The kitchen chorus

The old pots and pans for feeding the family can be transformed, in the event, into the ballot we can’t leave in the box and into the hand we dare not raise in the assembly.  Any object can serve, if given the space required: a piece of fabric hung from the balcony, a newspaper waved in public, a pot banged along with others.  The great metallic choir made up of spoons and pans could be—on May first at 8:30—our voice, to say what we have stuck in our throats.

Restrictions on coming and going from Cuba have lasted too long.  So I will ring my pot for my parents, who have never been able to cross the sea that separates us from the world.  I will join the symphony of pans also for myself, forced to travel only in the virtual world in the last two years.  I will pound out the rhythm of the spoon while thinking of Teo, condemned to permanent exile if he happens to board a plane before the age of eighteen.  I will beat the drum for Edgar, who is on a hunger strike after seven denials of his request for permission to leave.  At the end of the metallic concert I will dedicate a couple notes to Marta, who didn’t get the white card to meet her granddaughter who was born in Florida.

After so much beating on the bottom of the pan, it probably won’t serve me for frying even one more egg.  For the necessary “food” to travel, move about freely, leave home without permission, it’s well worth it to break all the equipment in my kitchen.

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23 thoughts on “The kitchen chorus

  1. Felicidades por tu segundo premio de Times, desde Chicago, Illinois, Usa, sigo tu
    trabajo diariamente. Tu narracion parece una historia que solamente los que la hemos
    vivido la podemos comprender a plenitud, aunque me exile en 1963 me mantengo viviendo la epopeya que te ha tocado vivir a ti y tu familia. Recibe un abrazo de
    Cubano con una nostalgia incurable.
    Jorge

  2. @ Carbo Servia – ;) Embracing our differences & respecting one another … love that.
    You must have a beautiful spirit and be a truly courageous person … only the weak and cowardly are afraid of others before they know them because of a label or difference of opinion …UMMMMM ….kinda like the Castro brothers & all other despots, dictators, and mass murderers or ‘torturers’.
    @ Humberto Capiro – hahaha! I too am so low tech that my children (32, 27 & 25) make fun of me cause I twitter, joined facebook & LOVE the blogs to get the news from as many perspectives as possible! Oh! And I have voted for Yoani so many times under all the emails of my entire family … I’m just hoping the NSA with the wiretapping,reading our emails thing doesn’t get me for ‘voter fraud’ hahaha! and if they do … Yoani is worth it!

  3. Yoani Sanchez,
    Your writings are so brilliant! I’ve been reading you for over a year and I have told many friends about your blog. I am Cuban, but have lived in the U.S. for most of my 56 years. I have no family at all in Cuba, so I am not allowed to visit ‘legally’. I will send your great post to the Palm Beach Post (my town’s newspaper) and will have my husband & children spread the word around. We have been activists to see that the embargo is lifted so that the Cuban people can hopefully see the best in all of us. Once “the big lie” is lifted (that all of America hates the Cuban people), it will be a good beginning for the Cuban people living in Cuba to see the truth for yourselves. Yes, we too have ‘our crazies’ & bad leaders, but thanks to the beautiful U.S. Constitution, we follow the law & not men.
    To your courage, integrity & perseverance … I humbly bow;) Remember that you are not alone and we are doing a tiny part from our end.
    Best to you and yours,
    Margarita Teresa Gonzalez-Newcomer

  4. Hola,
    I am new to this site,but very greatful for Your blog! I have friends in Cuba and would love them to visit me,but of course they can’t.So I am with you Yoani, on your mission to bring freedom to people of Cuba.And being raised in communist Eastern European country,I know (at least in part)what you and all Cubans are going thru.
    Keep the wonderful job and may God keeps you and your family safe.

  5. THE MORE YOU SPREAD THE WORD AROUND THE SAFER YOANI WILL BE!! SEND THE LINK TO ALL YOUR FRIENDS, CONTACTS, WEB SITES ETC. THIS IS THE TIME!!!!!!!!!!! CONO!!!!

    ENGLISH TRANSLATOR

    Remember, it is evidence of your attention, your eyes, that helps to keep Yoani safe from harm, and the best evidence of your eyes is your comments!

  6. Muy Interesante, lean esto.
    Venezuelan Newspaper: Strong rumors in Cuba that Carlos Lage committed suicide.

  7. Long life to Yoanis!!!!!, she represent the genuine Cuban Woman!!!!,,,she is the “Mariana Grajales” of her generation!!!!!!!.

    We will support your sacrifice, and, where ever you need a voice to denounce anything against Castro’s cruel system, you can count with thousand of them!!!!!!!!!!

    God Bless you, and your heroic attitude !!!!!!!!

