The first day of May

Yesterday was an intense day. There was a parade in the morning, a heavy rain shower in the afternoon, and some impertinents banging on our pots at eight-thirty in the evening. The concentration in the Plaza of the Revolution looked the same as every year, the rain was just as humid, and the kitchen chorus banging on pots and pans sounded like the peculiar symphony of a few. I’m posting here a few samples of sound and images, so you can live the first of May as I felt it… with all its intensity and craziness.

From my terrace one heard little reaction to the first bangs on the pot, but we have the joy of knowing they heard us a long way off. Through a quick phone survey I knew that in the city of Pinar del Rio they also noticed the sound of metal, while several neighborhoods in Havana remained silent. The limited drumming arose from the smallness of the individual who dared, and not from the massive automatism of those who paraded in the morning. Such is the difference between a spontaneous tweet-tweet and directed crowing.

Every spark is small, I told someone who asked me about the magnitude of what happened last night and, at its debut, a tool of expression is used timidly. On hearing about the call that was circulating on the internet, I met with several friends who thought the simple gesture of turning off the light would be more feasible. The kitchen chorus involves exposing oneself too much and there are many people who are still afraid of reprisals. Making the house dark is something that can be done without leaving evidence and is the kind of gesture that our citizens are ready to make, not more.

In spite of the few notes heard, I think it changed something in the routine of International Workers’ Day. It was just a slight banging of spoons on tin, that came after the first downpour of May.

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21 thoughts on “The first day of May

  1. ESOS TOQUES, ME DIERON UN NUDO EN LA GARGANTA, AUNQUE NO ERAN MUCHOS, ERAN CACEROLAZOS, Y SERAN MAS Y MAS CADA DIA . ME TRAE RECUERDOS DE EL CACEROLAZO EN CARDENAS EN 1962, FUE UNA MANIFESTACION TAN GRANDE, TANTAS PERSONAS Y LAS RATAAS COMUNISTAS ESCONDIDAS DETRAS DE LAS VENTANAS, HUBO GOLPES DE AMBAS PARTES Y EN LA NOCHE BAJO UN AGUACERO, LLEGO LA CHINA RAUL CON SUS TANQUES Y SE ACABO, TODO , PERO ESTABAN SONANDO DESDE TEMPRANA HORA DEL DIA , HUBO CARROS DE LA POLICIA BOCA ARRIBA, TIENDAS ROTAS, Y LA ESTACION DE RADIO CIUDAD BANDERA, FUE TOMADA POR VARIOS MINUTOS .MUY EMOTIVO MUY PATRIOTICO Y MUY HAMBRIENTO, NO HABIA ARROZ POR 2 MESES, ESTO FUE 1962 Y NO HABIA ARROZ.YA FIDEL Y SU GENTE SE LO HABIA COMIDO

  2. Yoani:

    The notes your pots and pans played are some of the best music my ears heard today. Not only are you courageous, but you continue to show the world how free you are both in spirit and action.

    Do not worry that you did not hear the beat of other pots. This is your first try, and as you said, others joined in at different locations, and even places you are not aware of, such as the backyard of my house.

    Next time, we’ll need to start passing the word a couple of months earlier, both through the internet and word of mouth. Even cubans in other countries can tell their relatives in the island. It should be announced via exile radio stations in Miami and TV.

    Lets not give up. We just have to keep trying again and again.

  3. Welcome Adrian, I hope have you often here!!!
    Spread the news among your friends.
    thanks

  4. Hi Adrian, a few times (not nearly enough) we’ve had posters either from (or formerly from) Eastern Europe posting on the English language Gen Y blog. The Eastern European experience in overthrowing totalitarianism (peacefully in most of the countries) holds many important lessons and can also serve as an inspiration for the Cuban people. I encourage to keep posting and sharing your views.

  5. I learned about Yoani’s blog today through a chain of events. A documentary about Fidel and Cuba was running on TV. I checked some facts online when I stumbled on some references to Yoani’s blog. I was very surprised. I think it’s fantastic that Cuban voices (other than the government) are trying to communicate with the outside world.
    I used to live under communism in Easter Europe (I live currently in Canada). I was also in a short visit in Cuba a few years ago (as a simple turist). So, I can say I have a few things in common with Yoani and I can see the HUGE challenge she has in her endeavor.
    I had the extraordinary (not necessary desirable) chance to experience the whole range of existence from a totalitarian society to the most democratic one, from a life of privations to an abundant one, from a close society to a an open one. I’m happy though that my native country is now integrated in the big family of the World and no longer an island. I am in Canada due to the fact that the doors are now freely opened and there is no longer east vs west antagonism between my native and adoptive country.
    Anyway I just wanted to leave a message here for Yoani to know there is another listening ear.

    Adrian

  6. Si !!En la guerra como en el amor todo vale , necesitamos un PATRIOTA desde adentro de cuba sercano a los Castros que tenga mas Cojones que nosotros no tenemos … y le modifique la salud a Raul, Fidel Castro su grupo .

