I don’t attend lunch: apology for mistreatment in stores

Wait a minute, I’m having lunch,” one of the stalls of the downtown El Cadete store, located at the intersection of Monte and Águila streets in Old Havana, told customers on duty. Nothing has changed since Resolution No. 54 of 2018 on consumer protection in the internal trading system came into force on 3 June. For Leticia, a resident of Centro Habana, “the thing is not only that we have rights as consumers, but that they also have as sellers”. A fair analysis that very few would be able to understand, because no one can be in solidarity with inefficiency and mistreatment in state institutions.

It is enough to stand at a counter for five minutes and collect some impressions to understand the odyssey that is to buy between 11 and half in the morning and 2 in the afternoon.

“Do you know how many times I’ve gone without buying anything because I’m not looking for a problem?” asks a client. Another alleges that, if you have a relationship with a salesgirl, you may have better luck.

“If you take any of them with you, go and let go of the well and attend to you. They have the right to lunch and we what?” asks the woman.

“In Carlos III, enchanted by life, they close an entire apartment for you because the girl went to lunch,” says another client about a situation that is repeated over and over again in most Cuban stores.

For its part, the “Sensación” shop, one of the kiosks in Belascoaín, claims its right. “People are wrong, one is a human being too and I have to have lunch. This is not capitalism,” he says.

“If this were capitalism, they’d be shitting their pants,” says a woman named Xiomara. According to a friend, in other countries things don’t stop, that is, what she is having lunch, there is another cashier replacing her so that the sale doesn’t stop and people continue consuming.

“They neither stop nor close for lunch,” explains Xiomara, who seems to have a less distorted idea of what services and rights are in a system like capitalism, always caricatured in the official media.

Another Ultra store contributes its reasons to the debate and believes that the main problem is lack of companionship and mistrust.

“I prefer not to be replaced for a minute, which, if I move, I get. It’s happened to me several times, and what’s missing, I have to put in my pocket,” says the woman, which explains how inside each store there can be a group of saleswomen who obviously are not doing anything and can never replace those who need to be absent for an instant from work.

“Here it was taken as a measure that no one replaces anyone to avoid misunderstandings,” says a saleswoman in a store in Alamar, who claims that “not everyone knows how to do this,” as if to serve the public, sell products with a smile and give a correct change, you should do a master’s degree in science.

A Focsa clerk who didn’t want to identify himself correctly assures that “everyone who comes to work in a shop can’t do anything” and explains the network of “overcoming” that increases the category and possibilities of the workers.

“Because the nail is also mistreatment,” says Cecilia. “Then they don’t want to be called thieves, and we’re the snitches if we complain,” he adds.

The list of maltreatment in stores and shopping malls is long. Many times they don’t get back at any time of the day no matter how much they’ve sold. Others do not allow more than four customers within the markets, while the rest queues under the sun. Meat and refrigerators that are locked with keys. In many cases there is no one in charge of taking out the products. All this coupled with more institutional mistreatment that responds to regulations that nobody knows where they came from or who dictated them.

Cecilia believes that all these situations have led people to lose perspective on the issue: “Sometimes we treat each other as if we were animals.”

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United States limits the tourist visa for Cubans

United States limits the tourist visa for Cubans

Alignment of reciprocity

We inform you that the U.S. Embassy in Havana established that since March 18, 2019, the type B-2 visa, used for tourism trips and family visits. Now, it has been reduced its validity to three months and a single entry.

The Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Mara Tekach, made the announcement. She explained that this is an alignment of reciprocity that is taking place in all countries.

She said : “when a country grants a visa or tourist card to U.S. citizens for a certain period of time, we will do the same with the citizens of that country who receive a U.S. visa”.

In this sense, Tekach, specified that the modification is based on the fact that Cuba gives U.S. visitors a ticket valid for only two months, with a possible extension for an additional month. On the other hand, for this category, the United States gives Cuban citizens multiple-entry visas valid for five years.

