With Salt and Pepper / Fernando Damaso
Posted on October 27, 2013
The Cuban cartoonists, who publish their cartoons and works in the
official media, seem to have signed an agreement, by which eighty
percent of their satirical darts are directed against the empire and its
lackeys, and the other twenty are partitioned between the treatment of
general topics (peace, war, hunger, climate change, etc.), that does
make anyone cringe, nor cause them personal problems or complicate their
existence, plus some things and cases about irrelevant administrative
leaders, bureaucrats, service employees, and so on.
Never has any politician at any level been touched with so much as the
petal of a rose, although they have systematically demonstrated their
ineptitude and incapacity to fill the jobs they occupy. They seem to be
included in some clause of untouchables, together in a signed agreement.
It is often said that political satire has been and is an important part
of humor because it is a thermometer of politicians' rights and wrongs.
In Cuba it was like this until the liquidation of freedom of the press
by the new regime. The Liborio character created by Roberto de la
Torriente, later the Bobo (Fool) character created by Eduardo Abela, and
later, in the fifties, Loquito (Wacko) by Rene de la Nuez, showed, with
salt and pepper, what was going on in our national life.
Other cartoonists did the same, having among the characters in their
cartoons and work all the public figures, from the president of the day
down to minor figures. Then, political humor was not persecuted nor
punished. To review the thousands of caricatures published during the
years of the Republic, is to take an interesting and instructive tour
through this part of our history, which is impossible with the most
recent, where reality has been kept hidden and distorted by spurious
To be able to do this, we have had to turn to publishers outside of
Cuba, for the magnificent Cuban comedians living abroad.
Now that some pro-government journalists have dared to respectfully
request a loosening of the current secrecy, it would also be advisable
for some of these humorists to ask, also respectfully of course, to be
allowed to reflect, from the humor side, the sad national reality and
the many responsible for it.
26 October 2013
Source: With Salt and Pepper / Fernando Damaso | Translating Cuba -