Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Future Tense of the Verb "To Protest" / Rebeca Monzo

The Future Tense of the Verb "To Protest" / Rebeca Monzo
Rebeca Monzo, Translator: Unstated

The Ladies in White being arrested at a protest

The teachers asked his students: What is the future tense of the verb
"to protest"?

Quick as a bunny, Pepito raised his hand and blurted, "'Prison'! Professor."

So it is, here in my planet, for the last fifty-two years some of the
verbs in our rich Spanish grammar, have just one conjugation.

Just a few days ago the people of Havana learned of the events that star
a pastor of a Pentecostal church and a group of his followers.

As the internal information is practically nil, we learned about the
events long after it began, thanks to news from abroad spread verbally
or by telephone by those few who have access to the Internet or
satellite TV antennas.

Then the government was forced to inform us through a brief note that
said very little in the press and on TV, which left people more confused.

The truth is that for the last week they've staged siege at the church
located at Infanta and Santa Maria in the Cerro neighborhood, with
police, ambulances, rooftop snipers, state security agents and
firefighters are staging a kind of Cirque de Soleil, thanks to the
worries expressed to the authorities by the families of the people
voluntarily barricaded there.

Although we don't know exactly who they are or what their true motives
are for the sit-it, what we we do know is that thirty people are
barricaded there, among them children and some pregnant women, showing
support for their Pastor.

Yesterday it seemed the whole police force was withdrawn. I imagine
there are only state security left and the ever alert informants from
the Committee for the Defense of the Revolution. They reopened the
shops, the farmer's market and normal traffic circulation.

The Pastor and those supporting him remain there. They say the leit
motif of this protest is the demand for housing, in exchange for that
which a year ago the guide of this congregation built for himself and
his family on the roof of the temple.

It only remains to wait and ask God for an appropriate, sensitive and
peaceful solution for those barricaded there.

This unusual event sowed confusion among the authorities of my planet
where, for more than half a century, public protest has been prohibited
and the future tense of the verb "to protest" is conjugated with the
word "prison."

September 15 2011

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