The Queen in Queen Street


Queen Street, our street of balconies and colonnades, of five peso pizzas and sewage running down the sidewalk. Avenue of shady deals and self-employment, with its furtive vendors advertising mattresses outside the stores and a Gothic church pointing to heaven. Along Queen Street children scamper to school in the morning, beggars stretch out their hands with a picture of Saint Lazarus, and prostitutes ply their trade at night. In its doorways there is room for everything, the beautiful and the rotten, the past and this present in halves that never quite come together, the smile and the grimace.

Yesterday, Queen Street’s noisy traffic stopped, the indigents rose from the ground and the food kiosks closed for a while. It was the day of pilgrimage of the Virgin of Charity, whose worship now spreads among Cubans after decades of forced atheism. Agnostics and the curious, devotees and political police, accompanied the entourage of a small image draped in its golden mantle. Many came with candles, sunflowers, dolls dressed as the Orisha deity Oshun, scarves and dresses in the color yellow. Thousands came through conviction and many others joined the procession to nose around. In a country where it’s not allowed to take to the streets as a form of peaceful protest, September 8th in Havana attracts parishioners as well as nonconformists.

Just at the moment when the “Queen” was turning into Queen Street, someone pulled out a poster with the word “Freedom.” It was just a second, but enough to live in anticipation — a biopsy in advance — the horror. People running, the plain clothes cops launching themselves at the hands that grasped that paper, and the contorted face of the priest, fearing the worst. For an instant, the image teetered among the petals placed around her. And then came the calm, the fear, the whispered prayers. One old woman said, almost as a lament, “Don’t politicize the procession, they won’t let Cachita out next year.” Madam — I wanted to say to her, but I kept quiet — if she is, as they say, the Virgin of all Cubans, she will accept us whether rebellious or tranquil, apathetic or protesting, whispering our prayers or shouting our discontent.”

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109 thoughts on “The Queen in Queen Street

  1. @#108
    perhaps u have lost ur identity if u ever had one … pal.
    Let me remind u:

    TROLL = “… is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion …”

    I think this definition fits some of the “characters” posting in Yoani’s blog; perhaps their contribution (using the term loosely) is not inspired by a desire to look for truth & change, rather by a desire to poke fun & to disrupt serious discussions among people who respects freedom & seeks the improvement of life for all Cubans.

  2. Let us repeat the FACT:

    Vladimiro Roca gave a list of “political prisoners in Cuba that included a bolivian football team, a painter from XVII century and a female voleyball team from Peru.

    Those are the real “freedom fighters” and “democrats”. One liar bigger than the next.

    Cheap small time crimson wannabes hoping to make it big in the sewerages of Miami. To float up from the rest of the excrement, in clear demonstration that they are the tops and the most successful pieces of shift.

    Not every shift can float. Only the white gods’ bum-lickers can. It’s the vitamins in the shift that do that for them, they said…

  3. I really like the fact that those “freedom” and “democracy” “fighters” lie like there’s no tomorrow, yet when you give them some simple facts that reveal them as plain dirty primitive liars, they cry faul!!!

    Losers.

    No wonder even Castros managed to beat them with a handful of friends.

    Start decorating those tubes of that sewerage in Miami. You’ll be staying there for quite a long time. Until you grow some bawlls (not a typo).

    And since women cannot grow them, I’ll leave it to you to calculate the length of eternity.

    Is it true that you actually float in that yellow liquid down the sewerage?

  4. In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory,[2] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[3] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.[4]

  5. 102UnSoricel

    Septiembre 14th, 2011 at 03:15
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    As said before “the stinker can’t note the own bad odor”.
    You, UnChorizon”, are just another patient of mine now on…… I gave you several chances to demonstrate with arguments that you are not a sick person but you did exactly the oposite babling nonsens (most of them offensives on Cubans) as a way to reliefe your deteriorated self esteem…….. I am very sorry for you dude….. your treatment has begining.
    Ricarditaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!

  6. Ridiculous Cubanos … Wonder how u come up with such nice cigars ..cos obviously your politics is still black and white… i suppose Iraq is tooo far from you to register on your over poiliticised anti Castro radar…

    Translation: My life is so boring and my intellect so superior and my thinking is so nuanced that I must come on this forum daily as soon as I wake up to refute each and every response. I must point out ON A FORUM ABOUT CUBA that the black and white thinking twerps on here that there is a war going on in Iraq and that other people have arguments too (even though I clearly can’t see this myself).

  7. Freud and Albert… You walk in black and white you talk in black and white…. Add some colour to your fustrations with fascism…. Who knows deep in your subcounscious you might be craving for ‘a strong’ leader… Ovbiously if you guys say Castro is all bad and did bad we must believe you just because you say so… Ridiculous Cubanos … Wonder how u come up with such nice cigars ..cos obviously your politics is still black and white… i suppose Iraq is tooo far from you to register on your over poiliticised anti Castro radar… And Freud if European culture is brased only on hate and inf complexes baby …stop borrowing our mistakes…. Cos you guys are still in the middle of a big mistake and about to make a new one…! And Albert did you take a course at the copy and paste school of thought but you stopped when they were about to teach you to read the other’s argument? Yes in deed no wonder Cuban politics is just me me me ..ridiculous hermanos…

  8. For the record …
    Elite: “group of persons who by virtue of position or education exercise much power or influence”
    Class: “a social stratum whose members share certain economic, social, or cultural characteristics”
    What u learned from ur eastern european education is failing u #90.
    Being one & the same as #89 I can add that ur pitiful attempts at sounding knowledgable about the Cuban situation demonstrate not just ur ignorance on the subject but ur lack of respect for urself & others, I feel (only foor a second) sorry for u.

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