Every day I run into someone who’s been disillusioned and has withdrawn their support for the Cuban process. There are those who turn in their Communist Party cards and emigrate to their married daughters in Italy, or those who concentrate on the peaceful work of caring for their grandchildren and waiting in line for bread. They shift from betraying to conspiring, from monitoring to corruption, and even change their listening tastes from Radio Rebelde to Radio Martí. All this conversion—slow in some, dizzyingly fast in others—I sense it all around me, as if under the island sun thousands have shed their skin. However, this process of metamorphosis only happens in one direction. I haven’t run into anyone—and I know a lot of people—who has gone from disbelief to loyalty, who has begun to trust in the speeches after years of criticizing them.
Mathematics confronts us with certain infallible truths: the number of those dissatisfied grows, but the group of those who applaud gains no new “souls.” As in an hourglass, every day hundreds of the small particles of the disillusioned come to a stop just opposite the place where they once were. They slide down to the mound formed by us: the skeptics, the excluded and the immense chorus of the indifferent. Now there is no return to the side of confidence, because no hand will be able to turn the hourglass, raising up that which today is definitely down. The time to multiply and add passed a short while ago, now the abacuses operate always by subtracting, marking the interminable flight in a single direction.