The rumors… the fibs…

With rumors it happens the same as with injections: if you are sick and you need to have several, the last ones don’t hurt you. In the beginning the fibs delude you, then comes the confirmation that they are false, and then comes the frustration. Since early this year, for example, it began to spread that on the first of June Cubacel would open their cell phone contracts to Cuban citizens living on the island and paying in local currency. Many waited with their mobiles charged up and their ring tones selected, but without the long awaited SIM card to put in the phone.

Then there are the fibs that fill you with expectations in one direction while, later, reality takes the opposite direction. This is exactly what happened with the whispers about a coming relaxation of the procedures to get an “Exit Permit” and an “Letter of Invitation. It ended with the implementation of new procedures which make the paperwork required to travel more complicated and more selective.

The most feared are the rumors that precede a tragedy, those that announce raids, round-ups, crack downs and steps backward. These tend to be taken very seriously because, if they are true, you don’t want to be caught off base.

I am one of those who doesn’t believe in rumors. Nor do I believe in facts, often because the fibs seem more authentic than the fictional reality in which we live. To murmur, to hiss, to fantasize, to speculate, to suppose, these are verbs that proliferate when the lack of information becomes a constant. In the origin of the “fib” is the desire to make a reality from the desperate whispers we want to see turned into facts.

The worst that can happen to a rumor is what we learned from the well-known children’s story, Peter and the Wolf; it loses its effect from constant repetition. People are vaccinated against it, the expectation falls apart, their ears become deaf to its suggestions. Then the wolf can devour the sheep, because we no longer hear the cries of, “Now it is true.”

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