    We will go on, until Castro’s regime is gone, ending, on the history garbage dump!!!! for ever!!!!

    Candido

  8. This LOW TECH GUY started a Twitter account to vote for Yoani’s Blog. Feel free to start new ones with similar names and purpose. Lets kick some COMMUNIST BUTT!! OR CULO!!

    VoteGenerationY

    Yoani Sanchez -cuban blogger up for 1 of the 100 most influential people 2009. To vote go to http://www.time.com/time/speci…..68,00.html

  9. Yoani, I also promise to make as much noise as I can using my laptop and a frying pan. I love what you do for your fellow brothers and sisters who need and demand a better future. God bless you and all those who read and make this “window” happen. I will celebrate May 1st for the First time also and cheer at 8:30 pm MAKE SOME NOISE

  10. WOW! It seems like there is lots of new energy and “happiness” in the comments here. From the “new” people and from everyone who’s been hanging around for a while as well.

    Even though Fidel is trying to turn back the clock as fast as he can, even though people are being called up to “protect the Island from invasion” and the streets are full of ‘green’ (i.e. MININT) license plates like never before… it feels like something is changing, doesn’t it.

    I personally can’t wait for May 1st… remember that’s May Day — the big communist holiday of the world (well a world holiday that the communists usurped and tried to make their own)… and see how loud the noise is from the Island.

    If you aren’t reading the other translated blogs, check them out… Octavo Cerco has a good entry about ‘militarization’
    http://octavocercoen.blogspot.com/2009/04/militarization.html
    and the others are filled with unfiltered news as well.

  11. I want to give a warm welcome to all new commenter in this blog. I am sure we all the habitual commenter are glad of having new participants despite the ideological orientation and sexual orientation ;-) of each one; even if you come here to verbally offend Yoani or one of us, it doesn’t matter, one of us will give you the exact answer you deserve ;-)…… that’s the good side of this blog!!!!!

  12. Today was the first day that I encountered your blog, so the pots and pans appear to me as a side note. I want to thank you for what you have written on this post and in the past. Even though my daily struggles are minor, your voice gives me hope. I am from a democracy. After reading some of your entries, I hope that I will make better use of my freedom. The free world has its own breed of darkness, but nothing is more life-giving and convicting than the sight of and need for real hope. Please keep writing. Oh, that change comes quickly!

  13. Hello,today it’s a wonderfull day,as always she hits the target and the consensus of the coments make her voice that somehow is also ours clearer and louder.

  14. Yoanis: Once more how much do I envy you!!!!!!! There is something in other’s people courage that compels you and in some cases like in mine even arises envy, there is nothing to envy you about how you live, them again there is a lot to envy you about how you choose to walk that path. Once upon the time I stood in my balcony in Cuba and decided to leave because I can’t stand it anymore, those little worms down there blinds, refusing to see the light , I know that in that day I lost my faith. I envy you so much, I can’t go back now, I can’t because Cuba is a part of me but I’m no longer a part of Cuba, that’s why I admire you, because against all odds you choose to be and to stay. God may grant you strength and wisdom and may he protect you under his loving wings this 1st of May when you knocked down those pans and always.

  15. #
    Anónimo
    Abril 23rd, 2009 at 13:59

    My Dear Friends:

    Supposedly, there is a “controversy” between Raul Castro’s words and his brother Fidel Castro’s reflection (the last one), where the oldest brother (Fidel) said that “Obama misunderstood Raul Castro’s words.

    Don’t be naive!!!!,,that is a very good strategy very well planned between both brothers, which is pretending to show some “pluralism” when Raul Castro mentioned very clear issues about “human rights, politics prisoners, etc”, without any sign of doubt about his words.

    However, the real intention of those expressions was just to “read the mind of the America’s leaders, but basically, Obama’s mind”.

    Obama did not “bite the bate”, and right away, the master mind behind Cuba’s destiny, Fidel Castro, had ready and published his reflection “saying that stupidity about the misunderstanding”.

    Only the slave Cuban population “must accept, publicly, that message”, but the Cuban people, knows in his soul the real intention of his diabolic plan.

    His plan is, just go on over and over, and over,,,,, with his excuse about that USA is the cause of the poverty, and the biggest disaster that ever happened in Cuba in her more than 500 years of history.

    Castro, has been and will be, hiding the real reason for which Cuba has been under this cruel and inept system, just to keep his power and his hard hand to satisfy his enormous and personal “ego”, and this will be like that, until his dead!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

    People of the world !!!!,,,don’t be naive, Castro always will be able to find anything just to keep on, his power, even, if that means to keep his people under that poverty or even more, if he has to order to the army to shoot directly to his people, he would not hesitate to do it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

    Castro has assassinated the hope for every Cuban, that is exactly his biggest goal, he has been able to keep behind the scene all his cruelty wearing a nice mask and the right disguised clothing for years and years, but, that is enough, now is the time, the world must know the real face of his “diabolic mind”!!!!!!

