Membership Card or Passport? / Yoani Sanchez
Posted on March 28, 2014
The whole neighborhood called him by the peculiar last name he’d
inherited from his Basque grandfather. Vertical for ideological reasons,
he always made it clear that he was “a man of the cause.” Meeting after
meeting, report after report, complaint after complaint, few exceeded
him in offering proofs of faith in the system. He was also characterized
by his severe face against the protestors and the hugs he gave to those
who shared his ideology. And so it was, until a week ago.
The family tree bore fruit and the combative man just managed to get his
Spanish passport.* In his Communist Party nucleus they told him to
choose: foreign nationality or continuing to be a member of that
organization. Faithful, but not stupid, he chose the first. As of a few
days ago he premiered his new life without red card or statutes. He has
already started to wink at some of the dissidents in the neighborhood.
“You know you can always count on me,” he blurted out at someone who,
until recently, he’d always kept a watch over.
It’s a curious party organization that brags about exercising
internationalist solidarity, but doesn’t want dual nationality
communists in its ranks. At least such narrow-mindedness is helping to
convert certain extremists into “meek foreigners.” Given the speed with
which they change, one wonders if they previously believed in what they
were doing, or were simply opportunists. Perhaps in preferring an EU
passport they are just choosing a different mask, a new tone for their
*Translator’s note: Spain’s Law of Historical Memory set a limited
period during which Cubans who could prove a Spanish grandparent
qualified for Spanish citizenship.
Source: Membership Card or Passport? / Yoani Sanchez | Translating Cuba