Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez is far from Carlos Saladrigas’ “hysterical” Cuban community. Yoani is actually quite moderate — some say too moderate — and when Saladrigas insulted those who refuse to help him save the Castro dictatorship by calling them “hysterical individuals” in a speech he made in Cuba, he most certainly did not have Ms. Sanchez in mind.
But Yoani has been around the block once or twice, and when Saladrigas started with his name calling and attempting to marginalize and belittle those who do not agree with him, it all sounded too familiar to her.
[…] At one moment, he [Saladrigas] explained that exiled Cubans can be categorized as “historic” and “hysterical” depending on the level of passion and intolerance of their position. I confess that it sounded totally contrary to the spirit of his speech. I don’t have, nor will I have the vital experience Saladrigas has accumulated during decades of living and interacting with the Cuban diaspora, but at that moment it came to my mind the slander and insults received by those of us who are unsatisfied with our own country.
The play on words — because in the end that’s all it is, a play on words — “historic” and “hysterical” had sadly already been made popular coming from the mouth of Carlos Aldana. This other “Carlos” was director of the Department for Revolutionary Orientation (DOR) and was in fact considered as a possible replacement for Fidel Castro. Right around the time of the so-called Letter of the 10, signed by various Cuban intellectuals, Aldana did as he pleased from his seat as the controller of culture and state journalism. Someone asked him at that time about poet Maria Elena Cruz Varela and the severity of her imprisonment simply for endorsing that protest. With a smile that comes from power, it is said that Aldana affirmed that “they may say that she is an historic poet, but in reality she is just an hysterical woman.”
Twenty years later the same play on words resonated through the Felix Varela cathedral. I had no other choice than to do the sign of the cross.