Mara Tekach also made it clear that the modification does not affect other visa categories for Cuban citizens. For example, this regulation does not affect to B1 visas for business travel or events, or F visas for academic or language studies.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Lydia Barraza told to Univision journalist Mario Vallejo, that the measure will not be applied retroactively. For this reason, the people with multiple-entry visas to the United States can continue to enter the country until their permits expire.

Next, you can find the communiqué issued by the U.S. Embassy in Havana:

Reduction of the Validity of the B2 Visa for Cuban Nationals

Beginning March 18, 2019, the United States will reduce the validity of the B2 visa for Cuban nationals to three months with one entry. U.S. immigration law provides that visa fees and visa validity periods are reciprocal, whenever feasible, with the treatment offered to U.S. citizens. Cuba grants U.S. tourists single-entry visas for a two-month stay, extendable for another 30 days for a total of three months, for a fee of $50. Before the change in validity, we granted Cuban B2 visa applicants a multiple-entry visa with 60 months validity for $160. The State Department has reduced the validity of the B2 visa to three months and a single entry for Cuban nationals to match the lower validity granted by the Cuban government to U.S. citizens in similar categories.

The B2 visa category is for tourism, family visits, medical treatment and similar travel purposes. No other visa categories for Cuban nationals will be subject to modification.

If you are thinking travel to Cuba, take care about all these regulations.

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Moderates and reformists are not seen coming

Moderates and reformists are not seen coming

People who are in favor of democracy should be happy that they do not appear

The hard-line retransmitters have been reinforced within the Cuban regime. The situation in Venezuela and the hardening of US policy towards Cuba, with its repercussions on the economy, have made harden their discourse.

Not in vain did the term “communism“, return to the final text of the new Constitution. And those who oppose irrevocable socialism and the single party are also threatened.

The struggles perceived in the heights have ceased. It is not a good time for moderates and reformers to appear. Only the monologue is continuous and monotonous. The words that always appeals to the past.

One or another provincial secretary of the Communist Party sometimes shows some concern for the improvement of the living conditions of the population. But those few are overcome, in number and influence, by the indolent and incapable officials and also the corrupt ones.

The ministers in their Twitter accounts, instead of interacting with the population, they show their arrogance and block those who question their way of acting.

Changes in the regim

Firstly, the changes in these regimes usually do not bring good results. They derive easily into authoritarian governments and little attachment to legality. Eastern Europe had an experience like that. On the contrary, in countries where former communists and repressors retained quotas of power, they hindered change, continued corruption and even blackmailed democrats.

The extreme cases of failed transitions are Russia, Belarus and some former Soviet republics of Central Asia. Something like this could happen in Cuba if the communist nomenclature leads the changes.

To stop everithing, we would need a strong, coherent, determined and secure opposition leadership.

Opponents, beyond their courage to face repression, have not yet formed a united, solid and coherent front.
The population can not escape the fear, apathy and inertia achieved by the 60 years of dictatorship.

In the recent constitutional referendum it was demonstrated. We know that the regime manipulated the results.
At this point, the voting centers should have been empty.

When all those people voted yes out of fear, out of inertia refuse to meekly accept the impositions of the regime.
One way or another, the moment of change will come.


Not only among the population there is hypocrisy and simulation, there is also hypocrisy among many officials of the government. They are aware of the disaster, but who remain crouching, waiting for the moment to appear through the reformers and Save what you can from your power and privileges. With luck, by then, the true democrats will be prepared to face them and not allow them tricks and deception.

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Cuba again denies acoustic attacks against U.S. and Canadian diplomats

Cuba again denies acoustic attacks against U.S. and Canadian diplomats

The specialists argue that it could not be feasible to have directed sonic, acoustic or microwave attacks against those affected.

Cuba today revealed the content of its own investigations. They investigated into the health incidents for which dozens of U.S. and Canadian diplomats and officials left Havana. Then, once again rejected any acoustic attack.

