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Dmitri Prieto-Samsonov: I define myself as being either Cuban-Russian or Russian-Cuban, indiscriminately. I was born in Moscow in 1972 of a Russian mother and a Cuban father. I lived in the USSR until I was 13, although I was already familiar with Cuba-- where we would take our vacation almost every year. I currently live on the fifth floor of an apartment building in Santa Cruz del Norte, near the sea. I’ve studied biochemistry and law in Havana and anthropology in London. I’ve written about molecular biology, philosophy and anarchism, although I enjoy reading more than writing. I am currently teaching in the Agrarian University of Havana. I believe in God and in the possibility of a free society. Together with other people, that’s what we’re into: breaking down walls and routines.

Cuba: Doing Too Little, Doing Too Much

October 18, 2013 | Print Print |

Dmitri Prieto

marti con lacitoHAVANA TIMES — It’s been over a month since the beginning of the “yellow ribbon” campaign calling for the release of the 4 Cubans imprisoned in the United States and yellow – which is also the color of Cuba’s Virgin of Charity and the Yoruba deity Oshun – continues to tint the city with its complex polysemy of spiritual symbolism and its tacit call for conformity and political commitment.

Luckily, good old common sense – the everyday wisdom which isn’t radical, anti-establishment or even critical of anything, but which helps us get along and to minimize aggressiveness enormously – helped curb some of the more extreme expressions of this campaign.

Someone had come up with the idea of tying a yellow ribbon around the index finger of the Jose Marti statute in Havana’s Parque Central. I’m happy to see it’s been removed. The rather bombastic performance whereby the yellow symbol was attached to and then removed from the finger of Cuba’s independence hero left me with a strange, bitter feeling – and that’s sad.

The yellow flag which, as anyone versed in naval things or any reader of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ Love in the Times of Cholera knows, signals an epidemic alert, no longer flutters over the El Morro colonial fortress across the bay.

It was replaced with a large yellow ribbon, tied to the phallic trunk of the lighthouse – a ribbon which is no longer there.

I hope the four Cubans will be able to return home soon. In the meantime, it seems that, as the saying goes, we Cubans either don’t do enough or do too much.


What's your opinion?

  • Moses Patterson

    The yellow ribbon campaign, like every other campaign to free the remaining 4 convicted Cuban spies, has NO impact on hastening their release. The Castros, who usually excel at bamboozling the world with “poor me” propaganda, have failed horribly to effectively move American public opinion. Of course, bleeding heart liberals who are inclined to go all gooey at all things anti-establishment, have been easily led along. But the American middle, the people who could make a difference, remain largely unaware of the crimes committed by the original 12 Wasp Network and the subsequent arrest and prosecutions. The American media has dutifully covered this case throughout and a small cadre of Hollywood celebs have done their part to maintain media attention. Yet despite these efforts, Americans still don’t care any more about these federal prisoners than they do about anyone else. Conclusion: I don’t think the Castros really want to see these guys come home. Like the embargo, the Castros use these convicted spies as props to unify the Cuban people around a cause. The yellow ribbon campaign was intended for internal consumption with little or no intent to influence US public opinion.

    • Cubana casa

      Brain washed American, babbles on, speak about bamboozling the world……..”weapons of mass destruction”…..”communist under every bed”…..had to get over and make room for “terrorist under every bed”. For years American people have been controlled with fear of above mentioned, kind of like a flock of tame turkeys, wild ones are smart and don’t follow the leader, they do make decisions of their own. Oh well don’t learn from past mistakes and soon, very soon you will be bankrupt ——-then what, who will you blame then, surely not your leaders or yourselves—-like a child who spills his milk, blame someone else, cry loud enough, surely someone will notice.

      • Moses Patterson

        It never stops making me laugh when defenders of the Castro regime like “Cubana Casa” answer valid criticism of the dictatorship by criticizing the US. It’s called ‘deflection’. First point, Americans know better than everyone else what is wrong with America. We are pretty thick-skinned about our flaws. As a result we don’t put people in jail (or worse) for criticizing our government. Second, if “Cubana Casa” cares anything about Cuba, the last thing you should wish for is a bankrupt America. The ripple effect throughout the world, especially Cuba, would be devastating. The fact you know the difference between wild and tame turkeys says you don’t live in Cuba anymore. Castro’s revolution killed all the turkeys in Cuba years ago.

  • Walter Teague

    So?

  • CUBAQUS

    The Cuban spies will just have to sit out their deserved sentenced in the US.
    Even the Cuban blackmail arresting Alan Gross has failed.
    Cubans in deed do to much: spy on US military and arrest people that even Raul Castro admits was no spy in an attempt to blackmail the US in to releasing them.