On Losing My Passport

The media circus (or more specifically, all the nonsensical messages sent to my mobile phone by excited, cheerful reporters from abroad, which almost ruined my battery) is simply depressing. Everybody seems to believe that the reforms initiated by Raúl have been reaching deeper and deeper layers of the system (rather resembling metastasis of Marxist materialism) because they have given Cubans the freedom to buy and sell expensive things like houses and cars. Even the government’s promise to solve the immigration issue has been fulfilled fairly soon (by abolishing one of the most feudal laws of the Castro regime – Act No. 989 of December 5, 1961). Shortly, people believe that the post-communist transition is close at hand, comrades.

Now, if Cuban dissidents continue with their digital moaning, it will be practically seen as impertinence, judging by democratic journalistic standards. Oh my dear ones, may you realize that neither the rest of the world is free of trouble and worry. The fact is, our dominated nation lacks information – and that’s precisely the bliss of living in a paradise – a citadel protecting us against all the crap and evil of the world (a kind of biblical-totalitarian kitsch). If we only knew that the European economy has been plummeting. If we only suspected that the United States have gone Latin American. That there will be a holy nuclear war in the name of Allah, the incaricaturizable god. If we knew that the former member states of the socialist block have got under control of Mafia (not to mention Miami). Due to our being an insular nation, we, the dissatisfied Cubans, had to remain quiet for quite a while. Unable to claim our rights that were common back in December 1958 (oh, the putrid Republic) and many others that existed already in the colonial era (the legal system of the Independence Era had far less homicidal inclinations), we need to be humble and strong to survive.

However, we have learnt that the Revolution justifies the means (including the means of communication) as well as the fears.

I keep reading and rereading the migration prognostics for January 13, 2013 (with a little bit of apocubaliptic imagination, the date of 13-1-13 could be rearranged to 3-3-3). I have no legal education (as the Political Police experts keep reminding me every time they kindly kidnap me), which may be the reason why I don’t understand anything. My domain is the Braille and the guttural language of the dumb. Yet, what I know for sure is that we need to keep the faith, even if it has fossilized. May those in power know this. We need to prepare for the future and for the possibility that it will be futile.

There is one particular thing that I find absolutely clear. It’s the fact that we have lost the last document testifying the barbarity of the regime – the passport, which we believed to be an obligation of the State towards its citizens. Starting next year, we are going to regain the status of citizens and identify ourselves only with an identity card (a piece of plastic with digital fingerprints and information if we are willing to donate organs; this document, however, will be useless in the rest of the world). Yet, it will be no longer possible to get a visa for an “enemy” country if the government rejects it. There will be no more accusation squabble over the violation of the most important human right, which makes a man really free. Expatriates will dwell in damned Cuban-style homes and the inner exile (“insile”) will be split into two groups: legitimate citizens and citizens declassed by the State. These are the castes that will be born out of Raúlpolitik. Furthermore, with $ome good luck, the aviation nightmare of the paleo-revolutionary Ricardo Alarcón might also come true.

As far as I’m concerned, I’m going keep this poor little document – my first personal passport, under lock and key (next to the dried umbilical cord and milk teeth) before it becomes unlawful (or incriminating, who knows). I want to save it for my grandchildren or my biographers, in memory of the times when the Cuban crisis ripped up the Sugar Curtain.

  • reply Mabelle Vonk ,

    I enjoy reading your articles. Thank you very much, best of luck and Happy New Year!

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