Finally, Cuban experts concluded that “there is no evidence attached to the science that justifies the term attack,” said the U.S. director of the Cuban Foreign Ministry, Carlos Fernández de Cossío.

Up to 26 U.S. and 14 Canadian officials and diplomats stationed in Havana, have presented different symptoms such as:

  • Brain lesions.
  • Dizziness.
  • Headaches.
  • Lack of concentration.

Symptoms for reasons that are still unknown.

For this reason, both embassies have reduced their personnel to a minimum. Also, some US authorities have described these incidents as acoustic “attacks”, which have caused strong tensions.

The true reasons

At today’s press conference in Havana, a group of Cuban specialists revealing for the first time the content of their research carried out in parallel to that carried out in the United States.

Supported by their own data, the Cuban specialists argued that it could not have been feasible to have directed sonic, acoustic or microwave attacks. They afirm that the symptoms they present would not correspond to that alleged cause either.

In addition, they minimized the importance of the disorders suffered by U.S. and Canadian officials by considering that they could largely be due to pre-existing conditions. For example, psychological causes such as the “influence of social networks, government, physicians, and the media,” according to their report.

Then, they accused the United States of not having cooperated enough in the investigation. On the other hand, with Canada the collaboration is more fluid although without tangible results at the moment.

For his part, Fernández de Cossío directly accused Donald Trump’s government of “manipulating” the information and issuing “unfounded accusations” to blame Havana for the alleged attacks.

As a result, the head of relations with the United States reiterated that Cuba “guarantees the security of all diplomatic missions and their personnel”. Also, he reiterated its willingness to cooperate in discovering the origin of the mysterious incidents. It continues to be an unknown.

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Cuban lawyers denounce a link between ETECSA and State Security

The lawyers criticize the breaches of contract and constitutional faults in which ETECSA incurs when it interrupts the service of its clients by orders of the political police.

According to the news, several Cuban jurists rejected the continuous interventions of the Cuban Telecommunications Company (ETECSA) in the privacy of the island’s users.

On this occasion, the lawyers have denounced the flagrant violations of contract and constitutional faults. It is incurred by the state monopoly when it interrupts the service of its clients by orders of the State Security.

“As they usually do, they cut my phone and my wife’s, and when I went to complain to ETECSA, the person in the office put my number on the computer and the phone miraculously resurrected,” lawyer and independent journalist Alberto Méndez Castelló told Radio Martí.

The law

In this sense, the jurist points out that it is the current Constitution itself (1976) that, in its article 57, defends the right to communication.

Likewise, Méndez Castelló also points out that article 289 of the Cuban Penal Code penalizes this procedure.

“Anyone who, without being authorized, opens a letter, telegram, dispatch or any correspondence belonging to another is punished with a deprivation of liberty of three months to one year or a fine of one hundred to three hundred quotas”, the aforementioned article states, adding that if the crime is committed by a public official or employee, with abuse of office, the sanction is deprivation of liberty of six months to two years or a fine of two hundred to five hundred quotas.

“No state has the right to penetrate, to know – if not by a court order, and duly substantiated – communications, because they are part of people’s private lives,” explained also lawyer and independent journalist Roberto Jesús Quiñones Haces.

ETECSA’s repeated failure to respect users’ privacy and guarantee the quality of services has also been denounced by the Cuban Human Rights Observatory, based in Madrid.

For this reason, the organization requested the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy, Joseph Cannataci, to intervene on “illegal actions that violate the right to privacy and inviolability of communications” in Cuba.

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An “anti-revolutionary” party for Cuba and Venezuela

The Anti-Revolutionary Party was an Orthodox Protestant political party founded in Holland in 1879 by Abraham Kuyper, a Protestant pastor and theologian. The Anti-Revolutionary Party was solidly opposed to the “liberté, égalité and fraternité” ideals of the French Revolution. Instead of freedom, equality and fraternity, the Anti-Revolutionary Party favored divine providence, hierarchy and “pillarization” (vertical segregation of society into “pillars” or columns). As I do not like revolutions, I mention the Anti-Revolutionary Party in this article only so that the reader will know that I did not invent the name.

