Laura Pollán Is With Me
Lilianne Ruíz, Translator: Chabeli
The sun is still rising in Cuba. The natural cycle of birth and death
never fails to mock ideology and power. It is the rag that will wipe
away all the actors of this diabolic drama.
Recently I got to know through a friend who is a veteran of the Ladies
in White, that a few days before going into Calixto García hospital
Laura Pollán was cut with a sharp utensil by a woman from one the
repudiation rally mobs that the State Security organizes against the
Ladies in White.
Immediately after being wounded, Laura started to feel very ill. The
mutual friend went to see her and told me that she found Laura weak and
ill, and "she was not one of those who would let them (the state
security mobs) intimidate her."
It was not the first attack against Laura Pollán, the one that probably
caused her death. There is a documentary titled I am the other Cuba, by
the Italian filmmaker Pierantonio Maria Micciarelli, which shows in real
time, during an interview with Laura Pollán, how the car in which Laura
and he were riding was mysteriously hit by another car which pushed it
out of its lane.
If the anti-Castro Cubans had 1% of the money that State Security
attributes to them, I would vote to fund a massive media campaign, as
big and expensive as that for the five agents from the Ministry of
Interior — the so-called "Cuban Five" — demanding an international
investigation into the mysterious death of Laura Pollán. A death
probably organized by colleagues of the five Ministry of Interior spies.
Of course, those in charge of the investigation of the crime would not
be allowed into the country and the world would have to put it where the
sun don't shine, once again, before the arbitrariness of the government
of this island. The bitchy world that makes so many mistakes so often
and so badly.
By the way, imagine if any of us, we Cubans who inhabit this island,
were to organize a Solidarity Club for Allan Gross, an American citizen
imprisoned in Castro's jails under the dubious charges of having bought,
in the most ordinary technology shops of today's world, equipment,
instruments, and communication tools which, once in the country, had
some destination independent of the Cuban State and its sacred control.
Would the Cuban political police be more respectful of my hypothetical
Solidarity Club for Allan Gross, would they organize solidarity parades
in the United States, even a parade of four people whom the political
police would pay with the money that is not even enough to cover the
basic needs of the Cuban people? Cubans' basic needs that are
administered by the paternalistic State according to whatever level of
hunger people in Cuba can endure each day?
Anyone in the world, I repeat, can buy technological equipment like that
involved in the sin committed by Allan Gross without being accused of
high-profile espionage or being linked to weapons of mass destruction.
You would think connection, communication, are crimes in Cuba,
especially when these kind of crimes serve as good bait to get the five
Ministry of Interior (MININT) agents out of trouble.
You know what? I recommend that these spies be returned — I say it with
my deepest respect for the pain of the surviving brother from the
organization "Brothers to the Rescue" which saved Cubans found in open
waters, Cubans who threw themselves into the ocean running away from the
rough life conditions on the island — because this has been another
repugnant episode of the Castro regime, and Alan Gross does not deserve
to be suffering in prison.
Now, how can I express that I started writing this post from the
discomfort provoked by an article that I read in the El Nuevo Herald, on
June 27, about Mariela Castro's visit to the United States; Mariela
whose name and entire family's name I wish I didn't remember, honestly.
The social life of my country, occupied by such a clan, is a nightmare.
Their cynicism, which seems hereditary, would scandalize anyone who gets
to know the gruesome details of the truth about Cuba.
Mrs. Castro says she belongs to civil society by virtue of being the
director of CENESEX. The real civil society in Cuba is chased down by
the henchmen of the family to which the intolerable Mrs. Castro belongs.
Civil society must be independent from the State power, an alternative
to political power; therefore Mrs. Castro is anything but a
representative of our civil society.
In Cuba, the men and women who celebrate Gay Pride Day do it under
threats of detention and police beatings, because she — even when it
seems unbelievable that everything continues to be in the hands of one
person — only allows the celebration of the "International Day against
Homophobia," a parade organized by a State institution, CENESEX, not by
It seems easier to control how this rainbow flag can wave by isolating
it from the rest of the representatives of this flag in the world,
imposing a line of what is politically permitted. I have hopes that the
LGBT community, after so many centuries of resistance, keeps being as
rebellious as it has been forced to be because all of kinds of
repression, and it continues to rebel against wearing a uniform.
The Director of CENESEX, the daughter and niece of bloody tyrants,
always taking advantage of the historical sense of the moment, pretends
to line up gays and gain the sympathy of this growing social group in
Cuba and in the world. Perhaps Mrs. Castro is after the sympathy of LGBT
groups at the international level because people here don't buy her
story at all.
It will be like the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC), designed to
consolidate and better control women in Cuba; it a system that does not
Consequently, people should know, so that they can decide to sympathize
with Mariela Castro or not, that she has been responsible for proposing
the exchange of prisoners, ignoring the pain of Cubans oppressed by the
claws of the complex apparatus of repression that works to ensure the
power of her family and the pain of the Americans who follow the case of
Allan Gross. In such a no man's land we should all be heckling her.
The speech of the First Lady of the Castro regime where she declared
that she, too, is a dissident, "a dissident against the global hegemonic
power," is the same as that of her family that has wanted to gain power
from the aspirations of millions of people from around the world to be
free from the powers that oppress them; gain power so they can throw
over them the same net with which they hunted down Cubans, Cubans whose
souls were stolen before being condemned to hunger and misery.
Translated by Chabeli
July 2 2012