There Is No Truce

Yesterday afternoon when I went to visit a friend I saw an enormous slogan written on a wall on 13th Street between L and K in Vedado (and with the cost and scarcity of paint!). I immediately thought: It’s true, for fifty-two years we haven’t had a truce.

When we are not running after potatoes, we are desperately searching the neighborhood high and low looking for someone to sell us powdered milk, or standing in a huge line to wait for the expensive bread to be ready, because the other is much cheaper but they only give you one per person and besides it’s inedible.

Suddenly my thoughts turn to the terrible earthquake in Japan and its aftermath and the unrest in the Middle East with so many wounded and dead, and the extreme hunger strike of the students in Venezuela a month ago, etc. etc. I tell myself: good grief, how selfish am I, with everything that is happening to those poor people and I’m thinking about bread, potatoes and milk. After thinking about I speak again: yes, it’s true, but they know that their nightmare will end, because despite all their troubles they have defense mechanisms to address them, they have hope and can fight to change things.

We do not. Our realities, unknown not only outside our borders but practically speaking to the majority of our own people. The information media are under tight State control. The day there is change and the truths see the light, the majority of people who survive here are not going to want to believe it. They say that a lie repeated over and over becomes the truth. This is fundamentally what I mean when I say there is no truce.

Back home, I’ve been thinking: Apparently, since Owen, Marx, the already failed experiments in the countries of Eastern Europe and now the much publicized XXI Century, or whatever you want to call it, socialism is a useless gift presented in a bad wrapping.

March 27 2011

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