Intriguing use of a word

There is nothing new nor interesting about another Carlos “Shylock” Saladrigas editorial in the Herald calling once again for the US to lift sanctions against the Cuban dictatorship. However, it is intriguing how the word “empower” keeps popping up in all of his, and the Cuba Study Group’s writings.

The literal Spanish translation of  the word “empower” is “empoderar,” and if one would translate a document written in English to Spanish that used that word, “empoderar” would be the correct choice. In Cuba, however, “empoderar” is not part of the Cuban vernacular when the empowerment of people is described. Of course, if a Cuban were translating a document written in English that contained the word “empower” in that context, then the correct translation would be “empoderar.

It is amazing how a single word can carry such intrigue, especially when you consider that the now infamous letter from “The 74” calling for the lifting of sanctions against Cuba’s tyrannical regime, which allegedly was written by Cubans on the island, uncharacteristically contained the word empoderar to describe the empowerment of Cubans.

Coincidence? Unlikely.


4 thoughts on “Intriguing use of a word”

  1. Someone removed my comment.

    I was quite proud of it.

    I did not know censorship was a faculty of this forum.

    How unfortunate.

    Let us be democratic. In the end, they are merely words.

  2. I hate be considered a stick in the mud, but then I’ve frequently been called worse. The word “empoderar” does not appear in the Real Academia and is nothing more than another use of Spanglish, or Anglicism to fill in a void within the Spanish language. Truth is, English is a very elastic language that offers up the possibility the most infinite shades of description, as opposed to Spanish which is less flexible. However, this does not mean we are left without linguistic options, we are just less familiar with them.
    In the case of Cuba, I don’t see how Cubans can find empowerment in any language under communism.

  3. Very curious. The word empoderar was a Spanish word that no longer exists –it’s outdated. The proper “Castillian” word is apoderar. If he’s an older person, then I can see why the mistake happened. I know some older Cubans who use the older word obscuro instead of oscuro. On the other hand this might of been a freudian slip due to the fact that any form of empowerment no longer exists in Cuba –and it won’t exist with Castro Inc.

  4. Oh and it is in the RAE

    empoderar.
    1. tr. desus. apoderar. Era u. t. c. prnl.

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