Labels and lists

Putting things in drawers and sorting and labeling them is not a task only for officials and bureaucrats.  There are some who take a special pleasure in hanging tags on citizens.  The art of listing us by categories has been a common practice in recent decades in Cuba.  One day you’re in the directory of the “obnoxious” or on the tame list of “collaborators.”  Denunciations can move us from the file drawer marked “followers” over to the difficult one marked “enemies.”  There are those on the list with the initials “CR”, which represents the adjective most commonly applied to those who think differently: Counterrevolutionary.

It trips up the archivists when they don’t know how to inventory someone.  It bothers them when the old categories don’t work for newly emerging phenomena.  These “opinion labelers” could use some new categories because almost nobody blinks any more when they’re labeled with “employee of the Empire.”   The bookshelf schematic where they have been arranging Cubans is full of termites but, sadly, we ourselves use the same epithets “they” invented.

I have refused to be on any list but even so I am on many!  I would prefer, however, the single file of those who want to end this ridiculous categorizing of citizens.  I’m confident that one day it will be enough for the people of this earth to know on which list we are all counted together.

That’s me.  And you, what list are you on?


  1. Yoani Sanchez is one of the brave patriotic Cubans hoping for a better future for her country. I hope that things will improve for the Cuban People soon–better economy and a more responsive government.

    Yoani Sanchez es una de los valientes y patrioticos Cubanos esperando una futura mejor para su pais. Espero que cosas mejoraran para los Cubanos pronto–una economia mejor y un gobernio mas responsiva a los deseos de la gente.

  2. i’m on the list of cuban americans who was born in the united states and feels drawn to a homeland he has never set foot in. i can only dream of freedom for my people in the near future.

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