Emulating Bradbury

By Yoani Sanchez for El Pais newspaper, 15 August 2008

Sometimes I get futuristic fantasies, especially when the present persists in being grey, faded and monotonous.  This week I have projected a short leap towards the future, a brief hop to Sunday, August 13 in 2026.  That date will mark the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Fidel Castro who, a couple of days ago, blew out 82 candles on his birthday cake.  Without a crystal ball nor the quartets of Nostradamus, I appeal to the logic of biology to confirm that it will be a celebration without his presence.

Some that today, like little pioneers, declaim patriotic poems, will wear T-shirts with the face of the one who was the Maximum Leader.  Caps in the style he wore will be purchased at the entry to the small theater where a limited number of his supporters will celebrate the century of his birth.  For the youngest, who had never heard his speeches, there will be a compilation of the most memorable harangues on sale.

On a red curtain they will highlight the name of the one who controlled the destiny of Cuba for five decades.  On stage, those who knew him will deliver their testimony, interspersed with songs and excerpts from his numerous addresses.  The announcement of the event will be published alongside the notices of weddings, bereavements and baptisms, in one of the many newspapers that will circulate.  By then we will have been presented with the declassification of certain passages of his life and his followers will not have been able to prevent the attacks from making a dent in the figure of olive green.

That day, only eighteen years from now, will go by in peace.  The Fidelistas of that time will have the freedom to applaud their leader.  This will happen in the same theater where, a week before, a once-exiled writer will have read his texts, or a salsa orchestra will have interpreted the immortal songs of Celia Cruz.

Translated from the original Spanish.

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