Sunday, April 28, 2013

In Madrid as in Miami, Cubans Come Together as One People

Yoani Sanchez - Award-winning Cuban blogger

In Madrid as in Miami, Cubans Come Together as One People
Posted: 04/27/2013 3:49 pm

Last Thursday I was in Havana without leaving Madrid. Thanks to the
guitar of Boris Larramendi I took a little hop to the Island. A brief
but intense return, on the wings of chords and a good musician. At a
place in the Spanish capital we found a group of friends, some graduates
from the Faculty of Arts and letters, but also former players in
whatever musical groups existed in Cuba in the '90s. I felt at home,
because right in the living room of our apartment we had one of these
gatherings that we recalled the night before last. We remembered the
lemon grass tea with a little sugar with which we restored our energy
after carrying our bikes up 14 flights of stairs. But mostly, we
recollected the good songs we had heard there, the space for freedom
that we managed to create for at least a few hours.

Beyond the choruses and the rice with beans, I particularly enjoyed the
reunion with my compatriots. Many of them are still trying to find their
way in a Spain hit by the economic crisis and political questions. Some
are unemployed, others illegal, several with children born here who
don't know the country of their parents; all aware of what is happening
in Cuba. Boris sang himself hoarse, and we clapped along until our palms
were red and, already past midnight, humor took over and we reveled in

On one wall a TV showed images recorded on the streets of Havana. The
Malecón and the corner of 23rd and L were a visual background
accompanying our improvised "Guaracha" around two tables. At one point I
realized that the recording that was passing across the screen was from
a police security camera. But here this filtered surveillance material
was just an amusing video in a space for entertainment. The official eye
become banal; control converted into a frivolous daily report. But not
even that could distract us from the most important thing happening in
that room: the confluence. We were finding a point in common after a
long journey and prolonged separation. We were more free than at any
gathering in Havana and yet, we were still the fruit of all those Havana
gatherings. A blessed past that we have waited for this morning.

No comments:

Post a Comment