Angel Santiesteban, Translator: Unstated
And now, what do we do?… What right do we have to continue breathing,
treading on this Island that she so defended in the face of insults,
threats and beatings?… I know that "to die for the Motherland is to
live"*, so why are so few interested in living and prefer to live in
silence, which is the worst of all deaths? What stuff was the Lady made
of that, if she were granted the opportunity to return and change her
position regarding the dictatorship, she would prefer to stay dead in
spite of the sorrow of her family and grateful Cubans?
My mother used to tell me that in general good people live short lives,
in contrast to the dictators. Could it be that having done one's duty
exonerates you from continuing to suffer? Laura, go in PEACE, you
deserve it. We will try to gain that peace that makes us so proud when
we speak of you… We will pick up from the ground the gladioli that the
hordes tore up, and each of them will give birth to ideas, feelings,
unity, millions of flowers protected by the tenderness of your hands…
As you taught us, each tear they made you shed is a hymn that encourages
us to not give up. We know that in the morning light you will return for
the rest of our days, and that inspires us. Your white figure will be a
way of making us recall your attitude and conscience for history…
May we be able to earn that life in which you now live, having justified
staying on this Island you defended until death – it will be the only
way in which you will live for the Motherland. And then may it not be
the dead who raising their arms will still know how to defend her**. It
will be us, possessed by your spirit, who will conquer the yearned-for
Only thus will your death be a lie.
*Words from the Cuban national anthem.
** Words from a Cuban poem.
Translated by: Espirituana
October 15 2011