    Cuba must be free!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Candido

  16. Great to be back, the blog is looking great.

    By the way Yoani, what a great idea!! To make noise from your balcony, backyard, etc. in protest for government transgressions against its own citizens. If enough people do it they can’t send in the fast response brigade. And it could be contagious if many thousands join.

    Speaking of transgressions, just as most of us suspected, the old dictator has spoken up to overrule his little brother’s statements. Characteristically, he plays word games, and distorts facts by turning a good faith offer from Obama into an imminent menace, and basically evades, offends and overturns Obama’s somewhat naive, but nevertheless good intentions.

    Notice how, after a brief silence, the regime is now sculpturing a new policy to deal with Obama. The first hint is the mild accusation against Obama of being “smug”. Unbeknownst to Obama, from here on it may get worse, as he escalates and further widens the chasm in order to protect himself and his cohorts. If necessary, he’ll look for ways to cause some kind of crisis that could trample Obama. Examples of these are the Mariel boatlift where he dumped criminals, shoot down of unarmed planes and/or cause some kind of legal crisis such as Elian. Either way, it leads to some trauma and could assist in Obama losing the next election, and thereby assist the Republicans in regaining the White House. It sounds absurd, but remember, guarding the lie is all important, and having a conservative hardliner in the White House, who does not play any card other than isolation, strengthens his regime as he battens down the hatches in the island, and further squashes opposition without mercy, as soon as it appears.

    In keeping with the Nazi and Fascist philosophy explained in earlier postings, the lie told to the people must be guarded at all costs. Even a small crack in freedom is dangerous to the lie, and therefore, the state. The regime will not be guarded in telling more lies and blatant offensive statements which any well informed, reasonably intelligent citizen of the free world would consider an insult if asked to accept them.

    I just hope Obama gets someone really clever and experienced to assist Hillary in dealing with this very peculiar situation. This is a group that has been in power for a long time, they’ve honed and developed the skills to run circles around newly elected, and possibly naive administrations. They can’t produce a working pencil, or grow enough food for their lives, but they sure can cause some minor disturbances.

    It’s interesting how this individual in his death bed tries to perpetuate the discomfort, lack of freedom and prosperity, and family separation that he has caused. No respect even for the young Cubans, several generations younger, who are not aware of all the demons that dwell in his mind.

  17. Yes, you are totally right!!!!!!,,,every comment, every word, supporting Yoanis’s ideas should be enough to keep her safe, because, it is probe, that every time that somebody out of Cuba -where the Political Police can’t reach you- has been able to face Castro’s regime with the true and enough energy to show and denounce the real face of the tyranny, her answer (tyranny) has been go quietly, because the “Master Mind” (Fidel or any body from his gang)just pretend to keep the face clean and most of the times out of International Campaigns, where humans rights, or, any sensitive issue can create a distortion of their diabolic ideas.

    Remember, Fidel Castro and his gang, never, ever will be able to give anything “for free”, in other words, any help, any gesture, any apparent sensitive action, will be charge later, paying the highest price, paying jeopardizing your dignity, or getting your freedom, or your life in danger!!!!!, that’s probe it, that’s a fact, that’s part of the latest 50 years in Cuba’s history, that’s is a simple petition to vote “in favor of, his idea or process,,,”, that’s is create a “guerrilla movement in your country,,,that’s is getting your support in every ideological field,,,,,that’s the pure and simple reality of more than 50 years of cruelty and repression.

    Candido

  18. What a brilliant idea Yoani. I have put it in my calendar to bang a pot at that time in solidarity with the Cuban people’s right to travel.

  19. Hello Dear and Devoted Readers,

    You can all see the changes to the “front end” of Yoani’s blog — and I hope you’ll agree with me that it’s LOOKING GOOD!

    Minor adjustments are still being made, but I think we’re over the hump here.

    I also want to let you know that the “back end” of the blog has also been updated, to the newer WordPress software, and it’s a real pleasure to work with. Also, I seem to have more ability to ‘rescue’ valid comments stuck in spam, so I hope we’re done with that silliness and everyone will be able to be heard.

    So WELCOME BACK, and to those of you just joining us, WELCOME — please stay, please comment — even a “Hello” is welcome here.

    Remember, it is evidence of your attention, your eyes, that helps to keep Yoani safe from harm, and the best evidence of your eyes is your comments!

    Your Friendly English Translator

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