author photo

Alfredo Fernandez: I didn't really leave Cuba, it's impossible to leave somewhere that you've never been. After gravitating for 37 years on that strange island, I managed to touch firm ground, but only to confirm that I hadn't reached anywhere. Perhaps I will never belong anywhere. Now I'm living in Ecuador, but please, don't believe me when I say where I am, better to find me in "the Cuba of my dreams.

Where Is Claudia Cadelo?

August 13, 2012 | Print Print |

Alfredo Fernandez

Claudia Cadelo. Photo: jovenprcuba.blogspot.com

HAVANA TIMES — “Those who love me and those hate me won’t forgive my being distracted,” reads a line from an old song by Silvio Rodriguez. It turns out that yesterday — for the first time — I visited Claudia Cadelo’s blog Octavo Cerco. I had previously read some of her work through a multimedia platform of the Voces Cubana that came into my hands.

There, Claudia Cadelo seemed to me to be a brave, interesting and above all very intelligent woman. Octavo Cerco was, or rather is, an exquisitely designed blog, a real blog of someone living on an island without Internet, something like a desperate cry from the depths of a cave.

Yesterday, when taking my turn on the internet in the Swedish embassy, I couldn’t wait any longer and went to enjoy the Octavo Cerco, this time without the need for a link as the only way to access it in Cuba.

To my great surprise the post was dated August 18, 2011, with Claudia apologizing to her readers for the absence that began at that time and that was due only to a very personal need to complete her second short story (which is great).

The truth is that after that time Claudia never began posting again, and has obviously not uploaded any photos or videos to her blog.

So I asked myself, where did this vital energy of Claudia Cadelo go? I still remember her the day of the premiere of the documentary Revolution (about the career of the rap duo Los Aldeanos), insulting the State Security guy Hugo and his cronies, when in an arbitrary and dictatorial act they prevented her from entering the Chaplin Cinema.

Unfortunately none of those reasons which I imagine led Claudia to put aside her fears and launch her blog have disappeared.

So, I guess she did this because Cuba is the only nation in the Western Hemisphere without free Internet access, or because it happens that there are no free elections here, or perhaps because one cannot travel freely. I suspect that if it was because of that and much more, then Claudia has no right to stop blogging.

I hope this message gets to Claudia Cadelo wherever she is. Claudia, it’s true that one needs the energy of a marathon runner to go forward in a struggle that sometimes seems like it has no end, but also remember that the longest journey begins with one step, and in your case you have already taken several.

Start walking again Claudia, at the same time start writing in your excellent blog.

Remember the line from Silvio.

 


What's your opinion?

  • http://www.jerzymade.com jerzy

    Alfredo.. You are probably aware that Cuba is unders siege. US routinely uses internet to lunch devastating warfare (you know that too… right?) US continues state of war against Cuba short of direct invasion, just digging trenches in preparation for such a move. Cuba must be on constant alert to extend their fragile independence. Any excuse/another lie to take over is good just like in countless other militaristic ventures. And it’s not about restricting civil freedom of it;s own nation… they just have to be extremely vigilant because US deceptive moves know no limits and they won’t ever stop from lunching yet another strike till they finally take over as they did so many times before. it’s just a matter of time… another 50 years? Let it be 100 or more… won’t matter, it’s all working to our advantage. So enjoy independent Cuba as is cose won’t last forever.

    • Moses

      Jerzy, akin to the WASP network of the Cuban 5, would you agree that it is highly likely that Cuba is also constantly mounting an intelligence operation against the interests of the US? At the very least, each country is guilty of disrespecting the soveriegn rights of the other. That said, that the US is better-funded and equipped does not absolve Cuba of being equally at fault for diminished relations. Still, are you really this paranoid? I spent several years in Cuba and my daily life, albeit slightly more comfortable than the average Cuban, was far more impacted by the ridiculous restrictions imposed by the Cuban government which had nothing to do with the embargo. Time spent worrying about imperial invasions is time wasted. Fixing water systems, restoring building integrity, and producing enough toilet paper should be among the primary concerns. Not holding vigilance along the malecon for the US marines.

