Human Rights in Cuba

Time To Change

September 2011
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Letter from Pablo Milanés to Edmundo García / Ernesto Morales Licea
Ernesto Morales Licea, Translator: Unstated

For the first time in this I am publishing something that I did not
write. It is my duty to do so. Pablo Milanés' response to the article
published by Edmundo García is so rich, so evolved, so brutally honest,
that it forces even me to face up to my own visions of what Pablo was.
And because I'm a human being who is not afraid to say,"I was wrong," I
am posting some historic words in my blog…and I am also being careful to
use that qualifier. Bravo, Pablo. BRAVO!



For years you have attempted to interview me, without success, to the
point of becoming so intolerably insistent and, the last straw,
attaching your interviews, those interviews that I had no other choice
but to label as "spam" to finally be free of them.

On the first occasion when we met, you were in bad company and I
couldn't but think to myself, "Birds of a feather…"

However, I will explain why I had never done an interview with you: I
saw you with my natural intuition for these things, the nine signs of
bastard, which are, if you don't already know, classifications developed
by Don Camilo José Cela, in his novel "Mazurka for the two dead" and he
has become, in history, famous for his extraordinary vision of what an
execrable being is at first sight. I will show you these new signs,
which are:

1. Thinning hair

2. Short and sickly stature

3. Pale face

4. Parish beard

5. Soft, wet and cold hands

6. Shifty look

7. High-pitched voice

8. Flaccid dick

9. Avarice

With this as a starting point I will tell you why I never trusted you.

Edmundo, you have a way of doing journalism that is not journalism: you
take your victims (your interviewees), and you don't inquire of them,
question them, you destroy them with an authority that I don't know what
powerful person granted you and you end up triumphant before a person
appalled by the terror of your words which recall an old authoritarian
style, ridiculous and obsolete. That, in my view, is the essence of your

When I read your pamphlet my first reaction was like seeing a girl at
puberty, stunned and flushed at her first menstruation, fearful of
committing a sin against a natural manifestation of her unknown
organism. That was the first impression, but the second was more solemn
and dangerous: I realized that not only were you everything I had
thought, but even more, you are among that select group of ultraright
Miamians who do not admit of reconciliations, critics whose only
Neolithic gesture is to crush CDs with bulldozers. You, like them, do
not want love, you love to hate, you, like them, do not want
reconciliation, you want resentment and disunity, in short, you do not
love the Cuban people, neither there nor here. Edmund, you do not love
anyone and I would not have have been surprised to see you in that
"huge" crowd shouting "Down, Down," which undoubtedly would have been
well received.

You have insinuated that the press in Miami and is taking
advantage of and using my words instead of my benefiting from this space
to attack imperialism. Edmundo, this is wrong, I am the one who is using
these newspapers to disseminate the interviews that they deny me in Cuba
and that I dream will appear in the newspaper Granma and be read by
everyone, and that one , one among the many thousands on the
island, will have what it takes to make known what I have been
expressing for so many years; what's more, as a starting point I suggest
that your pamphlet and this letter be published in Granma and that
people read them, know how to discern for themselves, once and for all,
what the truth is, and that we take the path of individual freedoms that
we must recover and that you, with your attitude, are denying.

On my return to Havana, and consistent with the above paragraph, I will,
in this way, tell Cuban intelliectuals, artists, musicians, those in
senior government positions, don't whisper in my ear any more, don't
say, "I agree with you but… well you know!" I am not repentant of
incinerating myself only in my attitude, but it's sad and shameful that
there is a complicit silence as terrible as your demonstration, Edmundo.
These two behaviors, one in Miami and the other in Havana, in the end,
incredibly, converge in their own contradiction.

With regards to the Miami intelligentsia whose comments have supported
me in their articles, I will say that I have absolutely no fear nor
prejudice on receiving a friendly and receptive word. I am not your
traveling companion, but, Edmundo, I want to add that you, you enjoy
dividing because you live for this, this is why you are in this city.

Also you have dared to say that I have been a bad influence on talented
and prestigious artists such as Serrat, Sabina, Victor Manuel and Ana
Belén. There is no doubt that here too you are ignorant, you should know
that Juan Manuel Serrat is one of the men most admired for his courage,
chivalry and fairness his whole life, and his position vis-a-vis Franco,
risking his career and his life, was the height of dignity. Joaquin
Sabina, who was exiled to England at 23, with his opposition to Franco
and to his own father, is one of the most sincere and honest artists I
know (Fidel is well aware of this), independent of his talent. Victor
Manuel and Ana, before you were born, and walking those uncertain paths,
as everyone knows, to become the extremist you are today, belonged to
the Communist Party of Spain during the time of Franco, and this,
Edmundo, could have cost them their lives. These people whom you don't
respect have their own talent, their own opinions and do not let
themselves be influenced by anyone, and their principles have influenced
half the world.

Edmund, my 53 years of revolutionary militancy give me the right, that
very few exercise in Cuba, to declare myself with the that my
principles require and this freedom implies that I have no commitment to
the death with the Cuban leaders, whom I have admired and respected, but
they are not Gods, nor am I a fanatic, and when I feel I have to express
a reproach, I say it, without fear or reservations. When I see some
women dressed in white protesting in the street and being mistreated by
men and women, I cannot but be ashamed and indignant and, in some way,
although I am not in complete agreement with them, I support them in
their pain; because the most vile and cowardly are the horde of supposed
revolutionaries who viciously attack these ladies.

There is no code in the world to defend it, what's more, ordinary
falls short on seeing these savage demonstrations. I have
expressed these two concepts to you, but you don't understand — there is
no doubt that you are in your era of revolutionary infancy — implying
neither a disagreement with Fidel nor an agreement with the Ladies in
White. But you see things in black and white (more black than white) and
there are no shades of gray and the years are going to make you
understand what a real revolutionary is or, inexorably, you are going to
join that world in which we see so many people like yourself, wandering,
lost in nothingness.

Edmundo, yesterday I believe you suffered a setback, not precisely
because of me but because of the several thousand people who attended a
concert, expensive for their pocketbooks in crisis, demonstrating that
love is possible, that if the day before yesterday they said "No" and
yesterday they said "Maybe," today they said "Yes," a resounding yes,
stronger than your filthy and offensive words.

Edmundo, I invite you to pack your bags and return to your country and
there to have the courage to denounce everything bad that you see,
because, Edmundo, I warn you, this life is hard, don't keep your mouth
shut like those thousands of journalists there, sadly complicit in the

On many occasions I have said that I will sit in the doorway of my house
to watch the "cadavers" of my enemies pass by, I will wait for you there.

I only demand one thing from you: permanently remove my name from your
disrespectful and lying mouth, I have earned too much credit from the
people for a soulless person like you to sully it with your filthy words.

Pablo Milanés
Miami, 29 August 2011
(Text taken from Café Fuerte on the web)
August 29 2011

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