In political science, a revolution is defined as a fundamental and abrupt change in political power, which typically occurs when a population rebels against the government because of perceived political, social or economic oppression. But in mechanical revolution means practically the opposite. It is defined as returning to the starting point, rotation in a central axis that returns to where the movement began. Or, as Cubans and Venezuelans have discovered, revolution often means circling to nowhere.

So a fundamental question for a new generation of opposition leaders is how to point out a route of change in their countries that does not return to the starting point of revolutions. That is, how to constitute and install a representative government based on popular sovereignty and the will of the majority. This is a challenge, given that the recent history of Cuba and Venezuela does not provide much vision and direction for the future. It is a history of a muted and static political culture that only teaches what systems of government do not work.

Consider the implications for Cuba and Venezuela of an example cited by historian Susan Dunn in her excellent book “Sister Revolutions. At the end of the French Revolution, the term “republic” became a discredited idea in France. “In a plebiscite in 1799 the people of France voted for the constitution guaranteeing Napoleon’s autocracy. The result was 3,011,007 times 1,562.” In other words, they voted overwhelmingly in favour of a dictatorship.

The French wanted then the stability that Napoleon offered. France wouldn’t know a republican government for the next 72 years. The vote for a “strong man” took place after only ten years of the French Revolution. When I write, the Venezuelan and Cuban revolutions are twenty and sixty years old respectively. Who remembers today in Cuba what a representative government implies?

In totalitarian and authoritarian states such as Cuba and Venezuela the absence of a vigorous, competitive and inclusive political culture means that society lacks political vision. Any existing political conception will be of the wrong kind.

Alexis de Tocqueville, commenting on the French Revolution, pointed out that the absence of political freedoms had made the world of political affairs not only strange, but invisible to the French. His recipe for successful change demanded intense political vision and practical experience in representative political institutions. But in 18th century France there was no practical experience in representative governments, as there is currently no such experience in Cuba or Venezuela. For Tocqueville, it was impossible for the France of his time to produce leaders capable of establishing a virtuous democracy. Is this the current situation of Cuba and Venezuela?

Thomas Jefferson was also not impressed by France’s aptitude for serious political culture. In a letter to Abigail Adams, he wrote that “all one can do for the French is pray that heaven will send them good kings” (Dunn). Somehow, Cuba and Venezuela, overwhelmed with institutions that do not correspond to a free future and plagued with a political class alien to representative politics, must find an anti-revolutionary path of transformation. I refuse to accept that the best we can hope for is heaven sending us good dictators.

Hopefully, the future of Cuba and Venezuela will not be determined by history but by solid political thought. At one point in his life, Jefferson updated his intense revolutionary thinking: “We must be content with traveling to perfection, step by step. Perhaps, but Cuba and Venezuela have to use their imagination to define, in freedom, an anti-revolutionary political future.

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Santiago de Cuba City Hall: another museum dedicated to Fidel Castro

Just in the historic center of the city of Santiago de Cuba lies one of the most iconic buildings of the second most important city in the country, the former City Hall of the city, protagonist of the most important events, traditions and the lens of thousands of Cuban and foreign photographic lenses.

For several months now, an unusual movement of construction workers has been attracting attention, as well as the placement of scaffolding on the façade of the building, which gave rise to the rumor circulating in the first few days that it was a repair, as part of the new image of the Caribbean Capital.

However, to the disappointment of the santiagueros, this time the local will cease to fulfill its functions as regent of the economic, political and social life of Santiago de Cuba, to become another place of worship to the figure of the dictator Fidel Castro, as well as a tribute to the First Eastern Front.

