The duality, in which we are caught between the official version and the on-the-street reality, also characterizes the demands emerging from this Island. The list of what we hope for is divided into two different agendas, as dissimilar as they are conflicting. The first, the government’s list, includes strong declarations calling for the release of the five Cuban spies imprisoned in the United States and has, among its major points, the extradition of Posada Carriles, who is accused of having blown up a plane in 1976. The official line is that it’s not enough for Obama to close the prison at the Guantánamo base, but he must also return the territory to Cuba and, obviously, there is a section, highlighted in red, about ending the U.S. blockade.
You can read something else if you look at the list of the people’s wishes. On the first lines there’s the question of what have been called “structural reforms” about which they talked so much two years ago. One repeated request, to remove the straitjacket on economic initiatives of the people, also would be among the most visible. With the chipped pencil of waiting we have written, on several pages of this virtual agenda, the need to eliminate the restrictions on entering and leaving the country, the desire for free association, the choice of what creed we raise our children in, and the need to earn salaries in the same money in which most products are sold. All this and more would be on the frayed list of citizens’ aspirations, if someone would like to browse through it.
The same applies to the official document on human rights which is being presented today at the Human Rights Council. A fictional summary of what we have—read through rose-tinted glasses and the triumphalist glossary—that is so far, light years away, from what we live. The work of skilled writers, and so it must be read, like the fictional text of certain authors who avoid writing the log—the real one—of the shipwreck.
Translator’s note: The sign in the empty window reads, “Promotions”