By Armando Chaguaceda

An old Chinese proverb recalls that a single picture speaks a thousand words. The mosaic of pictures that we present below is an assemblage of part of the symbolic political spectrum of Cuba today. Some are fruit of the propaganda produced in the print shops of the Party; these are in the form of billboards (1, 2, 5, 6), or for public thoroughfares and official convocations to marches (7). Others represent the creation of popular collectives (8) and artist workshops (3, 4).

Looking at them reminds me of moments when images like these accompanied our doubt, anger, choices and hopes. I think-given the impressive educational level and cultural demands of my compatriots-of their reactions to the messages that these materials transmit, be they humdrum or suggestive.

My eyes move back and forth between so many values and diverse ideals, overlapped or opposed: discipline and autonomy, creativity and simplification, celebration and sacrifice, militarism and citizenship, renovation and idolization, age and youth, simulation and commitment, triumphalist and criticism.

At their edges overflow diversity made invisible, harassed autonomy, and spontaneity deadened by bureaucratic inertia. Here sprouts those tender rose buds, the inheritance of Jose Marti’s notion of justice, sovereignty and freedom, which we must continue to water, transplant and protect.

 50 Years: Effort, Dignity and Victory
(1) 50 Years: Effort, Dignity and Victory

We Have and Will Have Socialism
(2) We Have and Will Have Socialism

Let’s Make the Revolution Ours
(3) Let’s Make the Revolution Ours

50th Anniversary, the Challenges
(4) 50th Anniversary, the Challenges

Cuba Is at War Against Terrorism
(5) Cuba Is at War Against Terrorism

 w.bush.genocide@blockade.sob  - save, eliminate
(6) w.bush.genocide@blockade.sob - save, eliminate

May Day, Unity, Firmness, Victory
(7) May Day, Unity, Firmness, Victory

Down with the Bureaucracy, Up with the Workers, More Socialism
(8) Down with the Bureaucracy, Up with the Workers, More Socialism


Armando Chaguaceda

Armando Chaguaceda: My curriculum vitae presents me as a historian and political scientist. I'm from an unclassifiable generation who collected the achievements, frustrations and promises of the Cuban Revolution and now resists on the island or contributes through numerous websites, trying to remain human without dying in the attempt.

2 thoughts on “<em>Cuban Kaleidoscope</em>

  • Armando Chaguaceda “At 33, I feel sometimes old and tired;” other days I wake up with the desire to strive, to be surprised and to persevere—with decency, affection, ideas and values.

    Armando, I liked your article. At 80 + I enjoy working out rigorously with a trainer twice a week in a gym. To keep my mind exercised I will enter Spokane Falls Community College in the fall and learn Spanish 5 days a week. I just got back from Raleigh, NC where I have 3 grandchildren who are also…

  • Persoanally i love these signs and posters and wish more of the same. Better than the imperialist and facist signs

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