Another Sad Anniversary / Fernando Damaso
Posted on December 24, 2013
A few days hence will mark fifty-five years of a political, economic and
social phenomenon that in January 1959 completely disrupted the fate of
the Cuban nation. The so-called revolution became a devolution.
The results, as seen over time, are not too flattering. As well as the
divisions and fractures caused to the Cuban family and its dispersal
throughout the world, the loss of values — acknowledged by the current
president — represents an account balance of which no one can be proud.
If we add an unproductive and inefficient agricultural system, an
outdated and primitive industrial base, lack of transport and poor
quality of services, including health and education, building collapses
or buildings miraculously still standing, the decline in sports, the
lack of environmental cleanliness, repression, lack of individual
freedoms and many other evils, on balance the results have been negative.
Nor can we forget the thousands of people who have disappeared — eaten
by sharks while attempting to flee across the Florida Straits — or those
who have been executed, or those who have been killed and wounded in the
All these absurdities can be summed up in ten words written by José
Martí — a man who lived nineteen of the most fruitful years of his life
in the United States, writing hundreds of unforgettable pages about that
country, which he admired and respected — hours before his death in
combat: "I have lived inside the monster and know its entrails."
These words have been manipulated and used as an anti-imperialist
banner. The most hare-brained schemes have been hatched and executed in
his name, dragging along a fanaticized people.
Rather than the words of Martí, everything has really been based on the
writings of the leader of the insurrection* during its final days when
he said, "My true destiny is to fight against the United States." This
highly personal and rather egocentric criteria was the basis for
everything that came thereafter, everything for which the entire nation
Today, fifty-five years after this event, we have in many ways
regressed, much has been lost, pain and death have been left in its
wake, as though this is something to be celebrated, despite the official
slogan "Cuban Festivities."
The lack of a coherent economic policy and other shortcomings, as well
as more instability resulting from decisions that have been made,
promise to make every day in the future even more dark and gloomy.
Aware of this reality and trying to fight peacefully for change, I wish
my readers a very merry Christmas, a happy New Year and a healthy 2014
in which their dreams and wishes might be fulfilled.
*Translator's note: I.e. the 1959 Revolution and its leader Fidel Castro
23 December 2013
Source: "Another Sad Anniversary / Fernando Damaso | Translating Cuba" -