Of Pardons and Forgetting

Photo: Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

“Don’t be naive,” “You’re going to be left with a packed suitcase,” friends everywhere tell me, with the best of intentions. But an inmate always dreams that the door will open, that the jailer himself will take the keys and draw back the bars. Instead of immigration reform, the highlight of what was announced in the National Assembly yesterday was limited to a pardon for 2,900 prisoners. A subtle way of telling us that real cells are easier to eliminate than bureaucratic ones, that a certificate of release can be signed more quickly than the repeal of the exit permit. I don’t know if Raul Castro could comprehend the frustration caused by his words yesterday, the discouragement generated by the absence of the announcement his own spokespeople had predicted.

I put my suitcase back in the corner of the room, rearranged my plans for Christmas Eve and called my mother to confirm that I am staying. I imagine that in thousands of Cuban homes today they are celebrating because their relatives will soon leave some sordid penitentiary. But I also know that on this December 24th there are many who feel cheated, once again deceived. How much time does government need to erase the limitations on movement that it itself imposed on its citizens? Is it possible that in this country the word “gradually,” or the phrase “we are working to implement this or that measure,” is, in reality, synonymous with “never.” How can they continue to justify something that no longer has any ethical or legal form to sustain it? When will a presidential pardon arrive for those condemned not to enter or leave their own country?

But I don’t want the government’s immobility to make me sad in these days, nor let the stubbornness of our authorities spoil my Christmas festivities. Instead, at midnight I will empty my glass, hug my son, outline my future plans for 2012. For a short time, I will forget the bars, erase from my mind the image of a General who grants indulgences, who plays with the life of whole nation, and calls what is simply fear: Taking small steps.

74 thoughts on “Of Pardons and Forgetting

  1. Damir said: “But, can you handle the truth?”

    Humberto Capiro (El Cibergues@)said” “But can Damir handle all that alcohol?”

  2. They came true long time ago. Pity you are not willing to realise that.

    Read it here, from a usanian journalist who studied it for years before writing this book:

    amazon.com/Greatest-Sedition-Silence-Years-America/dp/0745320104/ref=sr_1_13?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1325543699&sr=1-13

    If you are such a bunch of democracy fanatics, I suggest you focus on your own country and make a liberating revolution there, rather than patronising others as if you know what you are talking about.

    Your own house is derelict and a ruin.

    It makes Cuba look like a paradise.

    And Cuba is FAR from being a paradise.

    It will look like one if this book opens your eyes, though.

    But, can you handle the truth?

  3. HAPPY NEW YEAR Damir! MAY ALL YOUR GRASPINGS COME THRU! JE JE JE!

  4. Salsa is a very scary and dangerous weapon, apparently…

    If you were to believe anything that a copy and paste genius can come up with.

    Actually, that statement is the pinnacle of the person’s intellectual reach… That and deranged belief that usa is her “adopted” country… As if she has any other country to call home!!!

    First joke of the year and it sucks.

    And we haven’t even started the year properly…

  5. Damir! BE CAREFUL! I AM A GREAT SALSA DANCER! AND I AM QUITE HAPPY WITH MY ADOPTED COUNTRY U.S.A.! BUT HAVE TO GIVE MY BIRTH COUNTRY A HAND IN GETTING OUT OF THE ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP SHE IS IN WITH THE CASTROFASCISTS!

  6. LOL, that looked like a great sampling of Australian “scholars.” Here is what was posted just under the video: his is a small sampling of Australians and their criticisms and stereotypes of Americans. Take it for what it is.

    There it is: “Criticisms and stereotypes of a small sampling of Australians,” and the Croatian scholar extrapolates this to mean Australians in general.

    Dumb dumb.

  7. What usanians think about usanians?

    Nothing. There is no usa. On a question name one country that starts with the “U”, not one remembered to say “United states…”

    Someone said “Yugoslavia” instead.

    Germany is one fo the countries in the axis of evil… Jerusalem California and Florida are the others…!!!

    Have some laugh on your own stupidity.

