My Fate or My Misfortune

In Cuba it’s normal to breathe in fear and insecurity, but to read between the line of the editorial “Fabricating Excuses” in the newspaper Granma, and the last three paragraphs of the text, terrifies you. It’s easy when you decide not to remain silent any more. It is hard to bear the pressure after 75 dissidents end up in prison for thinking differently. Only one reason: They are mercenaries in the service of the empire.

Later a man dies demanding his rights through a hunger strike. We did what we could, but it was his decision. Another died in a hospital bed after a brutal beating delivered by uniformed National Revolutionary Police. A pretext of my enemies.

Death always makes you reflect. In front of the mirror you tell yourself, “You too are at the mercy of the same power that took the lives of those dissidents. What are you waiting for? What will be your fate? To immolate yourself, flee, or become an undercover agent? What do you prefer?”

It’s not just the fear of being sentenced to a long prison sentence. It’s the risk of dying, whether by indolence, or from the blows of an enraged mob, or the serene and firm fist of an agent from the Ministry of the Interior. And as if that weren’t enough, the only national newspaper brings to light your criminal record.

At the least they turn you into a criminal when you’re not there to defend yourself. While there’s little you can do in life. Blogger, independent journalist, human rights activist, political opponent or simply a dissident, it doesn’t matter what you do while you’re in the street, but if you speak they will defame you as a mercenary.

Who can protect you? If the State orders, and covers up for, the members of its repressive organs to kill it is precisely in the name of the Revolution of their olive green Party. Afterward everyone calmly says that your death is a pretext to launch a dispute with the United States.

To whom can you appeal to demand justice? To the courts that receive their instructions from the Council of State? A political body that is directed by the leaders of the only political party on the island. The same ones who, by way of their newspaper, publicly threaten those who don’t share the ideology.

Sometimes I dream of living in a country that protects its citizens ahead of ideological parameters, but it seems impossible and will be so as long as the Communist Party supplants and directs the State like a puppet.

Then my other self wonders, is it worth it? I think of my brothers, my son, and those I know whom I love and admire, my answer wastes no time in my brain. It’s not about me, but about the climate of insecurity and uncertainty in which we live. My fate and my misfortune are the same as that faced by all Cubans within this island.

June 8 2011

  1. Tallulah
    June 13, 2011 at 2:04 am

    I have just started reading the blogs of Cuban dissidents. (I’m an American.) One of the things I’ve been wondering about is what good hunger strikes do? Why would the government care if a dissident starves him or herself? But when I read this post of yours just now, I realized: if the communists’ defence against dissidents is to label them “mercenaries”, how will they convince Cubans that these mercenaries are willing to starve themselves to death? You can’t spend your ill-gotten gains if you’re dead.

    So hunger strikes make it very hard for the regime to get away with the claim that a striker isn’t acting out of his or her own conviction.

    Now I get it.

    But I hope you never have to go that far, Laritza.

    You are very brave and I admire you tremendously.

  2. June 14, 2011 at 6:30 am

    I always admire those who are brave to have a voice on their own to call on Liberties and Justice for all, Laritza’s blog is one I truly admire as well as all the others who dare to speak up in Cuba, thanks to them the world is opening their eyes and ears regarding the gulag in Cuba. Hats Off to all those brave Ladies in White, Dissidents, Bloggers, Los Aldeanos, and all those who have the guts to fight for Freedom.

  3. Martin Kilby
    June 14, 2011 at 9:04 am

    Laritza, I have been reading your articles for over a year now. This is my first post. I fear a sense of desperation in your words. I too admire your bravery and urge you to have faith and streghth to enlighten the world of the realities of life in Cuba.

  4. Tallulah
    June 14, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    I have just sent the Cuban bloggers’ web addresses to a very long list of my e-mail friends, urging them to read the blogs, post on them, and send out the word to their e-mail lists.

    My husband and I have an intense interest in liberty, and we run discussion groups and a film society dedicated to individual rights, free markets, and discovery and invention, so we have a lot of friends who may be very interested in Cuban bloggers for freedom.

    My husband does online interviews (over the telephone) of interesting people all around the world, and in the past he has interviewed 2 Cuban dissidents from within Cuba, as well as Alina Fernandez (Castro’s daughter).

    Unfortunately those interviews were recorded on RealPlayer, which is a difficult program to find today. Hopefully we will be able to convert some of those interviews to mp3.

    Lately we’ve had trouble with the equipment and are short of money, but I hope we’ll be able to do fresh interviews in the near future, suited to the newer audio players.

    Keep the spirit up. You WILL be heard.

  1. June 13, 2011 at 1:41 pm
  2. June 13, 2011 at 10:03 pm

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