Sitting on the Globe

By Leonid Lopez

Leonid Lopez
Leonid Lopez

What can I say that doesn’t seem deaf or blind? What path can I take where I don’t feel like an invalid? I hesitate to affirm anything because I have a negligible access to information. On the other hand, I can say without a doubt, that all of the Cuban media pass on the same discourse with the same take. A single formula with few variables. All of the world’s culture passes through the same political filter here. I really believe this; and often end up feeling that I am sitting on a world-globe where I can’t choose my reality.

I could spend my days and years complaining, becoming embittered and spiritless. But that’s not me. Nobody can take that choice away from another person. I still know that if you ask the right questions you’ll arrive at the answers. Reality doesn’t stop with external or internal blockades, and ends up shedding its masks at the close of the half-hearted search. Truth sometimes makes you feel a little insecure because it revitalizes you and you have to decide the next step, but its root is the surest backbone.

In doing this, I think I am also moving away from the circle of those that live on desperation. That decision is the only one that can inspire us to change reality even if it appears deaf, blind and crippled. Without a doubt I believe that we lack information in Cuba, and a thousand other things, but let’s try and do something noble and great with what we have and are. That’s what is truly missing and is the only path to knowledge.

3 thoughts on “<em>Sitting on the Globe</em>

  • October 24, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    I love this piece by Leonid Lopez – beautiful, poetic and makes an excellent point about the need for all of us in all systems (whichever we may find ourselves in) to struggle for a better life and a better world.

    I am a member of a Cuba solidarity group in Canada and a regular visitor to Cuba. I have several friends I stay with when i am in Cuba (with my family) and we try to live pretty much as Cubans do when we are there. As much as I love everything about Cuba it is easy to see the problems – and to start with people like this wonderful writer need to be given more room to “breathe”. If the system cannot grow in spirit and adopt a more democratic framework – it will eventually wither and die. Castro himself has recognized that the system may end up being its own worst enemy. And I say this as a “socialist” at hear!

    A great place to start (as in my capitalist society) in the struggle for reform (or revolution!) is democratic production and distribution of information. This is easy to say but hard to do. Good luck to Leonid Lopez, this site and to Cuba…many of us are watching and hoping.

    John Richmond
    Toronto, Canada

  • October 22, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    Pretty words Arthur Shaw.

    But what does it mean when 90 percent of the population is a misfit?

    This person is not in favour for a flat screen HDTV, or a new SUV or any other such ?bourgeois consumer goods? ? though like many here in Cuba he may be unable to buy a mattress, a new pair of shoes, or cooking oil regularly.

    He appears to be responding to the leadership?s partly real?partly perceived state of siege mentality that has induced it to close its ranks over the years (a other genuine effect of US opposition, which has taken its toll on Cuba?s socialist system).

    Yet to be critical of socialism is not necessarily anti-socialist whining. The adversarial social classes here have more to do with a closed leadership-bureaucratic strata and the great masses marginalized from true participation.

    I applaud him for his strength and the courage to criticize.

  • October 21, 2008 at 5:33 am

    Some people are cursed by an inborn antagonism between their ethics, that is, the thing inside of them that shapes their feelings and produces almost irresistible urges for them to act in certain ways, and the prevailing politics, that is, the struggle, raging in society, for power by adversarial social classes, usually and chiefly a struggle between rich and poor.

    Can you imagine the unbearable torment of a proletarian soul that finds itself in bourgeois society?

    Or, similarly, can you imagine the agony of the bourgeois soul that finds itself in a socialist milieu, short on some or most consumer goods, otherwise taken for granted by those blessed with employment in bourgeois society.

    The contradiction between ethics and politics is not just ideological, it’s a mathematical object that reaches out to certainty for a certain category of citizens … perhaps Arthur Miller’s ‘misfits” is what we should call them … regardless of the social and economic character of the society in which fate bestows on the misbegotten.

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