little Barbarian Indian is begging, but both smile for the selfie. Simultaneously. Like Young President and Old Dictator in the parallel windows of all computers —except in Cuba— last December 17th. No further questions, your Horror.

7. The foreigner as the estranged reporter of Cuban reality. Cuban narratives always fed on such an imported impulse, especially today when the Maximum Narrator is already on mute. We listen and read those foreigners as discoverers of our self. Cuba is better thought from abroad. The Cuban race issue was to be raised only in The New York Times, as later the US embargo was to be first lifted in its pages. The best interviews and documentaries of Fidel Castro have a copyright Made in USA, including two exclusive interviews for Playboy, a magazine that no Cuban can read in Cuba without being accused of being a pornographer. Friendship with any foreigner always had to wait for Fidel to delimit the good guys from the bad ones beyond our waterfront. In a paternalistic State, citizens learn to behave like children never mature enough to interact with a foreigner and resist such a close encounter of the corruptive kind. As pleasure is displaced by duty, responsibility is disciplined into hypocrisy.

8. The foreigner as the ex-self. The circling Cubans who go away but at the end return. Cuban-Americans and Cuban-Europeans are foreigners by default, despite their mandatory passports and entry permits, but the new successful Cuban Cubans from the Island are also perceived as such. Migratory nationals are treated especially like endangered species: they become predators of privileges. And even the local language used to talk to these first-class Cubans is caricatured, as if the round-trip had made them unable to fully understand their own tongue. In the streets of Havana my Canon digital camera was sufficient cause to provoke the transubstantiation of terms, the syntax metamorphosis. They call me “amici”, “yuma”, “pepe”, “fula”, “faste” and overall, “white”. Even if we shared the same skin pigmentation, by calling me “blanco” they explicitly recognized themselves as non-whites. If I dared to let them know that I was as Cuban as they were, they immediately insisted: “yes, man, but you’re Cuban where from?” This xenophillia protects them from their own failure of movement and it’s very risky to contradict. Only once I confessed that I had never traveled beyond the Malecón. My interlocutor felt humiliated by my difference and replied with his most virulent Cuban argot and gesticulation. In Cuba, to look like a source of sustainability without being one is a crime against Cubanity. We Cubans from Cuba must resemble Cubans from Cuba. Revolution is essentially about revolving around the same.

9. The foreigner as Fidel. Unaware of what’s been going on during 18 months of secret diplomacy, he now incarnates not the unknown but the unknowable. No last-minute biography by Jon Lee Anderson will be able to redeem Fidel. No obituary note already requested from Anthony de Palma by The New York Times or El Nuevo Granma will bring Fidel closer to the Cubans to come. As Fidel will not leave a decent corpse for his mausoleum, his ashes will be spread throughout Cuban geography —including Miami— maybe as a malefice to abort any deviation of his legacy of loss. Fidel has forced more Cubans into a state of foreignness forever than all the rest of Cuban statesmen combined. In part, because a country of foreigners is much more governable than a country with its sovereignty restored to individuals. In part, to fulfill the prediction of the Independence Apostle José Martí that “Cuba reunites us on foreign soil”.

10. As in Camus’s Strangervolution, Mother Homeland might not deserve anymore the look that used to link us to her.

“We put the lid on, but I was told to unscrew it when you came, so that you could see her.”

While he was going up to the coffin I told him not to trouble.

“Eh? What’s that?” he exclaimed. “You don’t want me to ...?”

“No,” I said.

He put back the screwdriver in his pocket and stared at me. I realized then that I shouldn’t have said, “No,” and it made me rather embarrassed. After eying me for some moments he asked:

“Why not?” But he didn’t sound reproachful; he simply wanted to know.

“Well, really I couldn’t say,” I answered.

He began twiddling his white mustache; then, without looking at me, said gently:


“I understand.”