    Como yo estamos todos los cubanos hasta los C… con estos hijos de Puta de los Castros .Lo que propongo es hacer es una colecta entre todos los cubanos que vivimos el exterior que somos mucho…

    Ofrecerle una recompesa de 20 millones al escolta o los escoltas de la seguridad de los Castros o hombres sercanos a estos tiranos que tengan el coraje de modifiquen la salud los CASTROS Y GENERALES DE LA REVOLUCION .

    Creo que podemos reunir unos 100 millones muy facil, 20 millones para cada cabeza y 10 por los comandates como Ramiro Valdez o otras Ratas.. Que les parece esta idea.

    Yo se que en Cuba los militares se sienten ultrajados, usados y des respetados . .. pensamos que el malestar y la inconformidadd puede crear ese PAATRIOTA QUE TODOS LOS CUBANOS NECESITAMOS, NECESITAMOS ESE HERUE … Asi que pasemos la bola y pagamos 20 millones por la cabeza de los decrepitos dictadores … y 10 por los 5 comandateS .
    Con 90 millones limpiamos 50 anos de sufrimiento y explotacion por el pueblo , es una cifra infima comparada con el benefico que va recibir todo el pueblo…

    Creo que vale la pena acotarnos todos, el dinero hace baliar hasta el mono, necesitamos un PATRIOTA un escolta de los Castros que tengan los Cojones que nosotros no tenemos porque a parte de escribir y denunciar DURANTE 50 years de sufrimiento no tenemos condiciones objetivas para hacer una accion como esa, creo que los escoltas son los mas indicados y puedan pasar a la historia por lapuerta grande please killing all of hombres que pueden lograr esta proeza

  7. Hey, it was a start. Focusing on the right of Cubans to leave (and re-enter) the country without the permission of the government is appropriate. The travel ban is a very clear-cut violation of human rights, easily understood as such by Cubans and non-Cubans alike.

  8. Thankyou, Andy, for the links…

    I have to say that you, Yoani Sánchez, seem to be an amazing person.

    God bless,
    Liz

  9. hi!
    I ve just came across your blog in the Reflex magazine. You, Claudia Cadel and all the other bloggers are doing really good job. I can imagine how frustrating must be the life under the Castros regime. Lets hope that that things will be better soon for You in the near future. Keep fighting!

    regards from czech republic

    Martin

  10. I just began reading your blog, and I don’t know much about Cuba besides the basic facts we learn in school (which is why I began reading your blog).

    I am curious, what is this for?

    -Liz

  11. Guess I should have made it more clear:

    Mi Son Cubano Festival web site
    //www.habanapromotions.com

    E-mail to request Generation Y booth for next year, I will pay for it!
    info@habanapromotions.com

  12. No entiendo… I don’t understand who we’re supposed to send email to. BUT HEY!!!! GO FOR IT WITH THE BOOTH!!!!!!!!

  13. To:English Translator and all!!

    Tomorrow I will be heading to a Cuban Festival near Los Angeles called “Mi Son Cubano”. Below is the web site for the cubans who are produding it. If anyone who reads this blog would send an e-mail so next year I WILL PROMISE to man the YOANI-“GENERATION Y” BOOTH if they will allow it!! DEAL OR NO DEAL?

    Humberto Capiro (born in Cabaiguan, raised in Guayos where you can’t drink any beer!! only the cubans born there will know what it means)

    Mi Son Cubano Festival near Los Angeles California
    http://www.habanapromotions.com

  14. I banged a pot in Florida for you people on May the 1st. You are not alone. We pray for you.

  15. “The 2nd video is sad because it reminds me of caged animals expressing their anger towards their masters who have gone home for the night. Nice sound, by the way. Hang in there.”

    You really hit the nail on the head man… enough said.

  16. By the way — to put a video in a blog… you generally have to be in the “HTML” or “CODE” mode… if you paste the code into the “VISUAL” mode it usually doesn’t work.

  17. Humberto — play the videos to the end (you can drag the slider to make them end fast!) and then on the right hand side you’ll see two boxes near the top.

    One looks like this
    Embed
    with a grey box underneath

    And the other looks like this
    {chain icon} URL
    also with a grey box underneath.

    Copying and pasting what’s in the first grey box will put the video on your site (and you can also paste it into email for someone)… copying and pasting the other will put the link to YouTube on your site (ditto with the emailing).

    If it doesn’t work for you… email me at desdecubaenglish -at- gmail.com

    And I’ll put them both in email for you… the EMBED codes and the URLs

  18. Can I get those You Tube links so I can send them to my mailing list? We should put those on Twitter too!

    Humberto Capiro

  19. The 2nd video is sad because it reminds me of caged animals expressing their anger towards their masters who have gone home for the night. Nice sound, by the way. Hang in there.

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