The building that was the municipal headquarters of the People’s Power Assembly will be equipped with the latest technologies, similar to those used in the Palacio del Segundo Cabo, in Havana. The façade and the interior of the site will be remodelled.

In front of the old Town Hall is the Cathedral Basilica Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, another picture of the city of Santiago, and right in the middle of both colonial buildings is the Céspedes Park, protagonist of the countless struggles of the Cuban people for their freedom, in which many Cuban dissidents and other members of civil society have carried out protests, despite having been repressed and beaten again and again.

In this sense, some santiagueros have stated that the sudden change of the Municipal Government is due to the protests carried out in its surroundings. “Opponents and people with housing problems and unfavourable situations always choose Céspedes Park to protest, because it is located in one of the busiest places, and is in front of the hotel Casa Granda, so there are many foreigners. In addition, being the Municipal Government is the best place to protest,” said a worker at the Casa de Diego Velásquez Museum, considered the oldest home in Latin America.

The Municipal Government is now nestled in Avenida Las Américas, an area of little concentration of people and that, according to Carlos, a young bricklayer who is working in the City Hall, “there the one who protests disappears and nobody finds out, that area is more grass than anything else,” he told CubaNet.

On the other hand, several historians and architects of the city denounce their dissatisfaction with the unannounced change. “How can a heritage installation change its functions from one day to the next, for whatever reason? Without revealing its identity, one of the historians of Santiago de Cuba, with more than 40 years studying the heritage of the eastern province, questioned himself.

“In any case, you have to consult with the inhabitants of the city and know their opinion about it,” added the researcher later.

Likewise, a Santiago architect, who despite his disagreement chose to remain anonymous for fear of being reprimanded for his opinions, said that “the Santiago de Cuba City Hall has always been a place of government management, and it would be a real lack of respect to change something so important in the sociopolitical life of the city, and, architecturally speaking, a jewel.

The official media, meanwhile, have kept the construction work in the Government House absolutely silent, and have not given an account of the reasons and who carries out the reconstruction work, thus maintaining the main concept of secrecy to which they are accustomed.

A young man sitting in Céspedes Park criticized the illogical relationship between the City Council and Fidel Castro: “Museo Primer Frente Oriental, now if they ate it, this building has nothing to do with the guerrilla front, much less with Fidel Castro, because, although he gave speeches from the balcony, this installation is not Fidel.

Later, the young man commented again, this time referring to a photographic gallery, with headquarters in the Palacio de Computación, also dedicated to Fidel Castro and the three eastern fronts: “Have you gone to the Joven Club de Enramadas? They put the entire lower floor dedicated to the commander, and in the back they are already building another museum for this gentleman, soon everything becomes Fidel,” he ironized.

Meanwhile, work on the building founded by Diego Velázquez in 1516 is progressing by leaps and bounds, showing, according to many, “great enthusiasm on the part of the Communist Party authorities.

“Fidel Castro made many speeches from that balcony, but that does not mean that the building can become a tribute to him, as if he had done it, in any case they would have to pay homage or dedicate an exhibition hall to the founders of the village,” suggested Claudio Santos, resident of Santiago.

Although no dates are known for the completion of the construction works of the First Eastern Front Museum, it is foreseen that they will soon be completed, and although the building will maintain its structure in the form of a ring, with galleries surrounding it, continuous balconies and wooden bars, in addition to its Spanish style doors, its initial and immutable essence throughout the five centuries of the town will be violently seized by ideological imposition and revolutionary cult.

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Nicaragua, the new springboard for Cubans to the U.S.

The situation of Cuban migrants

Some Cuban migrants stranded on the border between Mexico and the US explained that they left the Island in the direction of Nicaragua.

The exodus of Cubans seeking to reach the United States through Central America does not stop. If before Ecuador, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago were the bridges to begin the journey, now it is Nicaragua. This country facilitates the access of Cubans to the mainland.

Certainly, several Cuban migrants stranded on the border between Mexico and the United States, who revealed that they had left the island for Nicaragua.

