Evarista, An Unlawful Saleswoman

Several months ago I thought to write about Evarista, an elderly woman who has gained celebrity for her role of an illegally seller on Cuban television. Aris Teresa Bruzos Nunez, actress who plays Evarista, reminds me Eloisa Alvarez Guedes who long after 1953 played the character of a humble peasant named Simplicia, an ordinary old woman and a faithful reflection of a normal society.

Evarista / Tania Díaz Castro
Evarista / Tania Díaz Castro

Neither Aris nor Eloisa studied drama for their different leading roles because the material and characters were in everyday life. It wasn’t necessary for them a big preparation to reach the hearts of the great Cuban public. 

Aris Bruzos Teresa Nunez worked as a teacher and principal at several schools. It had never crossed her mind to be an actress, let alone work on a comedy show such as “Vivir del cuento”, where the main character, the old Panfilo always complained about their poverty and the difficulties that are presented daily to drink a glass of milk or eating one fish per month.

Could we then consider this program as something like real life of Cubans or as a mirror of a people who have learned to scoff at their own sufferings? Although tomorrow will change Aris her character of Evarista with her scheming or cambalache to survive, she will always be remembered as the old woman who looked out to the Panfilo window to propose their clandestine sales.

Is Evarista inadvertently a pitiful representation of a country that lives in a perennial economic nightmare? Is she a sort of proof that the policy imposed by the Central Committee of the Communist Party is revealed as a model failure for others?

Evarista is without doubt a true reflection of a population in continuos economic crisis. It is also a reflection of a society out of supply for decades because of those who have ruled it for more than fifty years with the same recipe and without never obtaining the best results.

I’m not worried that the official newspaper (Granma) have published a while ago an article about Evarista. The author, a journalism student, was able to adapt to the rules of Castro’s censorship and sais nothing about what really represents this old woman: the most pitiable, and deplorable aspect Fidel Castro’s Cuba.

Autor

Tania Díaz Castro (*1939) is co-founder of National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba. For over two decades she was reporter for official magazines. In 1980's she spent 18 months in jail for joining Human Rights Party.

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