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Reports from Cuba: From Paranoia to a Scream (Freeing Gorki “Last Time”)

By Claudia Cadelo in Translating Cuba:

From Paranoia to a Scream (Freeing Gorki “Last Time”)



On Friday night, after the release of Gorki and when we had already been to his house, he asked Lía if she had been to the beach. Well, it is simply impossible to narrate the last four days in two hours. He didn’t know yet that we had been at the court from eight in the morning, that we had been burned by the sun the whole day and that later two storms had rained on us… and that we were all there – the diplomats, the press and us (I say “us” because some of us didn’t know each other from before, so it was simply us, those who had been there).

I write this note because I want to share my experience in this act of solidarity that artists and non-artists (like me) have had with him and with ourselves, clarifying that I refer to physical artists, painters and writers, because I didn’t see a single musician, not even the most “underground” of the underground.

My friends call me a paranoiac; I am the one who lives in fear, who never opens the windows, who never speaks of politics, I am afraid of the dark, I don’t go out after ten at night, not even to the corner. But nothing had made me as afraid as I was for the last four days starting on Monday (and it still hasn’t left me).

However, getting to know people like Yoani, seeing her at my side with the banner in her hand, after having talked to her two or three times on the telephone, driven by faith, to see us all today helping Gorki, Ciro, Renay and Herbert, my friends holding the ground with me and rising to overcome our fears and doubts, with friends overseas moving heaven and earth and, finally, managing to convert a sentence of four years into four days… to me it still seems like a miracle.

I feel pity for those who haven’t called me, who have been hiding from me in case I might ask them for help, for those who said “yes” but didn’t come, I regret they haven’t experienced the happiness of the end, the sensation of having achieved the unachievable.

I believe today marks a turning point from “No we can’t” to “Yes we can.” We have shown that things can change, that we can stand up to injustices and the abuse of power and that fear is NOT infallible.

By Claudia Cadelo in Yoani Sanchez’s blog, Generation Y
31 August 2008


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