Vicente Morin Aguado
HAVANA TIMES — Long live the Dictatorship!, somebody dared to write hundreds of meters away from Revolution Square, on the wall of a building which belongs to Havana University, near the Calixto Garcia Hospital. Encouraging the already steady flow of people here, a wide transport road serves as an escape route for some of the parade goers who come from the famous plaza of a million Cubans.
This piece of grafitti, unique in what it said, saw the break of dawn on May 1st, a clear nod to daring painters who stand up to the false unanimity which clouds our everyday. They chose the site for their words well, as it is a busy place but uninhabited at the same time. Only inevitable passers-by made the police get hot under their collars, as they tried to stop so many mobile phones from taking photos.
Marcos (not his real name because disclosing his real one would be impossible), tells me: “They were definitely original this time, instead of writing down with, they wrote Long live! because this (dictatorship?) is here to stay. To top things off, it was written in big, red letters. People are becoming bolder, the days of applause without a response are over.”
Policemen in uniform go from issuing threats to taking action, arresting some people and taking so-called cellphones from various people. According to the government’s unconfessed concept, their orders are to prevent the embarrassment these dissident opinions written in everyone’s plain sight cause, which can break the State/Party’s usual information monopoly.
Finally, the young man, who has just spent a night looking after a patient at the Hospital’s Guard Building, gets his video, not without risking losing his expensive device and spending some unpleasant hours in God knows what police station. A guard tries to stop him in fraganti but the man pretends he doesn’t understand, quickens his pace and manages to lose himself among the crowd of curious passers-by. There are too many “photographers” for so few repressors.
They have just formed a small brigade of volunteers, equipped with coarse pieces of cloth which they dampen with dark colored paint. In their attempt to wipe out their embarrassment, they leave the words “Long Live” to last, focusing on the longer one, of course, not because it has the most letters but because some daring people stamped this uneasy name like a disturbing sound which can break the forced silence, imposed by slogans.
They will say that there were only a few, a “small group” of unappreciative individuals, but the worse thing is that they painted wholeheartedly, the small anti-painters squad will need a replacement to do away with the obstinate red which wants to persist until it sees the burial of those who invented something more than the dreaded word “dictatorship”.
Vicente Morin Aguado: [email protected]