The Collapse / 14ymedio, Yoani Sanchez
14ymedio, Generation Y, Yoani Sanchez, 26 April 2016 – In films there
are final epics. Systems whose final moments pass between the sound of
the hammers tearing down a wall and the roar of thousands of people in a
plaza. The Castro regime, however, is going through its death throes
without glorious images or collective heroics. Its mediocre denouement
has become clearer in recent months, in the signs of collapse that can
no longer be hidden behind the trappings of the official discourse.
The epilogue of this process, once called Revolution, is strewn with
ridiculous and banal events, but they are, indeed, clear symptoms of the
end. Like a bad movie with a hurried script and the worst actors, the
scenes illustrating the terminal state of this twentieth century fossil
seem worthy of a tragicomedy:
- Raul Castro erupts in fury at a press conference when asked about the
existence of political prisoners in Cuba, he gets entangled in his
earphones and comes out with some rigmarole a few feet from Barack
Obama, who looks like the owner and master of the situation.
- After the visit of the United States president, the government media
releases all their rage at him, while Barack Obama's speech in the Great
Theater of Havana is number one on the list of audiovisual materials
most requested in the Weekly Packet.
- Two Cuban police officers arrive in uniform on the beaches of Florida,
after having navigated in a makeshift raft with other illegal migrants
who helped them escape from Cuba.
- A group of Little Pioneers, dressed in their school uniforms and
neckerchiefs, contort in sexually explicit movements to the rhythm of
reggaeton at an elementary school. They are filmed by an adult and the
video is uploaded to the social networks by a proud father who thinks
his son is a dance genius.
- Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez accuses Obama of having
perpetrated an attack on "our conception, our history, our culture and
our symbols" a few days after receiving him at the airport and without
having fearlessly said any of these criticisms to his face.
- An obscure official at the Cuban embassy in Spain says in a chat with
"friends of the Revolution" that this is "the most difficult moment and
its history," and calls the coverage of Obama's visit in the foreign
media as a "display of an unparalleled cultural, psychological and media
- Raul Castro is unanimously reelected as first secretary of the
Communist Party for the next five years and choses stagnation. Thus, he
loses the last chance to pass into the history books for a gesture of
generosity to the nation, as late as it might be, instead of for his
- Fidel Castro appears at the Congress's closing ceremony, sheathed in
an Adidas jacket, and insists that "we not continue, as in the times of
Adam and Eve, eating forbidden apples."
- A few days after the end of the Party Congress, the government
announces a laughable reduction in prices to try to raise fallen
spirits. Now, an engineer no longer has to work two-and-a-half days to
buy one quart of cooking oil, he only has to work two days.
- Thousands of Cubans throng the border between Panama and Costa Rica
trying to continue their journey to the United States, without the
government of the island investing a single penny to help them have a
roof over their heads, a little food and medical care.
- An economist who explained to the world the benefits of Raul Castro's
reforms and their progress, is expelled from the University of Havana
for maintaining contacts with representatives from the United States and
passing on information about the procedures of the academic center.
- Two young people make love in the middle of the San Rafael Boulevard
in plain view of dozens of onlookers who film the scene and shout
obscene incitements, but the police never arrive. The basic clay of the
Revolution escapes in the individual and collective libido.
The credits start to run and in the room where this lousy film is being
shown only a few viewers remain. Some grew tired and left, others slept
through the long wait, a few monitor the aisles and demand loud applause
from the still occupied seats. An old man is trying to feed a new,
interminable, filmstrip through the projector… but there is nothing
left. Everything is over. All that's left is for the words "The End" to
appear on the screen.
Source: The Collapse / 14ymedio, Yoani Sanchez – Translating Cuba -