Maria Matienzo Puerto

Alamar. Foto: Caridad

“My son is at the age where he reads everything,” commented Juliette, a French friend of mine who’s married to a regular Cuban guy. In love with her husband and this country, she wants their son to be educated and grow up thinking like a Cuban; therefore they live, without too many luxuries, in the end of the world that Alamar can be.

But Alamar, first created as a bedroom community for soldiers and police officers, is an “unassailable bastion” of the revolutionary process. As for Juliette, though she sometimes would like to, she’s unable to block out this ideological invasion from her child.

“My son is at the age of reading everything, that’s his biggest concern. He has even read the uncompromising billboards around town, including the one at the entrance to Alamar. That sign reads: ‘The party is the guarantee of the historical continuity of the revolution!’”

The conflict of concern to my French friend began when her son asked her to explain to him what that meant.

But how can one explain a statement of principles that emphasizes the exclusionary character of “this,” what they call the revolution.

Because in the case where some of us would like to continue and advance “this,” ipso facto, with that thought, we are excluded.

This is not even mentioning that “their” party continues being old or thinking like the old. So are they condemning us to this drabness, to filthy streets and to emigration for everyone who doesn’t fit in?

And if they say that only “they” guarantee the “historical continuity,” is it because the rest of us only offer cheap labor.

Thinking about it carefully, they’re right. That’s the only way to continue this farce.

Perhaps by force of habit, people don’t even read those huge signs, but what blatant nerve they represent.

My French friend asked me for advice, but all I had was reservations.


Maria Matienzo

Maria Matienzo Puerto: I dreamed once that I was a butterfly who had come from Africa and discovered that I had been alive for thirty years. From that time on, I constructed my world while I was sleeping: I was born in a magic city like Havana; I dedicated myself to journalism; I wrote and edited books for children; I met to discuss art with wonderful people; I fell in love with a woman. Of course, there are certain points of coincidence with the reality of my waking life and it’s that I prefer the silence of reading and the pleasure of a good movie.

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