The Forgotten Dead

30 08 2012

She is a woman alone, devout Catholic from a famous neighborhood on the outskirts, and lays to rest all her dead in a family pantheon. The Columbus Cemetery, sooner rather than later, will reunite her with them and with God. Holy word. The sadness of life is not eternal.

Alas, now the meeting will have to wait until the resurrection programmed win the final trailer of the Bible. Apocubalypse. Because a few weeks ago she discovered that the remains of her eight beloved corpses had disappeared. Necrophagia, period. Not a molar not a hair nor a belt buckle nor the sole of a shoe to comfort her. They stole from her the imagined dead of her memory. Her biography is worth nothing. Dead woman walking, from one office to another of the Cuban necropolis, where they all take her for stark raving mad, despite (or precisely because of) her brandishing the stamped papers of eight interments, exhumations signed by the then administrator (today buried or exiled, it’s all the same), annual receipts of punctual payment, among other out-of-date formalities.

To make matters worse, the solitary lady is terrified and incapable of telling of her horror in public (the terror is simply this muteness, this impossibility of speaking: it happened to me). The victim does not want to politicize this vandalism. She prefers, instead, to place total confidence in the Cuban burial system. She appeals to the relevant officials (the same ones who robbed her). And she has even written to Caridad Diego and Eusebio Leal, a fine pair of confe$$or$ for her unspeakable, almost indecent, pain.

When I begin to tell this horrifying story, to stoke the indignation and chaos in Havanada, it turns out I’m a jerk. The families of many of my friends cheerfully share similar stories. It’s not the end of the world by any means. The provincial cemeteries are a haven for thieves. Almost everyone, at some point, has been robbed of one or two little corpses buried in the holy earth of the Revolution (owned, incidentally, by the Office of the Historian, who is owned in turn the State Council: perhaps our lady was right to choose them as her addressees and to reject me).

It is a thing of witches with the complicity of corrupt officials and undertakers (those who dropped the coffin of Oswaldo Paya Sardinas, with new uniforms and professionally trained muscles, there aren’t any starving employees at the cemetery, rather a much more interior ministry: in fact they are still guarding his grave who knows if it’s to profit from his democratizing spoils).

There are a thousand and one tragedies cooked with the seasoning of the dead (the children would be the most coveted, along with the Chinese, that delicacy). But not a single on of these recipes is to stir the Good: we Cubans wear ourselves out only to further destroy our existence, never to free ourselves or cure ourselves of Evil. With this rotted cuttings of flesh and bone fearful spells are created to kill other Cubans in turn, in a revolting spiral that ethnological beauticians of Catauro magazine would call, “the crucible of Cubanness.”

For the moment, especially if you don’t live on the Island because they banished you or you fled years ago, I challenge you to look in your family vault. At best you’re missing an aunt of your soul, poor thing, who you helped with vitamins and minerals until the end of her slow and irreversible final illness. At worst you no longer have parents or are an orphan of the third generation because: 1) they really died, 2) they were fucking stolen, 3) you don’t know it when you humble yourself to ask for an Entry Permit to put a flower on no one.

Perhaps because of this even the beggars are asking to be cremated in Cuba. Renouncing God’s wrapping so as not to end up poisoning some neighbor in a devil’s whorehouse among drums and alcohol. But not event that. The dust always works. And is affordable.

Compatriot of open-air corpses, forgive my insistence with a morbid little classic horror film, but, have you checked your dead?

From Penultimos Dias

August 30 2012

This Pretty and Free Light Resuscitates The Heart and The Blog

23 08 2012

Love you all and I’m back to illuminate for us the soul, trembling and alone.

August 23 2012


23 08 2012

[*Translator’s note: Readers are strongly encouraged to read this post by Elaine Diaz, side-by-side with OLPL’s post.]

The Last Post

Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

To my brothers and sisters of CUBAN VOICES…

Since September 2008 I have maintained this space as an exalted site of monologue, collective expression, and incitement to extremism. “Monday” overcame, in a few months, the anonymity and solitude that accompanies millions of blogs on the web, to become a delirious brothel about some of the most urgent issues on the agenda of Cuban citizens. What was once a site of experimentation to imagine a bachelor’s degree in Liberalism, became an inescapable corner for sabotage.

Today, after almost five years, I’m saying goodby to this space.

From this moment I will dedicated more time to action and indecency, two activities I’m imprisoned by and where I want to concentrate more in the coming years.

I am deeply grateful to all those who ever left their mark here; to those who with their comments impoverished the debate, to those who sent their impositions by mail, to those who were silent witnesses to every article, and those (male AND FEMALE…!) who I had the good fortune to meet in person.

This space will remain on the web, open for those who want to review, one more time, some moments of the past five years from the most personal, subjective and post-journalistic viewpoint of a not-so-young Cuban.

Withered Lawton, 21 August 2012

Voices Magazine No. 16 Prepares a Tribute to @Oswaldo Paya @Rosa Maria Paya

22 08 2012

The freeest Cuban magazine, VOICES 16, is preparing a special issue about the life and work of Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas.

It will be launched Friday, August 31, 2012.

Come to Havana with us, in these desolate days without remedy in this end of summer and of Revolution.

August 20 2012


19 08 2012

August 19 2012


19 08 2012

What would have happened if Oswaldo Payá was carrying a legal gun at the time of the tragedy of his death so often predicted by the Cuban government?

If the right to obtain a license for the civilian use of weapons (a right abolished, like so many, after the legislative catastrophe of 1959), the political police, for example, would not be able to act with the impunity of thugs who will take over any street, whether on foot or on their Suzuki motorbikes, or in a car.

The mafia of the Revolutionary materialism would know then that, before such assaults where they don’t even identify themselves, they could end up with a bullet in their forehead and without recourse, because legitimate self-defense in a universal value that survives even here.

The disrespect with which the Cuban repressors treat the bodies of their victims would end. Not one more express kidnapping. Not one more constraint. Not one more public threat. Not one more act of repudiation. The right to defend ourselves with arms, as citizens, would heal all the humiliating rot that has denigrated thousands and thousands of Cubans in the last decades.

If you are not vested with authority, and with the proper documentation issued by the relevant authorities, don’t approach me with your pow-pow because I’ll give you bang-bang! fully exercising my legal faculties.

Peaceful coexistence passes first through such empowerment, through the responsibility of good men who don’t deserve to be treated like criminals by a despotic police force manipulated by the politicians.

Oswald Payá was assassinated hundreds of times in his life as a Christian-democratic activist in Cuba. He could not properly defend himself even once. He couldn’t defend his home from the hired hordes who defaced its facade. He couldn’t defend his brave family harassed even in the hospitals. He couldn’t sell his life dearly at the end.

Perhaps the delayed democratic transition to a future Cuba would begin to conserve its pro-democracy men and women, to stop this silent drop-by-drop holocaust.

They could stop demanding so many abstract rights and focus on one concrete demand, that would have the support of the overwhelming majority of people, beyond political colors, above all not that they are beginning to create interest in the private economy and the crooks are already jeopardizing the security of their owners (the criminals, like the police, always get weapons: why not then their defenseless citizen victims?).

Please, could someone postulate something quick to preside over a hypothetical People’s Bang-Bang Party? The program would have only one point, but a tremendous biological aim:


August 19 2012