A little pioneer shouts slogans at school in the morning. Her face reddens and a vein bulges in her forehead, reinforcing her shrieks. Among the phrases she repeats is a dreadful metaphor: “We will see the island will sink into the sea first, rather than give up the glory we have lived.” On a Committee for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR) mural, a few words take up the entire top: “If I advance follow me, if I pause push me, if I retreat kill me.” The newspaper this Saturday demonstrated the same thing, when the Maximum Leader published one of his Reflections: “Following lives laid down and so much sacrifice defending sovereignty and justice, one cannot offer Cuba the other shore of capitalism.”
Numantia returns to my memory and I refuse the scaremongering it implies. I thought of this story once, when a girl ran to the shelter as the sirens announced an invasion that never came. The insular shelf will not collapse—I regret to give the heralds of the debacle this news—because we have one or another government, a system of this kind or that. The trees will not turn pale, the stones that saw the indigenous people die out will not change places, and probably the sea itself will not notice. So please, do not frighten me with cataclysms and apocalypses. I’m much too old for that now.
Everything that will happen is already happening. Numantia will only happen in the minds of some, and in those of others the future will be much longer than what is left behind.
Numantia, a town in what is now Spain, was conquered and destroyed by the Romans in 133 BC.