Maria Matienzo Puerto
HAVANA TIMES — The other day talking with Amaury (a member of Omni-Zonafranca) the subject of hate came up. I find Amaury captivating. He, Iris and their children know that. So I promised him that I ever time I could, I was going to write seeking reconciliation between all Cubans in the world, even though my writings are just a grain of sugar.
Here’s my first story.
Two months ago I was invited to an event honoring the previously ostracized Cuba poet Virgilio Piñera (1912-1979), and in my speech I mentioned those officials that at some point had done something that made the writer had fear. I called them “executioners,” and I wondered aloud how they must be feeling with so many celebrations of the centennial of his birth.
When I finished, a man came over to me and asked if calling people executioners was some type of fad. From his face, I realized that he was one of “them.”
I replied in a sharp manner saying that I didn’t know if it was a fad or not, though I hadn’t heard anyone else describing them like that. I told him that I only said what I thought. But he, like someone speaking to a child, began lecturing me.
He said that I needed to look at things in context. He explained that at that time he was the general secretary of the Young Communists of a municipality (I forget which one) and that — for example — this other writer of the time (turning around and pointing his finger at Anton Arrufat), “We had to send him off to work in a library in the middle of nowhere.”
He gave a litany of stale reasons, which I noted in detail, while I wondered …why me? …why this rant? …why the attack of conscience.
It was obvious. The man was seeking forgiveness – at least that’s the way it seemed so to me.
When he finished I didn’t utter a single word. I just thought, “Maybe God will forgive you.” And I ignored him completely.
That’s not the only story I have on that topic. I think that one day the people who took part in that game of violence and hysteria, of envy and misery, today are looking within themselves.
When it comes to pain, it’s hard to forgive…to move on. I myself, I don’t know if I could forget easily. I know it’s not easy.
The story surrounding us Cubans is sad. However, I think the only way to be truly united is by first forgiving ourselves.