Translator: Raul G.

The discourse is once again repeated.  The criticisms start to dissolve, without any first names or last names, but implying all of us, or all of us except a certain few.  In sum, the same situation as always.

Hearing all the latest calls for austerity, the reading of the Guidelines, the imminent unemployment rate, etc., reminded me of something Cicero, the grand philosopher, once said:

“The budget should balance itself.  Treasure should be re-stocked.  Public debt should be reduced.  Arrogance among those who take on important public roles should be moderated and controlled.  And foreign aid to other countries should be eliminated in order to save Rome from bankruptcy.  The people must once again learn how to work, as opposed to living at the expense of the State.”

Year 55 B.C.

I ask myself- now who are we going to blame?

Translated by Raul G.

The famous black nectar that once categorized us as one the countries with the highest production and consumption levels has, bit by bit, been converted into other various inventions that have nothing to do with all those marvelous kinds of coffee that historically were produced here on my planet.

“Untenable”, that’s how the members of the Agrofood Commission referred to the descent of coffee production.

The current harvest only reached the level of 6,000 tons, very far off from the 60,000 tons produced in years past.  (Granma Newspaper, Thursday July 29th 2010.)

The little bag (one per person monthly at the cost of 5.00 pesos), reads “Coffee 100%.”  The population of my planet has still not been able to figure out what it’s made up of, for it doesn’t have a scent and it tastes like tree bark or medicine.

Then the words rescue, recuperation, and revert, come up again.  It’d be very beneficial to see the documentary The Abandoned” made by the Serrana tv station, which clandestinely circulates on my planet.

People, we have spent more than half a century with the same system; which previous government are we going to blame now for this, and many other, failures?

Meanwhile, we survivors continue taking in this black nectar that is nothing like the previous one.  It doesn’t even look like coffee, everyone calls it coffu.

Translated by Raul G.

August 5 2010

Lately, there is a lot of talk about savings.  However, that verb is specifically reserved for the inferior people of my planet, not for the native leaders.

Less than a year and a half ago, an apartment building for the workers of Tecnoazucar was finalized, here on Nuevo Vedado street at 41 and Conill B.  Logically, a wall was constructed with a very narrow entrance (the entrances here are very narrow).  But anyway, they put colonial roof-tiles on the building (that has nothing to do with alignment, it’s just the trend now).

This morning I heard the loud noise of a large hammer. I looked towards the direction of the sound and I figured that they had been tearing down the old wall for a while. Apparently, the person who is moving in does not like the previous design, and since it surely does not cost them anything, then it doesn’t matter.

This whole situation, which is constantly repeated at such levels, is sharply different from the situation of the ordinary Cuban citizens.

On 2nd street, between Ayestaran and Ayuntamiento, there is a woman who lives with her son, both with serious health problems.  A small porch (of a former business) and a small room is what they call home.  Through lots of sacrifices they were able to purchase the materials and ultimately were able to build another small room on the roof area.  Eventually, someone was bothered by this and they denounced them.  As is logical, they didn’t have any papers for the cement nor for any of the other materials.  So the authorities decided to demolish everything.  The worst part of this, and the most painful part, was that it seemed like there was a Committee of the Revolution party going on.  There were so many people clustered over there just watching what was happening, while no one did absolutely anything about it.  I arrived at my sister’s house, who lives nearby, at that very moment, and a friend of mine told me what was happening as she ran towards the scene.

The saddest part about all of this is that on that same block, on the opposite sidewalk, a party member who had been given the house of someone who fled the country, was remodeling his property, almost at the same exact time that this was happening, while he used and abused all sorts of important materials.  However, nobody denounced this man.

Translated by Raul G.

Another celebration, more evidence of lack of spontaneity which we have all become so accustomed to.

As always, many expectations were created, especially for those who continue to refuse to accept the cruel reality.  My grandma would always say, “The worst blind man is he who does not want to see”.

The event took place very early in the morning, almost at sunrise.  The person who most used, or abused, speech was an alien from our sister republic, later the maximum chief of the party in the province, and the closing act was done by someone whose name reminds us of two disastrous personalities of my small planet.

It was expected.  What was the point of the second one talking if the first one has already said everything.  Nothing people, I have said it in other occasions, this is just like a bad marriage under the church: Until death do us part.

Translated by Raul G.

The sad news came through short wave radio during early hours.  After a very fruitful life and at the age of 87, one of the most beautiful voices of our country has left us.  She was silenced for those of us who still live here for more than half a century.

Like I’ve said before, I requested her songs numerous times in the Sunday morning show known as “Memories of Rebel Radio”.  They never fulfilled my requests, they always used the most outrageous excuses.  They became accomplices of an absurd censorship that should have never existed.  Perhaps now that she has passed away, and that her declarations don’t pose a threat to the ideology of ‘the “New Man,” now those of us who knew who she was will have the luck to once again hear her interpretation of “Campanitas de Cristal” (‘Crystal Bells’), which, together with many other songs, became unique when sung by her beautiful voice.

May God keep you in Glory, Olga.

Translator’s Note:  “Bolero” is a genre which hails from Cuba, it is a ballad, a love song.

Translated by Raul G.

When I first heard someone speak about a blog I had no idea what it meant, yet I was still interested and decided to attend the classes with my friend Regina.

I recall that my first post was actually published on her blog, for I had not yet opened mine.  I would have never imagined just how far of a reach this would have, nor how much personal satisfaction it would bring me.  Through this, I have found long lost friends, while I have also made new friends like Gustavo and Aracelis.  I just found another one of my very loved friends whom I have not seen in years, but who I still keep very close to me through many cherished memories.  She asks me to please post photos on my blog of all of my work.

However you paint it, we have gained a bit of relief with the positive outcome of the hunger strike of Coco Farinas.  Meanwhile, the World Cup has everyone absorbed.  I am going to publish, especially for Felita and for all of my readers, some photos of my recent works on patchwork.

Translated by Raul G.

How sad is the country where its children must reject food as a form of protest.

Even sadder when in that country the struggle for food has become the main emblem of the citizens thanks to the prolonged absence of the majority of products.

In these very moments Fariñas has been on hunger strike for more than one hundred days and all he is asking for is freedom for his compatriots who have been unjustly jailed for many years now only for disagreeing with the regime and having the courage to express it publicly.

Yamil has spent numerous months asking for a response to his demand for a just trial for he has been in prison for more than two years and still does not know the reason for his captivity.

Now, Juan Juan Almeida, the son of one of the most charismatic commanders of the revolution who recently died, started a hunger strike a few days ago.

The only thing Juan Juan is demanding is permission to leave his country to be able to receive medical help in Belgium for his rare disease.  He has been asking the Red Cross (which has no office here), and is trying to reunite with his family which he has been separated from for two years.

Those of you who are governing, until when are you going to sustain these absurd and inhumane situations which, as shown by these three cases, simply ask for freedom of thought and action which are supported by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which Cuba is a signatory.

I hope that everyone who reads this post will echo this situation and advocate for an end to it.

Translated by Raul G.

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