Calves of the Revolution / Rosa Maria Rodriguez Torrado
Rosa Maria Rodriguez Torrado, Translator: Unstated
The newspaper Granma provokes, slapping its readers' faces with a
fistful of falsehoods. I am not saying they use fallacy on a regular
basis, but sometimes they publish opinions with a manipulative slant.
These must be refuted because, if we remain silent, we are ourselves
guilty of lying through inaction or omission.
On July 31 of this year the journal, an "official organ of the Central
Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba," published an editorial
entitled "Truth and Reason" to address the repercussions and doubts
resulting from the deaths in an automobile accident of the well-know
opposition leader, Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas, director of the Christian
Liberation Movement,and Harold Cepero Escalante, another member of the
It is the same old tedious conversation, with its glossy praise for the
faded revolution and its abicú* political party. And, as usual, the
purpose is to say that the United States is responsible for whatever
discordant opinion or criticism that is generated in the world towards
the dictatorial Cuban regime.
One is taken aback to read in the fourth paragraph of the editorial the
writer's statement that "the immaculate history of the Revolution is
well-known." Did the journalist forget about the unpunished crime
involving the tug boat March 13th in July 1994 in which 41 people lost
their lives, 10 of them minors? Or those who were gunned down in Cojímar
earlier that same year?
Perhaps he ignored the 2003 shooting of three people, who were not
attempting homicide, but rather were trying to emigrate using a
state-owned boat? Were they shot in order to send a message? Is it for
wanting to leave Cuba or for having an opinion different from that of
the system's officials that people lose their dignity or become objects
of mistreatment? To what impeccable history is he referring?
To the one who punches and verbally assaults peaceful, defenseless women
such as the Ladies in White, cowardly impeding their right of reply? Or
takes water away from Orlando Zapata Tamayo – who was on a hunger
strike, not a thirst strike – so that he would die? Perhaps he is
referring to the "humanitarian action" against another striker, Wilmar
Villar Mendoza, and the failure to provide necessary and timely
Perhaps the editor-in-chief has fed so long at the revolutionary udder,
drinking the milk of amnesia, that he has forgotten about the trips
abroad, the ease of buying a car or of being assigned one, the abundant
supply of gasoline to go with it, the shackles on his writers, the
appearances on national radio and television, and other such perks.
They are the calves of the revolution. Rather than being faithful to
Cuba, they are the ones who serve and are loyal only to the party in
power. The ones who did not and do not respect a family's grief after a
tragic death by interrupting the funeral procession of a respectable man
like Payá in order to put on their usual show of mobilization to train
and motivate their followers and send the message that the street
belongs to the revolutionaries and not to all Cubans, as it should. It
is the same mechanism, established years ago, with its running routine
that get activated automatically, and it is worn out by the old
mentality of those who do not want anything to change. The following
excerpt underscores the type of lies found in this editorial:
"You cannot block out the sun with your finger.** In spite of
censorship and manipulation, it is well-known that, in our country, the
counterrevolution is and has always been mercenary. They are vulgar
agents that the government of the United States and its allies pay,
supply and instruct. They betray the Fatherland for a few coins."
It seems that something is twisted in the minds and thinking of Cubans
living here who defend the dictatorial Cuban model. Or is it the
privileges that I mentioned earlier? Another of the meanings of
mercenary — in addition to the well-known definition that applies to the
troop or soldier that for a stipend serves in the war against a foreign
power — it alludes to working for money, perceiving a salary for work or
payment for services.
A refrain says that thieves think that everyone robs. The opposition and
independent journalism are diverse and pluralistic and, as a ridiculous
result, tries to think that we all think and act the same way; as well
as the followers of the Castro regime think and act differently,
according to their personalities, preferences, and levels of political
compromise. I'm not doubting that defending to the death the 53 year old
*Abicú: A term for children who have an incarnate spirit that does not
die, and are under a particular spell that can cause the premature
deaths of their siblings, or prevents them from being born. Ceremonies
are performed to "dispel" the curse. By extension, it is said of a
person who is dirty, jealous or not well-intentioned that "He is an abikú."
—Natalia Bolívar Aróstegui, The Orishas of Cuba, Vocabulary, p. 169.
**Translator's note: An expression which roughly means: You cannot deny
August 22 2012