For Sucelys, to Be Reborn Tomorrow
For Sucelys*, to Be Reborn Tomorrow / Jeovany Jimenez Vega
Posted on June 4, 2015
And Jesus said: Father, forgive them, because they know not what they do.
I write without knowing if she will get to read these words, or if she
would understand them, because there are matters in life that take us a
minute or perhaps an hour to understand, but others take a year, and
there will undoubtedly be some that will take a whole lifetime.
Every time I view the video in which she screams at that journalist in
Panama, amidst all the vulgarity of the scene, that she financed her
airfare with her miserable salary, it does not cease to amaze me.
How could she lie like that, when even a child knows that this is
impossible, that all those costs were subsidized by the government?
Could she explain how she was able to get by without buying clothes or
shoes, how she was able to survive without buying food for years, and
all while wholly saving the salary that her “Revolution” pays her so
that she could travel for those couple of days to the Summit, only to
add her yelling to the din of another hundred activists in the official
“civil society,” who supposedly made similar “sacrifices”?
Her lost gaze in Panama provokes more than shame, sadness; there is no
conviction behind those shouts, only alienation and fanaticism. Even so,
she was honest when she confirmed that the Cuban people funded her expenses.
Perhaps she should have been more cautious, because she was speaking at
that moment about something that cuts deep: that Rapid Response
Brigade that Raúl Castro sent to Panama to scream (really, they did
nothing else) financed their travel with money not paid to my
colleagues–doctors and nurses–nor to my children’s teachers, and the
thousands of Cuban retirees who survive on eight dollars per month.
This money could have been used to restore a Havana that is at the point
of collapse, to repair the millions of potholes, improve the lamentable
state of the water supply or our deplorable public transportation
system–evils that persist after decades of mis-government that squanders
the national treasure on repulsive political “lobbies” such as the one
that boycotted, with its egocentric bluster, the forum in Panama.
But, at heart, I understand her. Like her today, I, too, one day
believed in the Revolution–with a pure faith I believed in mine, the
inner one, the one I never reference in quotation marks–when all the
trumpets seemed to herald our apocalypse beneath the storm clouds of
1994. At that time, the future became full of uncertainties, just as the
extensive waters of the Florida Straits became full of live balseros
[rafters] and dead memories.
At my age of 23 years, having lived under the aegis of absolutism and
the megalomaniac cult of the “big brother” iconoclast, I, too, was a
fervent militant of her UJC [Young Communist League]. I did not want
to–or did not know how to–or could not–(perhaps I will never know for
certain) assume another posture.
And while this was going on, Sucelys was still dressing her last dolls,
but she had not even been born in 1980, when some Cubans as alienated as
she stopped viewing other Cubans as brothers and sisters, and hurled the
same offenses that she recycled today in Panama, initiating this era of
shame that still haunts us.
But one fine day, my reason adjusted its glasses, I understood, little
by little, the terrible error of my distorted view, and that
tyrant–formerly irreproachable–became smaller and smaller in my eyes,
and returned before me to his natural condition of cockroach.
I awoke one fine day questioning myself on everything, and when I found
the answers, there was no going back: I definitively disconnected myself
from that matrix and questioned all my assumptions, pulverizing some and
reaffirming others, but being born again in the process, from a position
of personal liberty, definitively more tolerant of others, and more at
peace with myself.
As history tends to repeat itself in the form of a farce, I thank God
for not having placed me then in the saddest role of the scene, for
having wisely shielded me from playing the part of a hired gun.
I don’t know if she will someday be able to be reborn, but I can’t help
but be saddened to see her girlish eyes racked with hate, her hands that
are meant to soothe a child or friend making the gestures of war, and
screaming lies that darker and more-sinister others placed in her mouth,
the mouth of a daughter, mother or lover.
A good Cuban used to say that in a dictatorship, all of us are
victims–including the tyrant, who is the most tortured by his fear–and
that almost always, the most captive are those who least perceive their
Sucelys, brilliant psychologist that she is, must know that in this
truth is hidden the key to man’s alienation, to his dissolution en masse
until all that’s left is that amorphous and malleable material subject
to the whims of the tyrant.
The Social Forum convened at the Seventh Summit of the Americas should
have served, at least, to enable the civil societies of America to
extract one clear lesson: this is what happens when a totalitarian
dictatorship takes over the designs of an entire nation, and alienates
In Panama all were witnesses to the transformation of man to beast, to
irrational being, to automaton repeating screams and empty slogans but
unable to exchange coherent arguments in a quiet voice. May this serve
as one more proof that the sleep of reason engenders monsters.
This is why today I wish to leave the balm of forgiveness and harmony on
the wound that this foreign shame inflicted on Panama, because the
homeland always needs more bridges and fewer walls, and the day will
come when Sucelys’ gaze will be cleansed of rancor.
I dream of that day being so beautiful and purifying that the hired
guns of today will also become, thanks to the miracle of redemption,
part of the authentic civil society of tomorrow. This message will wait,
as though in a bottle tossed to the sea, to be read when the rebirth
* This post is in the form of an open letter from the author, Jeovany
Jimenez Vega, to Sucelys Morfa Gonzalez. Morfa was part of a contingent
of Cuban government supporters ostensibly sent to Panama to challenge
dissidents attending the Seventh Summit of the Americas in April,
2015. This article from HavanaTimes.Org provides more background about
her. Regarding the incident itself, this report from independent Cuban
news site 14yMedio was filed on the day it occurred.
Translated by: Alicia Barraqué Ellison
Source: For Sucelys*, to Be Reborn Tomorrow / Jeovany Jimenez Vega |
Translating Cuba –