By Yoani Sanchez


Every day I run into someone who’s been disillusioned and has withdrawn their support for the Cuban process. There are those who turn in their Communist Party cards and emigrate to their married daughters in Italy, or those who concentrate on the peaceful work of caring for their grandchildren and waiting in line for bread. They shift from betraying to conspiring, from monitoring to corruption, and even change their listening tastes from Radio Rebelde to Radio Martí. All this conversion—slow in some, dizzyingly fast in others—I sense it all around me, as if under the island sun thousands have shed their skin. However, this process of metamorphosis only happens in one direction. I haven’t run into anyone—and I know a lot of people—who has gone from disbelief to loyalty, who has begun to trust in the speeches after years of criticizing them.

Mathematics confronts us with certain infallible truths: the number of those dissatisfied grows, but the group of those who applaud gains no new “souls.” As in an hourglass, every day hundreds of the small particles of the disillusioned come to a stop just opposite the place where they once were. They slide down to the mound formed by us: the skeptics, the excluded and the immense chorus of the indifferent. Now there is no return to the side of confidence, because no hand will be able to turn the hourglass, raising up that which today is definitely down. The time to multiply and add passed a short while ago, now the abacuses operate always by subtracting, marking the interminable flight in a single direction.

This was originally written and published in Spanish by Yoani Sanchez and translated and posted in her English version blog. Since the castro regime continues to curtail her internet access and continues to block access to her blog and other internet sites in and out of Cuba, we are posting Yoani’s work in its entirety in solidarity and to help promote and distribute same.

2 thoughts on “Hourglass”

  1. Some of this “switching gears” may well be genuine, but some of it, maybe a lot, is simply a matter of seeing the writing on the wall and opting to disengage before it’s too late to make it look convincing. Trust me, when the time comes, even hardcore Castro tools will magically morph into “disillusioned,” “deceived,” “honestly mistaken,” “misinformed,” “clueless” and so forth. It will turn out that (surprise!) nobody meant any harm, everyone had noble motives, and there were only really a few “bad guys” (who will, most likely, be safely out of the country by then). In other words, I’m afraid, a replay of what happened (or didn’t happen) in Russia and Nicaragua. Or, “The past is history, over and done with, so let’s forget all that and focus on the future!” How convenient.

  2. And maybe it isn’t what is relevant to what she writes but I can’t help comparing it, look at this country.
    Cuba is 50 years into its revolution and look how hard it is for people to recognize that it didn’t work. Our revolution will take a bit more time to reveal itself and not be as overnight in its power to destroy, but where is the outrage? Will we have to wait fifty years for things like this column here? I loved the outrage shown on the floor of the Chicago stock exchange. I want to see more of that now.

    I am not in sympathy with Mambi in the exasperation with Cubans, who stayed in Cuba, not overturning the revolution. They are trapped in a prison. Where are they to get their power to rebel, the weapons? They are isolated in poverty and bereft of tools to rebel.
    We in America have the tools so far and yet we vote in our own destruction learning nothing from history. Will we become like Cubans with this administration deciding to make us bereft of cash, weapons, and power?
    Goodness, I’m in a dark mood.

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