Milk, water and shadow

Raúl Castro’s words on July 26, 2007* were christened by the population as the “milk speech” because of his call to increase dairy production.  In the next one, which he made a year later, he aimed lower and only promised to solve the water problems in the province of Santiago de Cuba.  Everything seems to indicate that his address from this Sunday will be remembered for the opening lines, “I’m sure that none of you can see me, maybe you will see a shadow; that’s me.”

The general made no notable announcements, nor did he allude to the olive branch he once said he was willing to extend to the American administration.  Nor did he detail future projects, nor measures for ending the crisis, much less confirm whether the Communist Party Sixth Congress will be held.  He merely limited himself to informing us about the upcoming meetings of government bodies where, it seems, some decisions will be made. The Holguín sun found a place full of white and red T-shirts, presided over by an ancient orator without much to say.  The applause lacked enthusiasm and through my television screen I noted the shared desire to finish, as soon as possible, with the formalities of the celebration.

On returning home, the thousands present at this event will have little to say, as it wasn’t a trick of the lighting that made a shadow of someone who never shone with his own spark.  This was the speech of the “shadow” because light is something the authoritarians cannot tame, something that disobeys military uniforms. Raúl Castro is right: we can no longer see him, because the twilight he represents lacks, as it has for a long time, any kind of luminosity.

Translator’s note
July 26 is the anniversary of the 1953 assault on the Moncada Barracks in Santiago de Cuba led by Fidel Castro.  This event, a failure at the time which resulted in the deaths of many of the rebels and the imprisonment of Fidel and others, is considered the “birth” of the Cuban Revolution.

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “Milk, water and shadow

  1. Quisiera saber si hay algunia agencia en Nueva York donde yo pudiera manderle a mi familia un packete con articulos de comida. Le agreseria si alguien me pudiera ayudar o si me pudieran dar algo de informacion. Muchas gracias y que Dios los Bendigan.
    Hi I’d like to know if there is any agency in N.Y. where it would be possible for me to send a package containing article of food. In would truly appreciate the help or if someoneone could give me some sort of information. Thank you so very much and God Bless.

  2. LOS TRES HURACANES QUE DESTRUYERON CUBA SON HURACAN FIDEL, HURACAN ERNESTO Y HURACAN RAUL, TODOS FUERZA 5, NECESITAREMOS 100 ANIOS PARA ESTAR LO MAL QUE ESTABAMOS CON BATISTA, NECESITAMOS A TODOS LOS CUBANOS PARA LA TITANICA OBRA DE RECONSTRUCCION, POR AHORA SOLO VEO A UNOS POCOS, YAONI ES UNA DE ELLOS.

  3. Yoani is the missed voice of five generations of cubans,talent,poetry and all her heart.

  4. Journalists from USA, Brazil, and Cuba win Moors Cabot Prizes

    Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism has announced the 2009 winners of the 71st Maria Moors Cabot Prize for outstanding reporting on Latin America and the Caribbean. The award honors journalists who cover the Western Hemisphere and whose reporting and editorial work have advanced inter-American understanding.

    The 2009 winners, who will receive their awards Oct. 14, are: [Read down, the best is last!]

    *Anthony DePalma, reporter for The New York Times, a longtime foreign correspondent and author who was based in Mexico and Canada and traveled the Americas as a business reporter.

    *Christopher Hawley, Latin America correspondent for USA Today and the Arizona Republic, who is based in Mexico, has reported from Latin America and the Caribbean for more than a decade.

    *Merval Pereira, columnist for O Globo, has held many varied roles for Brazilian print and broadcast outlets for more than 40 years. He began careers during the military dictatorship and is more recently is credited with raising the standards of O Globo newspaper.

    *Yoani Sánchez, blogger for Generación Y, is a Cuban citizen who has gained a following of thousands around the world for her mixture of personal observations and analyses about daily life on the island.

  5. In the speech Raul Castro said in this short video

    Who is responsible for placing the sun behind me?
    It doesn’t bother me but I am sure that none of you can see me!
    Maybe you will see just a shadow!

    The references from Yoani about Milk Water and Shadow refer to 3 different Raul Castro speeches while in power one per year.

    Cubans still don’t have milk and no water just a shadow! :-)

  6. If only Raul’s regime was a shadow of his brother’s repressive reign…all Cubans would be better off.

    Instead it appears to a faint copy…hard to read…not worth the paper it’s printed on.

Comments are closed.