      • just my opinion

        Moses,
        I truly appreciate your posts. It sounds like you have had a similar experience as I (having also lived in Cuba on an academic visa). You have a very eloquent manner of communicating your experiences in a moderate way without denying the absurd conditions that strangle the everyday lives of the Cuban people.
        I want to venture and say that (and this is an opinion, albeit an educated one) that the Cuban government isn’t wasting their time worrying about an imperialist invasion, they are creating a ‘siege mentality’ that allows them to continue to enforce oppressive ( I wanted to say ‘laws’ but laws are clearly written. maybe rule is a better term? yes. rule). It is a classic ‘divide and conquer’ strategy that results in the fractionation of society. People cannot band together because they have been taught to suspect each other and continuously be wary of ‘the enemy’ which could be lurking in every corner. Even those who know better cannot deny their education. And so The gov’t can continue to neglect the infrastructure, the services, the standards, and the evolution of their society and pass the buck right on to the ‘evil imperialist’ and their embargo.

  • Okasis

    For a long time I read a blog written by an Iraqi young woman living in Baghdad during the very worst of times imaginable for the civilians in that great, but tormented city. Often the blog was published thru Tom Dispatch, and on occasion it was possible to get assurances that the blogger was ok, just unable to post.

    Then, she and her family were able to emigrate to Syria, and were granted official ‘Refugee’ status. But, life as a refugee is not easy. Economically, the entire family was forced to find means of earning money simply to provide for necessities. The Blogger vanished from Tom Dispatch, and I have never come across any further writing from this talented woman.

    What happened? Did she marry a conservative who forbid her a computer? Is she working in a laundry or bakery 14 hours a day and too tired to bother with what is, in reality, the pass-time of self-centered people with lots of time on their hands? Is she sick? Dead? Has the family moved on? gone back to Iraq? Are they once again living in a war zone trying to survive?

    Who knows?

    But, the important thing to remember is that these writers do not owe their readers anything. They are not rich celebrities who willingly give up privacy in exchange for money and fame. They are just people – Talented, yes, but as entitled to live their lives however they choose, from moment to moment. Perhaps Claudia Cadelo is writing a complex novel, or is in the midst of a wild love affair. If she wants her public to know about her life, she’ll start writing a blog again. Until then, wish her well, and get on with your own life without dreaming up wild conspiracy theories about someone you do not really know.

  • http://n/a D.Simels

    Hello from NYC, NY. I am trying to figure out — looking in from the outside — why there is such friction or contention between various political groups in your homeland. Eventually, I’ll figure this out.

  • Walter Teague

    D. Simels and anyone else who is new to this site or these issues:

    Observe the sequence of comments. “jerzy says” some obvious and irrefutable things about how the US government is trying to overthrow the Cuban government and revolution. If anyone actually thinks that is not happening, they are certifiably out of touch with reality. If someone thinks it may be true, but somehow from their point of view, Cuba is so bad, there is a moral equivalence between the US efforts and the Cuban 5, etc. In other words they believe the multimillion dollar, 50 years of interference including assassinations, and other efforts to overthrow Cuba and Cuba’s efforts to survive – and gather intelligence on their attackers (Cuba 5 and other “espionage” in the US) are “equalized” by Cuba after all that, sent agents to Miami? Really, that is like saying the B52’s were just an equal response to Viet Cong sappers?

    The second issue made muddy in the above comments is comparing Internet in the US with Cuba. Wow! What a stretch. Should Cuba be better in all ways, not just some small things like health care outcomes, mortality, etc but have internet equal to Starbucks in NYC? Is the Cuban government prioritizing who gets what bandwidth? If not, that would be foolish. Paranoid? Only if the my first point is fantasy. To my knowledge, Cuba has never really threatened the USA. But the USA has along and mean history of invading, oppressing and generally raping Cuba as much as was possible. Now it is not so easy.

    My last point is when someone raises a criticism of Cuba or any society, including the US, I wonder if they just want a bigger piece of the pie or if they care at all about how to make things better, not just for themselves. There are millions of poor Americans in the USA and the rest of the Americas. Should they all have access to education and the Web? Of course, but do you for a moment think the media giants really care about them?

    The Cuban revolution wasn’t just a local or selfish act.