“In addition to those from Puerto Obaldía, there are dozens who have gone directly to Nicaragua,” Yonimiler Del Río Polo, a Cuban citizen told the newspaper.

Since the Central American country relaxed the conditions for granting visas to Cubans on January 23, not a few inhabitants of the island have taken advantage of the opportunity to fly to Nicaragua. It is a springboard from where they begin their journey to the U.S. border.

“You get a round-trip ticket and four days before the flight, you go to the embassy in Havana and they give you a visa,”  told a cuban citizen in Radio Television Martí.

According to the interviewee, at the Nicaraguan Embassy in Havana they only ask routine questions:

  • “What’s he going to Nicaragua for? You mean tourism or shopping. That’s enough, the consular officer stamps the visa in your passport and to fly,” said the cuban man.

Finally, the Cuban adds that it is obligatory to buy the ticket to the Venezuelan airline Conviansa or the Colombian airline Avianca, and that although good offers can be found, the trip can cost up to 1,300 dollars.

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Was Cuba’s destiny socialism?

We cannot take for granted what we call the force of destiny, but there is something mysterious in all that which regulates future events. For example, the chaining of events, where an inevitable and unavoidable end is reached.

Let us take the island of Cuba and the factors that influence it to think that something wrong is happening in its present, in opposition not only to its most recent past, but also to its most remote past and the circumstances surrounding both known periods.

Did you know that in Cuba a submerged city was discovered that the Castro government does not want to talk about? In 2001, almost 20 years ago, a couple of Canadian scientists from Advanced Digital, in collaboration with the government of the island, discovered in the waters of western Cuba, in an area of two kilometers and about 660 meters deep, the remains of a city, buildings called rocky constructs of an urban center development.

Despite the fact that National Geographic and the Canadian company announced the great discovery in the foreign press, the Castro brothers’ dictatorship has hidden it from the Cuban people. Reasons? Fidel can no longer respond, but Raul and his successor Diaz-Canel can.

We suppose that the brother dictators were horrified when they saw very closely the great possibility that our island has been part of the North American continent, that is, that we have belonged to that continent for thousands of years.

Then there are other events that continue to attract a lot of attention and that may belong to that chain of reasons, typical of an inexorable and uncontrollable force of destiny.

It was Spain and the United States that took part in the Treaty of Paris on December 10, 1898, where Spain relinquished ownership of Cuba and Washington assumed – or recovered? – power over the island, as if a mysterious force of Cuban-American land decided for itself.

A few years later the same thing happened, when precisely the USSR, in October 1962, took the decision to remove the nuclear rockets from the island and reached an agreement with Washington, as if Cuba were the youngest daughter without a voice and vote, secretly opposed to Fidel Castro’s obsessive aims of destroying the United States, as the dictator said in Iran a few years before his death.

Let us also remember the establishment of a subsidiary channel between the two countries and the return to the U.S. of 1200 Cuban prisoners after the invasion of the Bay of Pigs and what today represents for the Island an exile with more than one million Cubans.

Other facts also attract attention. For example, that in 1963 Fidel spoke of a modus vivendi for communication with Washington, that plans were made for secret conversations between the dictator and the United States, and that decades later the same thing happened between Obama and Raúl Castro.

A question comes to mind: Is it true that Fidel did not like the dependence on the Soviets, to become a satellite, which on several occasions wanted to obtain normal relations with the United States, despite the opposition of Che and other leaders?

And another compelling reason: Why hasn’t the United States succeeded in liberating Cuba from the failed communism that so harms the lives of eleven million Cubans with a few simple bombs against thermoelectric plants, which would paralyze the country and put an end to its socialist offspring? Could it be that the love that vibrates in the depths of its lands, a hidden love that neither time nor the power of the depths of the waters have been able to erase, has been able to do more?

Let us imagine that instead of raising the waters, they begin to descend to the north of Cuba. If this happens, we’d travel by bicycle to Miami. What do you think?

