Haunting words from the past

I was checking out the blog of Yoani Sanchez’ husband, Reinaldo Escobar, and thought his first post was quite worthy of being translated and reproduced here. Original Spanish here.

Those who had no reason were right
I think it was in 1961, days before the nationalization of the private schools, when my friend Felipe told me that his parents were sending him out of Cuba because communism was coming and that was the worst thing that could happen to the country. He explained that in this system children would longer be their parents’ children, that the land would cease bearing fruit, that cows (the conversation took place in Camaguey) would not yield any milk and even a toothbrush would be collectively owned.
“If you stay here,” he told me very seriously, “they will send you to Russia to brainwash you, but anyway -he warned- someday you are going to realize that all this is a disaster.”
Two months later I went with my father on the literacy campaign, where I managed to teach something to six peasants, I learned to swim in a river, to horseback ride and milk a cow. Upon my return, Felipe was gone and for years I was laughing at his premonitions.
In July 1962, when I turned 15 years old, I registered my name in first edition of the ration book. It was for me, as if I were signing the book along with others who were willing to tighten their belts in order to accelerate the arrival of the future. 15 years later, in August 1977, my daughter was born, who I also enrolled in the OFICODA* when I realized that the future approached slowly. 30 years later (September 2007) my first granddaughter came into world. When I read her name in the rationing book I remembered my friend Felipe, the little reason his puerile arguments had and the certainty of his warnings.
OFICODA: Office for control of food distribution. It controls the entire operation of the system of the rationed market.

1 thought on “Haunting words from the past”

  1. I dare speak on behalf of Felipe (he and thousands like us who have so much in common) when I say that I hope the dingbat who wrote this (he who “laughed for years…” had a realy good laugh-given the miserable life he chose to live. Viva Felipe!

Comments are closed.