Image taken from the “underblog” of Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos
In the snapshot of the Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Ángel Moratinos which will be taken of his visit to Cuba, there will be no room for nonconformist relatives. In front of the lens there will be the forced smiles of the ministers, the luster of the ministries and the feigned complacency of those who hold power. In the composition those who say “No” will be superfluous and skeptics will be excluded. Only happy faces will be allowed in front of the camera; those with dirty clothes will stay home, even though the washing machine of public discussion hasn’t been turned on for decades nor has detergent been allowed anywhere near the smelly utopia.
He who moves will not appear in the photo, because the resulting image will need to obtain political and economic support, not generate concern. Thus, the cobwebs will be whitewashed, the military uniforms hidden under protocol suits and – for one brief moment – they will appear younger than they really are. Thorny issues will be avoided. Why discomfit the visitor? And once he leaves some naughty child or other will get his smack on the head for bothering the guest. The syrupy family portrait of this visit will be in sepia because the contrasting tones of reality do not fit into the album of diplomacy.
With one of those silly little cameras used to take the same pictures tourists always take, the usual repetitive images will be taken: a school full of students with well-ironed uniforms, a factory with shiny modern machines, a nearly completed engineering project, and there will be no lack, of course, of the staged crowds, organized from above.
The negative will need to remain impeccable for later printing in the pages of history. If perhaps some inappropriate detail slips in, it will have to be fixed in Photoshop, retouching the photo of the already altered normality and editing the faces of those who did not come out smiling.