By (El Toque)
From the Facebook page of Cuban photographer Raul Prado
HAVANA TIMES – On July 11th, I experienced violence and impunity at the hands of others, as part of a group of persons who were peacefully protesting and demanding to be heard.
But how do you talk to somebody who doesn’t want to listen to you? How do you talk to somebody who is shouting in your face when they have no idea who you are? How do you talk to somebody who hits you, full of rage? How do you talk to somebody who is provoking you to fall into the mistake of responding with violence?
We never did! We never responded and will never respond with violence; it isn’t in our nature, we aren’t violent, we are citizens of a country that is diverse and we demand to be heard.
That day, the only thing that came to my mind to do, as I was being arrested in a violent and illegal manner, was to sing the National Anthem, our Anthem, the Anthem of every Cuban.
Five days after our all of our rights were violated, I have no hate, no resentment; in spite of all of the crude manipulation that appears in our national media in their coverage of events that day; in spite of the lies, in spite of the Government’s call to set the population against one another; in spite of calling us “outcasts”, “confused”, etc.
In spite of all of this, and to tell you the truth, the only thing I feel is sadness and disappointment for a State that has decided to turn a deaf ear to its people’s complaints. You can’t build with hate or deafness; this cement just doesn’t harden.
Today, somebody drew my attention to an almost premonitory relationship with my short story “Alberto”. I never thought I would suffer an act of repudiation like my character suffered. If only we come to understand, like at the end of my story, that the future belongs to our youth, to everyone, to each and every one of us. Hope lies in us. Listen to our generation. We have a lot to say, and do it for the sake of building a pluralistic country where each and every Cuban fits.
This is what our lives are committed to… we are #altogether in this.
We are still not being listened to for now, with hundreds of people behind bars and collecting medicines so we can continue to send them to different provinces all over the country. Every little pill helps and a lot!
*This testimony from documentary photographer Raul Prado was originally posted on his Facebook page and has been reproduced here with his authorization.