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The Light Republic III: a Work in Progress that continues to raise the temperature

Within the framework of the eighth edition of the Research and Creation Laboratory “Traspasos Escénicos”, convened by the Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA) between 4 and 9 March, the theatre group Cuban Cofee by Portazo´s Cooperative (CCPC), better known as “El Portazo”, offered two functions of what would be the third installment of the saga entitled “La República Light”, a work in progress in which they have been working for several years and which is fundamentally based on Cuban historical memory, identity and reality.

The famous Cultural Centre “El Sauce” hosted both presentations of the project, which aims to reflect on the history of the country, starting from its deconstruction, shedding light on its hidden areas and mixing a wide variety of scenic, visual and linguistic resources. The parody, the pastiche and the political satire go beyond the mere complaint or the denunciation to deepen in the daily life that crosses the Island, paying attention to the immediate events, the generational interests and even rumors that not because they are, they stop enclosing a possible truth.

The cheerful convoy of whores and anti-heroes, the extemporaneous militia and the irreverent pioneer who resists the doctrine gave life to a particularly crude script by director Pedro Franco and actress María Laura Germán, threaded on texts written by various authors, from Leonor Pérez and Cuban playwright Norge Espinosa, to Rubén Martínez Villena and Williams Quintana, one of the actors in “El Portazo”.

From laughter to tears of the soul, two hours passed of the best cabaret dressed with tenths, monologues brimming with lucidity and spicy humor, tributes to the bufo theater, emoticons and hashtags, all possible languages according to each topic that worries Cubans. Gender violence; the appropriation of patriotic symbols; the challenge of being young in these times; the weight of duty; as well as the danger posed by apologies are some of the delirious focuses in the work of Pedro Franco.

On stage the feminine goes beyond the biological condition to personify primordial concepts generically associated: the homeland, freedom, the flag, morality, the family. Hence the insistence on placing the national flag on a body that looks like a woman, proposing a double discourse on violence and gender identity that extends to an accumulation of values equally trampled underfoot by the tyrannical male.

There are moving passages that touch very sensitive fibers in Cubans and transcend the problematic assistance of emigration. This Republic that has nothing light, but illuminates very well what we are, focuses its interest on what has been lost through the paths of fear, censorship and oblivion.

The figure of the hero reappears, that decisive factor in the struggle of the peoples and which in our context seems reduced to dead letter. Thrown from its pedestal, lined with the most scandalous kitsch, the paradigm stands before its epitaph and upon the memory of others before it.

Democratically, the public is invited to vote for the hero of their choice. There are three options: Mella, Villena and Guiteras; just names in a book, although at the time they took the reins of history to die for social justice, equality, decency. Why would young Cubans die today? For the snitches, hypocrites, opportunists, thieves, corrupt guayabera; for the children and grandchildren of tropical maharajas who live in waste, while the children and grandchildren of ordinary people risk their lives on dangerous routes in search of prospects.

In order to dose the brutality of the message, there was no lack of intermediates of debauchery and enjoyment, because that is what the Cuban Coffee by Portazo´s Cooperative is all about, “where the fight is made into an art”. From pain to choteo and vice versa, which in Cuba cannot be otherwise, or it would burst our hearts in the chest.

Work in Progress was enriched by recent events and the circumstances surrounding them. Referendum, egalitarian marriage and the worsening economic situation were approached from an acid parody that, at times, bordered on self-flagellation; perhaps the only way the director found to make sense of what has no head or foot.

Once again we have to thank the actors for their dedication, the careful revision of the history of Cuban theatre and the hailstorm of signifiers that hammer the brain to provoke a real, physical pain, born of the indignation of looking at ourselves and discovering that we are a little less than we thought. Fortunately there is a theatre like the CCPC, dedicated to collecting each fragment of our identity to recompose it daily with laughter and tears. A theatre determined to grow the roots that apostates want to cut.

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