Cubans and the Salt Cure

Francisco Castro

Picture from a distance of the Santiago de Cuba gasoline spill. Photo:

HAVANA TIMES — We got a clear picture of what we Cubans are made of last year, when a gas station in Santiago de Cuba blew up. That was perhaps one of the most painful confirmations that Cubans are made of a spineless slime: those people splashing about over the spilt gasoline, as though it were a puddle of water…for God’s sake…

I had the misfortune of seeing the video that almost all of Cuba saw, and no thanks to the official media, of course. I had the impression I was seeing zombies, that what flows through our veins is no longer blood, that our bodies are no longer made of flesh and bone, that our skulls no longer hold anything resembling brain matter. That we Cubans are made of slime.

This is something we all know, and we don’t care. We’re so confident the slime we’re made of and the slime that surrounds us is so stable and strong, that we’re not moved when we see people who do have blood flowing through their veins and take to the street to protest against injustice, people who do this because they are alive, know their rights and, above all, aren’t afraid to speak out.

Yes: there are people who aren’t afraid to demand their rights, people who are only afraid of being swallowed up by stagnation.

That doesn’t move us much. It seems we’re comfortable in our slime. We’re raped and we take it, because it’s easier for us to stand a little bit of pain every day than to change things, provided every day, after raping us, they put some cold presses on us to reduce the swelling. We’re sick.

Stagnation has made us sick. Sick with fear, sick with conformism. Our absurd lives have corroded us. We see our bodies rot and we do nothing to stop this. We prefer to go on living with our chewed-up, foul-smelling extremities, rather than rip those right out.

The illness suffered by Cubans doesn’t have an easy cure. It calls for a violent cure, something like rubbing salt on mouth sores until they are bloody. Only this way can the sore be disinfected and healed.

The illness suffered by Cubans is cured with salt. A salt that can dissolve the slime that we Cubans are made of. Salt that can disinfect the wound, that forces the pus out, that closes the wound. Salt that can kill the disease, before it becomes venereal.

Francisco Castro

Francisco Castro:Everything becomes simpler when one crosses the line of thirty. That does not make it easier, but rather the opposite. There I am on the other side of the line, trying to figure out, what little I know about art, politics, economy ... life, how to move without breaking oaths that seemed essential, how not to give up, how to make the years spent into a beacon to the future.