Dmitri Prieto

Havana St. Photo: Kelly Knaub

HAVANA TIMES, Dec 16 — I was recently on my way to work walking along the streets of Old Havana, the ones between the Loma del Angel and Avenida del Puerto.

In this area are located the headquarters of the Union of Young Communists, the Comptroler’s offices and the office of the Catholic Archbishop of Havana, all nestled between buildings inhabited by poor people and a few apartments for rent.

On the pavement in front of me I spotted a small black cat laying into a ball, as cats often do when they sleep.

I was startled when I saw that around its muzzle was a small pool of blood and under its tail was another pool, but of liquid excrement.

I recalled how a few months prior I had walked through this same area with my girlfriend and had come upon another cat lying squashed in the middle of the street. This one had its eyes popping out of its sockets; they were hanging down the sides of its head like two densely white marbles.

Seeing this, my companion began calling this street “the ugliest one in the world.”

I then remembered that years earlier in Cuba there was a famous rock band called “Golden Popeye Theory.”

I believe that — in addition to having a strange name — the group had won various awards, including one from the Lucas TV program that promotes Cuban music videos.

I do not know where those rockers are now, but at the height of their fame they used to come out on stage in their concerts dressed in costumes made out of boxes with hostile-looking faces painted on them.

They would also bring out a live rabbit with a long leather strip tied around its neck. Then, in the middle of the concert, they would swing the rabbit around violently until it reached a speed sufficient to smash the body of the animal on the floor of the theater.

People would be sprayed with the blood that gushed from the rabbit, while the electric guitars continued with their strident chords and the audience went crazy – thrilled over the sight.

I have no moral for this post.


Dimitri Prieto-Samsonov

Dmitri Prieto-Samsonov: I define myself as being either Cuban-Russian or Russian-Cuban, indiscriminately. I was born in Moscow in 1972 of a Russian mother and a Cuban father. I lived in the USSR until I was 13, although I was already familiar with Cuba-- where we would take our vacation almost every year. I currently live on the fifth floor of an apartment building in Santa Cruz del Norte, near the sea. I’ve studied biochemistry and law in Havana and anthropology in London. I’ve written about molecular biology, philosophy and anarchism, although I enjoy reading more than writing. I am currently teaching in the Agrarian University of Havana. I believe in God and in the possibility of a free society. Together with other people, that’s what we’re into: breaking down walls and routines.

One thought on “The End of Two Cuban Cats and a Few Rabbits

  • There is no excuse for this – no matter what political philosophy or economic condition – inhumane treatment of animals is a measure of a peoples’ moral and ethical collective state of mind. Has it degraded so much in Cuba that no one cares or are they too afraid to stop the inhumanity? These are incredibly sad observations.
    The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated” ~Gandhi

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