TO COMPAÑERO CONTE

26 05 2010

AL COMPAÑERO CONTE, originally uploaded by orlandoluispardolazo.

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EL MARTÍ DE PÉREZ

24 05 2010

EL MARTÍ DE PÉREZ, originally uploaded by orlandoluispardolazo.

Of Martí and other demons…

www.diariodecuba.net/cultura/77-cultura/1721-el-marti-de-…





Of the book LOS DISIDENTES 2003

21 05 2010





notoriousinjustice.wordpress.com

20 05 2010

“…at any moment the lights will go out…”

I hear these words on the other side of the phone line, last Monday. The weak voice and the slow expression were more than enough symptoms, to perceive that my brother pulls the extra from the extra, and that in only few hours his body could fade away. How painful! How sad! What impotence! To feel that a love one is spending his last bit of energy, to be able to talk few minutes with his beloved family and waiting for his case to be reviewed with all guarantees. However, surprisingly and unfortunately they still keep him in his cell, after 36 days of a hunger strike. We have approached the headquarters of the Ministry of the Interior, and yesterday we decided to go to the prison, with the purpose of requesting his transfer to a hospital. All the prison officials claim that his vital signs are “stable” and that is the reason why they have decided not to move him out of his cell. We have consulted doctors, friends of ours, and they have explained the involution of the body after several weeks of refusal to take in food, where one of the first body systems to fail is the cardiovascular. Although apparently his vital signs do not reveal an abnormal clinical situation, my brother is in a stage that needs special attention. He could be developing an infection, because the body starts to turn against itself. A blood test would rule out the suspicion of anemia, and as a consequence the need of a blood transfusion. The pulse can change in only seconds, bringing the lost of conscience or even a heart attack, not to mention a hypoglycemia. Today we will go to the Public Health Ministry to make them aware of the case, and after that, we will see what attitude they will assume.

Nevertheless tomorrow, Thursday, we have scheduled an interview with the medical team that is taking care of my brother, because is not only his health in question, but that his life is in danger and the medical responsibility for the decision of not sending him to the hospital will not fall through the cracks. The phrase ”at any time the lights will go out” I can not take it out of my mind and at the same time the pain I am feeling, it fills me with the courage to continue fighting on his behalf.

I need INTERNATIONAL HELP. The voice of the world is heard loud and clear, ours is barely heard, and Yamil’s is intertwined with of us who sympathize with him. Let us put our voices together and prevent this tragedy from having a fatal outcome that in time could be prevented.

Yadaimí Domínguez Ramos
(sister of the CubanAmerican prisoner in Cuba: Yamil Domínguez Ramos)

Translated by: Mari Mesa Contreras





DEVALUED WORDS: NO ONE LISTENED

15 05 2010

The Man of Noise

Milan Kundera

Another stay in Bohemia: in the house of another friend, from the library I take at random a book by Jaromir John, a Czech novelist of the Twenties and Thirties. An author cultured, refined, forgotten since then. I read this novel, “The Monster of Explosion”, for the first time in 1992.

Written around 1932, it tells a story that takes place ten years earlier, during the first years of the Czechoslovak Republic, born in 1918. Mr. Engelbert, a forestry adviser in the former Hapsburg regime, moves to Prague after his retirement, but when confronted with the modern aggressiveness of the young republic, he is beset by one disappointment after another. The situation is nothing new.

However, what is unprecedented — that which defines the modern world, that which will become the Engelbert’s nightmare — is not the power of money or the insensitivity of the nouveau riche (although all of this also contributes to his disappointment), but the noise; the new noise, that of the machines and the devices embodied primarily by cars and motorcycles: the “monsters of explosion.”

Poor Mr. Engelbert: he first moves into a house in a residential neighborhood; there, the cars for the first time he discovered the existence of the evil sound that will turn his life into an endless flight. He moved to an elegant house in another neighborhood, delighted that on its street cars are prohibited access. Unaware that the ban was only temporary, he panics the night he hears the monsters of explosion zooming by under his window.

After that he takes all sorts of earplugs to bed, and understands that “sleep is the most fundamental human longing, and that death caused by the inability to sleep must be the worst of deaths.” Seeking (in vain) silence in rural hotels, in the home of former high school classmates (in vain), and ending up spending the night on the trains, which provided, with their gentle, archaic sound, a relatively peaceful sleep

However, while I can allow myself to imagine Engelbert as a real man who had written his autobiography, I bet that his confession did not seem like the writing of a novelist. Recognizing that the noise of cars had changed his life more than the independence of their country, so long desired, would be for the old man a shameful confession! Because (like all of us) he lived in a pre-interpreted world.

Freedom, national independence, democracy (or viewed from the opposite angle, capitalism, exploitation, social inequality), are very serious notions, sacred, capable of explaining human behavior. This needs to be made any serious biography. Noise can only occupy a marginal position, in footnotes, like a dull discomfort and, ultimately, rather funny.

However, instead of taking seriously the pre-interpretation of the world, the novelist concentrated on the concrete life of a concrete man and arrived at a proof at once modest and enormous: modern man is living in a world deserted by silence, or more precisely, in a world where the old relationship between noise and silence has been reversed: noise (including music) is no longer exceptional, but silence is.

A significant discovery, because what changed, marked, and remodeled the life of Mr. Engelbert was not the birth of the independent republic (with Mr. Engelbert being a great patriot), or the technical inventions that make life easier (airplane, telephone, telegraph) nor the democratic regime (which had to contrast with the monarchy that had preceded it), what changed  his life from beginning to end is the inversion of the relationship between noise and silence.

The multiple consequences of this inversion could be called existential: a different relationship with nature, with rest, with beauty, with music, also something I think is exceptionally important: the other place given to the word.

The omnipresence of noise not only causes an allergy to noise (which is a medical finding), but also (which is an existential surprise) a need for noise; from this evidence it follows, for example, that on the radio the word is usually broadcast accompanied by background sound, whether music or real sounds (a factory, a street, etc.); for whoever listens, the word becomes doubly mistaken: for the ambient noise of the room where the radio is located, and for the sound produced in the studio.

Therefore, not only do they hear words more poorly, but the word, in general, as such, no longer occupies the privileged place that it had in the world of sound; now it doesn’t encourage careful concentration; the word is now merely one noise among others.

*Translator’s Note: In the original title, “Cuba” is inserted into the middle of the Spanish word for listened, “escuchaba”, so it reads “Escubachaba” – a word play that doesn’t survive translation.

Translated by: Tomás A.





1 MONTH OF CUBANAMERICAN HUNGER STRIKE

13 05 2010




CENSORARMIENNE

11 05 2010

CENSURARMIENNE, originally uploaded by orlandoluispardolazo.

Facebook, which blocks some Cuban IPs, also deposticaldemocratically censors the freescura blogger of Armienne.