Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo
They arrested her twice, both times violently. All for walking at my side in the streets of a Havana almost at the point of the Cadaver-in-Chief of Fidel Castro. She’s called Silvia. My Silvia.
They threw her out of her first job as a dentist, in the captive consultation of a cigar factory, where the workers can’t even lift their necks from the odious sheets they have to roll for miserly wages. By the way, she was expelled by a State Security agent who today serves–or fakes serving–as a dissident lawyer, in an independent legal association (the director of the association warned us, but we were like to paranoiacs, Silvia and I).
They forced her to undress in the Regla Police Station, during the vile visit of the former Pope Benedict XVI, who swept aside Cuban civil society and kissed the right hand of the Maximum Excommunicated, while silently agreeing to the attack on Oswaldo Payá, where the Cardinal of a thousand and one sins flush with the pubis under his cassock barely joined in one more mea culpa (afterward Jaime Ortega y Alamino himself would wash his hands of the stoning of Payá in the burning chapel, as if God himself had called him to His side and he wasn’t dispatched by State Security).
They infiltrated her family. They terrorized her mother, Silvia Corbelle Batista’s mamá. They made her believe she was being paid by the CIA. Later they led her to understand that I was also working for them. That I was unfaithful (I was). They said I was a faggot (it could be so: what’s more, I am) and that I have AIDS (it cold be so, but it’s not true right now, according to the serology).
The Castro regime only knows how to use reality and language as a source of stigmatization, as a phobia not of the other but of itself.
They coerced mamá Lourdes and forced her to steal documents from her own daughter, and also to reveal her movements to State Security agents. She was already a bit of one, living in Cuba, but they made the mother of my ex-girlfriend a human wreck. She, who prided herself on being anti-Castro in private, ended up as a de facto Fidelista.
They drove her father crazy, Silvia Corbelle Batista’s papá. They humiliated him before his own daughter. They forced him to threaten me with death (it’s a crime, but I would never denounce anyone within Cuba) in order to take from me not only my love, but love.
He was already a bit of one, living in Cuba, but the poor human wreck of papá Ramón then hired the services of a Babalao to do “injury” to me. And later sent an illiterate criminal to warn me, in the name of his scabious spirits, that I must leave Silvia’s side or an “evil” would befall me that would put me in my grave within a week.
I have to say how I answered him. It pissed me off, like so many shot without trials in Cuba, who died screaming Long Live Jesus Christ with whatever strength they had left after their blood had been drained* from them as a trophy of war. I told the witch doctor from G-2 (State Security)–like the majority who practice this “religion”–“Asshole, tell Fidel to come and tell me himself.”
They infiltrated her colleagues at the Dentistry Faculty. They filmed her in her relationships during and after me. The coerced our close friends to spy on us. Some agree, others fled without confessing their fear to us. They killed two cats in the cruelest manner, at the two critical moments of our lives, as an almost Sicilian message of falling heads very close to our bedroom.
The pressured the person who lent us a room to stay away from Cuba (the person resisted, then they used a Housing Institute trap to take their land). Even when they operated on me (for free) for nearsightedness, an official appeared in the room at the Ramón Pando Ferrer Hospital, making the doctor’s laser scalpel tremble.
But Silvia wasn’t alone. Silvia told me, “They do it so you’ll shit from fear Landy, because they know you are good and want to live. Don’t give them the satisfaction.”
But I always did give it to them, I always felt my guts wrench. I’m no better than the Cuban Cardinal, the complicity of this constitutional cowardice is our intimate communion. But my pure hatred saved me; while love has ruined Jaime Ortego y Alamino.
And it’s this same contempt for the tyrants of the Cuban Ministry of the Interior, it is that crazy diamond that always shines in the watery eyes of a little free person named Silvia. The same one who last night called me on the phone to help her cry. Just that. I’ll be fine. Help me cry.
The two times I was imprisoned, in that terrible 2012, I remember Siliva screaming and insulting the police and the agents. Making it obvious how ignorant they are. How shameless and libidinous (the Castro regime, like Castro himself, is a phenomenon more prudish than patriotic: evil fidelity substituting for good fornication; verbal incontinence is a sign of premature ejaculation: the more power it imposes in you, the less the junk of the unpunished despot gets hard, the less tiny olive green vagina gets lubricated; the uniform as the smudge of the body itself).
Today the game is over and the truth emerges.
The photographer and blogger Silvia Corbelle Batista has been summoned by the sterile extremists of Cuban State Security, at two in the totalitarian Cuban afternoon. They can take her prisoner without trial, like the Lady in White Sonia Garro, who has spent more than two years illegally imprisoned.
They can lay charges. Or lay them on her parents, to psychologically upset the equation. They can threaten her with being raped tonight (as Agent Ariel did to me at the Aquilera Police Station in Lawton, at the end of March 2009: he said to me, “You’re going to jail until the Investigator comes, did you bring condoms?”).
They can impose the Official Warning Act, as they do to thousands and thousands. They can tell her that it was a mistake and to come back another day (the horror is that, not knowing).
They can do whatever best pleases them. Silvia is wise. Silvia knows who they are and what they have done to the memory not only of our love, but of love. The rest doesn’t matter. Let it go now in the death throes of this heartless scenario called Cuba. They are just the symptoms of what we Cubans will do to Cubans a minute after the singing of the national anthem at the imminent funeral of Fidel.
Silvia, you’ll be fine. But don’t stop crying. Hardly anyone in Cuba remembers how to.
*Translator’s note: Literally. It’s been reported that the regime takes large blood bank “donations” from those about to be executed.
25 April 2014