Call me paranoid if you like, but, folks, I smell a rat and I want to catch it before it can slip away. Recently, I shared some of my small, daily joys with the readers of Havana Times. One of them was discovering a television program with an outrageously gay character for a host, aired by Cuba’s Canal Habana.
Francisco Castro’s Diary
News about the recent incident involving the poisoning of a number of individuals who ingested methanol (popularly known as “wood alcohol”) prompted me to rummage through my documents in search of the above diary entry, which I wrote on October 3, 2010, while living in La Carolina, in the municipality of San Miguel del Padron.
Joys that burst right in front of your face, like soap bubbles, to leave you with a feeling of emptiness, of frustration, but joys nevertheless, fulfilling their mission of oxygenating the blood, of cleansing a bloodstream contaminated by the sloth, intolerance, stagnation, ignorance, opportunism, close-mindedness, fence-sitting…and a horrifyingly long list of other ills that surround us.
We got a clear picture of what we Cubans are made of last year, when a gas station in Santiago de Cuba blew up. That was perhaps one of the most painful confirmations that Cubans are made of a spineless slime: those people splashing about over the spilt gasoline, as though it were a puddle of water…for God’s sake…
One of the first things one sees when arriving in the Emergency Room of the “Manuel Fajardo” Clinic Surgical University Hospital, is a huge poster in which you can read: “Your health care is free, but it costs…”, followed by a list of some of the services we are given free, with their prices.
After 54 years of Cuba’s revolutionary government being in power — during which time the most radical changes in all of the nation’s history took place, both positive and negative — we’ve begun to take a critical and constructive look at the mistakes made by the government that Fidel Castro turned over to his brother Raul.
In the History of Cuba one character keeps popping up between the silence and the whispers. It catches its breath and then slips back behind the scenes of an adverse scenario. From the shadows, it has added its grain of sand to the formation of the Cuban nationality. This character is the homosexual.
The Pope’s resigning came as a shock, especially since it’s been more than five centuries that something like this has happened. The end of a Pope’s reign is usually decided by their death, though this isn’t law. These individuals have every right to make this decision, and I would go so far as to argue that it’s their duty.
One of the qualities I most admire in people is their willingness to teach. I’ve always seen it as an art, for which you have to be gifted. Educating other people is also one of the noblest professions.
Cuba today, that building, the future, a child going in circles upstairs. It’s the future on the brink of an abyss. Downstairs is the present. The present that’s only about chasing an elusive ball, an evasive one, bouncing from side to side, up and down, always chased but never caught.