The star that illuminates and goes missing*


Among the many ways of extinguishing light, there are very peculiar ones such as “shining in its absence.”  An unmistakable gleam has remained reflected in a photo that appeared yesterday on Granma’s front page, where the Cuban flag lacks the five white points in the middle of the triangle.  The commotion has been such that the newspaper was sold out in the early hours of the morning and today, on the street, everyone was talking about it.  Obviously it’s not a question of a printing error, since a star does not escape so easily.

I prefer to think that, capricious and proud, the bright star that represents our sovereignty decided to go away, on the eve of the birthday of the Teacher [José Martí].  Because the independence that he radiates is not only that of being autonomous of a foreign power, but that which allows every citizen to be sovereign of the powerful State.  In light of the fact that it’s so dark in the field of civil liberties that we can’t even see our hands, the solitary star deserted its red field leaving the official organ of the Party with its marked absence on the front page.

There are errors that have much greater symbolic weight than hundreds of successes.  Evasive stars and readers who interpret their escape; Islands that live dependent on prophesies and superstitions; days to remember the national hero and flags that dare to show what so many people keep silent about.

* Line from Jose Martí, which originally read: “The star that illuminates and kills.”



  1. Does anyone know what happened to the star? Apparently there’s some explanation. Also, apparently, the issues printed in some outlying areas had a BLACK star.

  2. Apparently something happen when they converted the digital image to black an white (for the newspaper printing) and the white color from the star got almost lost. At least that is the “official” explanation they offered today. But not matter what, it doesn’t escape the symbolism of something like this, because the start in this flag means precisely the fredom of the cuban people as a nation. It is a very strong message in their own newspaper (it is the official comunist party newspaper).

  3. @ Adrian —

    Thanks for the official explanation. I guess in a society where everything is communicated in words that don’t mean what they say and don’t say what they mean… people would take a small evil delight in reading signs and portents into images, even when they know they really mean anything. I certainly find it pleasurably ironic that the official organ of the communist party has managed to erase the star!

  4. One day the star in our flag will shine again very bright and let us hope it is soon.
    So that Cuba will be reborn again to freedom and join other free nations!

    I hope one day soon we can say again

    “We the people of Cuba … ” instead of
    “We the revolution or we the revolutionaries…”.

    Let us keep the hope that freedom will comeback.

    There is no evil that can last 100 years…
    “We the people of Cuba hope!”

  5. SilentVoice dice: 29 Enero 2009 a las 11:12

    One day the star in our flag will shine again very bright and let us hope it is soon.

    Sure it will be so!!!!

  6. The star that shines is been missing for 50 long years.

    What would happen if there is an internal revolt in Cuba while “Mr. Vodka” is in Russia, licking Vladimir’s boots?

    As a goodwill gesture, President Dmitry Medvedev will grant financial aid to Cuba, I wonder if this time the Russian will get paid? Doubt it, same as before, give me, give me and never repay not even the interest on the loan.

  7. Hello English Translator,

    It seem my last comment (full of links with photos of Cuba) has benn stoped by the “spam”
    Can you help to set it in “freedom”.
    Thanks in advance

  8. el blog de yoani esta censurado pero tiene un tipo argento que el puede decir lo que le da las gana pero a el no lo censura estamo censurado por que hablamo la verdadsobre el fracazo de el comunismo de cuba y del mundo entero

  9. @Carbo Servia — I will try. I think I might have found a way. I write my own comment… and THEN, after I post it, go into the spam catcher and find ‘caught comments’ and using cut and paste put them in my comment using the edit function. Let’s see if it works.

    OK, I think it worked, but…. in the future please don’t post any comments with more than two links. If you have ten links, post them in five comments. The spam catcher will never let a comment with three or more links get through. (Well heck, it might, but it almost never does.)

    Actually I just tried the links and I don’t think any of them work. So you’ll have to go back and post them, two by two. I’m sorry.

    THIS COMMENT IS FROM: Carbo Servia

    Hey Mr Landis, where are you???
    I am curious about a thing…… did you see Havana and other cities destruction in your trips around Cuba???
    The island seems a country after war….. like Chechnya or Cosovo….. take a look:

    Water “distribution”…..c8_o-1.jpg

    Chechenia or Cosovo…… no Havana 2008…..07_o-1.jpg

    Havana, the only city in the world where only the tourists walks on the sidewalks……. they ignores you can get a half balcony on your head!!!!!!…..b4_b-1.jpg

    Do you see what I mean???…..f8f6_b.jpg

    I repeat, don’t walk under balconies in Havana…..6934_o.jpg

    No comments……………….. no necessary!!!!!…..8b82_o.jpg…..3699_o.jpg…..7a30_o.jpg

    To be continued………………………..

  10. If the Cuban Ministry of the Interior (MININT) reads this message, which I am sure they will, they will find out that while the Cuban people suffers from lack of food (including the Army) “Raúl Vodka” is having a feast and going hunting in the Urals with Dmitry Medvedev.

    Medvedev dijo que Castro, de 77 años, hermano del ex líder cubano Fidel Castro, había estado en el mismo lugar hacía 25 años. Raúl Castro, a su vez, recordó haber comido “salo”, grasa de cerdo cocinada en un asador, en el bosque.

    “Por supuesto, comeremos salo con pan negro, y hablaremos sobre todo aquello que nos interesa”, dijo Medvedev. “También tengo una película sobre la estadía aquí del comandante Fidel Castro, y hay además algunas fotos interesantes”.

    “Claro, en esa época yo era más joven”, comentó Castro.

    Junto con salo, el menú incluyó carne de venado asada y vodka.

  11. This will be an ideal time to surprise “Raúl Vodka” who is now in Russia, with an upraising within their own Army.

  12. Cuba still owes Argentina several billion dollars from before the latter defaulted. Russia is in some financial difficulty itself, following the fall in the price of oil, and it’s not obvious what kind of “development” it ought fund anyway. As I’ve said, the old Soviet Union put in $65 billion – five times the cost of the Marshall Plan for the whole of Europe – with the results illustrated by Carbo Servia (above).
    Incidentally, anyone expecting commerce to pick up under Raul “The Terrible” should look at his record in the tourism sector. In the first full year after he took over, revenues fell by 7% and then by a further 14% the following season. Repeat business is almost unknown. I wonder why?

  13. I agree with you Carlos. Ahora si fuera el momento para que el Ejercito y el Pueblo te tire para la calle a tomar a la isla de nuevo por el Pueblo, mientras la borracha de Raul esta lambiendo le el culo a los Rusos.

  14. Jose Marti. Yoani Sanchez. Brave Cubans.
    Jose Marti. Yoani Sanchez. Valiente Cubanos.

  15. It seems my photos couldn’t get free from the “spam”, you gave the freedom to the links but the photos get lost in the way. No matter, forget it. I will do thing as you say…….
    Thanks a lot.

  16. I don’t understand why I can’t see the photos.

    No entiendo por que no puedo ver los photos. Dicen en el lugar que ya no esta. Quiero ver lo que esta hablando Carbo Servia. Gracias!

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