human-rights-in-cuba

The feeling of constant supervision has come to affect the way we speak, filling it with whispers, gestures and metaphors, to avoid saying those words that could get us into trouble.
Six years ago Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone came through the front door to Cuba. This December, however, he has returned on a private visit which is evidence of the discrete recognition of failure.
Havana is a surface city, with very little underground. However, on the roofs of the houses, on the most unthinkable rooftops, little houses have been erected, baths, pig pens and pigeon coops. As if above the ceilings everything were possible, unreachable.
I could never forget that picture, because in a limited number of inches Oliva had traced the national map of the last half century.
Despite the multitudes and the numerous digital screens shining in the Hong Kong night, memory persists in taking us back to one man. An individual who was returning from the market and decided that the treads of a tank were not going to crush his remaining civility. Twenty-five years later, reality is echoing his gesture.
Nearly two decades have passed and they are still imposing limits and prohibitions incompatible with development and with life. As if in this social laboratory they want to test what they can do to get the guinea pigs -- which are us -- to keep breathing, clapping, accepting.
The original sin of the official press is not the press, but propaganda. It emerged to sustain the ideological political-economic model and it can't shed that genesis.
My mother has to pay out three days worth of her pension to buy a pound of onions. I no longer have to say anything, she just concludes, "This country has to change."
When the Maleconazo broke out he joined in the shouting and escaped when the arrests started. He didn't want to go home because he knew the police were looking for him.
Freedom can be simulated, replaced by false statistics of well-being and justice, but someone always puts it to the test. That public protests on national and international issues don't happen in our territory is evidence of the lack of rights and social autonomy we endure.
Are we Cubans living in the transition? Just asking this question is enough to annoy some people and excite others. A transition -- the experts and analysts tell me -- needs more political, social and economic evidence.
Someday when a Cuban body language glossary is prepared, it will include this pose of "falling into the abyss of nothingness." This appearance of already being defeated, like Carlitos, that so many young people and not so young people present in this country.
Have you ever tried to explain Google to someone who doesn't know what it is?
Today, I have achieved a dream. Unlike the character in that movie, it's not a piece of clothing but a space for journalism in which many colleagues accompany me.
It has stood the tests of my initial fear, official demonization, the distrust of many, technological collapses and even the survival instinct that more than once told me to abandon it. Here it is with the bruises and experience of its seven years.
But you have not come out unscathed. You're not a crook who has deceived others, but you have cheated yourself. With so much self-restraint, limiting your expressions, and avoiding speaking up, you have become the mediocre man you are today, a being tamed by the system.