Saturday, June 11, 2011

My Fate or My Misfortune / Laritza Diversent

My Fate or My Misfortune / Laritza Diversent
Laritza Diversent, Translator: Unstated

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

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

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

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