As I tried to get closer to the trova presentation, I heard a disturbance from what at first seemed to be a large conga line. But as I looked more closely, I could see that something unusual was taking place. A group of approximately of 60 middle-aged people had begun to encircle a group of three or four people, yelling “Get outta here, why don’t you get outta here” and “This street belongs to Fidel.”
Esteban Diaz’s Diary
Less than a year ago, there began to appear a considerable number of people in the streets of Havana who reminded me of my country. Beggars had re-emerged. In the beginning, I thought this involved only a few Cubans who were simply trying to take advantage of tourism to pocket some easy change.
Several weeks ago, I met a young guy named Alejandro who gave new spark to my hope that Cuban youth are awakening from the lethargy that presently marks them. He’s a 21 year-old who, despite all difficulties, is not this willing to resign himself to pessimism.
About two years ago I went on a trip to Mexico, more specifically to Playa del Carmen. As an objective of the trip, I set myself the task of working for one month there to earn enough money to continue on to Chiapas, and from there -if time and cash allowed- to cross over into Guatemala.
It’s been around three years since I’ve been back to Argentina, owing to money factors and certain personal priorities. This long stretch has made my mother want to me to return home, as is logical.
At first sight, one notes how salsa and reggaeton have taken over broadcasting media, while there is a void of critical art, like performers Ray Fernandez y Los Aldeanos. This latter group, a hip hop band, was mentioned by Juanes when it was not present at his Havana Peace Day concert. A coincidence or not?
My intention is not to get into a superficial debate about why this figure -so popular with reggaeton fans (of whom there are many)- has so drastically “veered” in his ideological outlook, as has been announced by certain media sources.
El Salvadorian poet Roque Dalton once commented that poetry brought him closer to the revolution. In my case, the coin landed on the other side; it was the “revolution” – as a struggle of social contradictions – that drew me to political science, and through that I came closer to poetry, revolutionary literature, the exact sciences and social sciences.
We should remember that Cuban workers have 50 years of effort and struggles under their belts. Endurance to physical and psychological labor has its limits. These can only be fortified by gusts of air that -in Cuba- will be given by carrying out a political revolution: overthrowing the bureaucracy and elevating the workers into full control of the society.
I think that my true personal success should be measured by my behavior and interactions with society, as well as my degree of active participation over the years; regardless of whether I am a doctor, carpenter, mason, street sweeper, factory worker, day laborer, teacher, or even an ice cream vendor.