Without Cuba / Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo
Posted on January 12, 2015
When did we disappear while a nation? When did Cuba stop being one? Or
perhaps it never fully was one?
Nations are human inventions, impulses of our historical imagination.
Cuba was the story that we told ourselves. A chronic story and,
therefore, unbelievably believable.
We never had any democrats. The Republic’s great milestones are nothing
more than frauds, ruses of worldwide communism in order to gain time and
corrupt the remains of the social fabric in our country.
Bullets, bills, the opportunist who lives off of the fool, anything is
worth more in Cuba than ballots. We are compulsive demagogues, even if
we’ve had saints and sages and virtue. But we were lacking fascism, that
experience which Cuba might have joined in on if it hadn’t been aborted
by the leftist Revolution of 1933. Then it was necessary to wait until
1959 to be able to consummate our congenital totalitarian defect: a
fascism from the right with a popular narrative.
Now Fidel Castro has died. His remains have been cremated before being
presented in public. And his ashes will be dispersed from the Rio Bravo
to Patagonia, assuring along the way that they are not vandalized out of
revenge or as a malicious amulet. Writing without Fidel in the world and
knowing this is, for me, a defining, prophetic experience, something
millions of Cubans no longer planned to live to tell.
January 28th or February 24th or April 17th: the liberating announcement
that we Cubans will never again hear the soap opera-like voice of Fidel
Castro has the regime of his illegitimate brother, Raul, terrified. Like
all assassins, Castroism is a state of cowardice in the midst of his
insulting impunity. Families readjust. They know blood is the way out.
And they are making sure it will not be theirs that flows. In this
sense, they have promoted a modest pacifism of opposition that will keep
them in power.
They will probably never announce that the Commander in Chief is a
cadaver. This insolent silence will probably be stretched out to the end
of time by Island authorities as the only source of governance. North
American newspapers are also updating their obituary notes from 10 and
15 years ago. But it will be the least read text in the world, the least
current. Because we Cubans are ahead of the world in the craft of
leaving Fidel Castro’s imprint behind, just as in the heart of each of
us a decrepit dictator has evolved, amounting to millions of miniature
fidelcastros no less lethal than the original.
When did the nation disappear? When did Cuba stop being Cuba? Or perhaps
it never completely stopped being Cuba?
We only know that, while we are Cubans, we have to distance ourselves
from Cubans to the maximum. We are a universe in expansion, we repulse
one another. The proximity to ourselves brings out the worst in the
populace. The island can’t be reforested. The desert of the soul made a
desert of the landscape. I come from there: I can swear to you that
today none of you will survive even half a day of “Havanity” [Havana
reality]. And tomorrow will be much worse.
Getting lost is beautiful. The amnesic memory is beautiful. What we
loved and what loved us emigrated with us. Let’s be worthy of that love
that will not be repeated. Let’s be different in the lives of other
nations. And, in some of the early hours of the universal moon, let’s
allow that love or sorrow to assassinate us completely, hopefully before
the state assassin on duty does so.
Cuba will never be free. Maybe Cubans still can be.
Translated by: Kathy Fox
5 January 2015
Source: Without Cuba / Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo | Translating Cuba –