Reports from Cuba: Poking the hornet’s nest

Rebeca Monzo in Translating Cuba:

Poking the Hornet’s Nest

Waiting for the bus in Cuba
Waiting for the bus in Cuba

Here on my planet, the government used the term “hornet’s nest” to name student groups at all levels, whose classes were suspended because they were forced to participate in organized protests against the so-called blockade, enlivened with musical and theater groups, putting on the whole circus to show the cameras with cheerful smiling faces, supporting the regime and rejecting the United States, the country we all dreamed of.

However, “hornet’s nest” was what we could also the horrible lines that form at the bus stops, where we have to wait almost an hour trying to get on board if the driver even decides to stop and not pass on by without even saying goodbye.

It is certainly not the fault of the drivers because the buses are filled at three times over their design capacity, plus there are all the potholes, the broken sewer holes and enormous piles of broken up asphalt, that make the streets and avenues into little roller coasters.

We could also call the huge lines outside state bakeries “hornet’s nests” in search of the precious and only bread of 80 grams per person under the decadent ration book. Or those that form at the rusty and abandoned shacks that were once recognized as the points of sale for seafood, where what it sold and most regularly available are the badly named “island croquettes,” popularly known as “what… whatever they are,” the most consumed food product of ordinary citizens who have nothing more than their miserable salaries to live on.

Finally, the same so-called “hornet’s nest” of students protesting against the US embargo imposed on our government, would end up being a real hornet’s next in front of the doors of the embassies of the United States, Canada, Spain, Italy, Ecuador, with the intention of getting visas to “take off,” although their vocal chords are still sore from shouting in the organized rallies against capitalism, which they dream of “clashing with” as soon as possible.