    The world is laughing

  8. What AUSTRALIANS think about the usanians:

    Arrogant, abnoxious, fat, rude…. the list goes on.

    Not Castros, Australians. usanian “allies”…

    Apparently…

  9. This is what would happen to Cuba should white “gods” servants in Cuba succeed somehow:

    Money and rich Cubans would run away from a country in free fall.

    Free fall is the only thing that ever happens to a country after the usa “frees” it from the “shackles” of some, usually imaginary, “anti-democratic” environment.

  10. Dear copy and paste ggenius, still doing the bad old cuban government salsa!!!!

    Try another step (take my hint with your own country, usa).

  11. Dear Damir! STILL DOING THE BAD OLD U.S.A. MAMBO! JE JE JE! TRY ANOTHER STEP!

  12. There are over 2 000 000 prisoners in usa.

    That’s a LOT of prisons.

    People get regularly tortured, raped and murdered in those “free democracy for all” prisons.

    It would be better for the wannabe “Cubans” with usanian passport bull-shifting here about a foreign country they hate simply because it is different, to look at and clean their own dirty house before they start patronising others.

    The most undemocratic and the most dictatorial concentration camp in the world is in Cuba, true.

    It is called

    GUANTANAMO BAY PRISON

    There’s one interesting fact about the prisons in Cuba for you.

    The flag above it the usa war flag.

    Interesting, don’t you think?

  13. LOTS OF DATA ON THIS ARTICLE!

    THE INDEPENDENT UK : The Castropedia: Fidel’s Cuba in facts and figures – January 2007

    PRISONS : Number of prisons and correctional facilities thought to be in Cuba: more than 500.

    Last year the UN described food and hygiene levels as “sub-standard” and medical care as “either unavailable or inappropriate”.

    According the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation, thousands of young Cubans are in prison on the charge of “peligrosidad predelectiva” (that is, they are considered likely to commit a crime).

    Cuba is one of the few countries in the world to deny the International Committee of the Red Cross access to its prisons.

    Castro himself served two years of a 15-year sentence handed down after his failed attempt to topple President Batista. After a period of exile in Mexico he achieved his goal in 1959.

    /www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/the-castropedia-fidels-cuba-in-facts-and-figures-432478.html

  14. Human Rights Watch published an extensive report (LINK PROVIDED) on prison conditions in Cuba in 1999. In it it widely criticized most aspect of the Cuban judicial and prison system.

    In it criticized the lack of openness of the Cuban regime: “Cuba’s refusal to allow domestic or international human rights monitors to conduct regular visits to its prisons casts a veil of secrecy over its extensive prison system, reportedly one of the largest per capita in Latin America and the Caribbean. Cuba refuses to disseminate even the most basic prison statistics, such as prison population figures. Cuba’s Penitentiary Establishment Directorate, however, reportedly maintains a centralized, computerized system that would readily make available detailed information about all detainees in Cuba’s prisons.”

    According to an article in the Miami Herald (LINK PROVIDED) in September 2003 Cuba’s jails may hold over 100,000 inmates. The same article puts the last visit of any international organization to Cuba’s prisons in 1989 (International Red Cross). The UN estimated the number of prisoners in Cuba between 100,000 and 200,000 in its 1995 UNHCR Special Rapporteur’s (LINK PROVIDED) report. A figure of 100,000 or more makes Cuba the country with the most prisoners per capita in the world.
    International organizations have reported that inadequate food and medical assistance, sexual abuse, limits and restrictions on visits, beatings,… in Cuba’s prisons. Amnesty International (LINK PROVIDED) has often started letter letter writing operations to support suffering prisoners of conscience.

    CLICK LINK FOR ARTICLES WHERE ADDITIONAL LINKS ARE PROVIDED

    http://www.cubaverdad.net/cuba_prison_system.htm

  15. HOW many jails in CUBA????? HOW many people sentenced to jail terms ??? Where are the public records in Cuba????

    What happens in Cuba is SHAMEFUL.

  16. Don’t flatter yourself. Who said that that is the only thing that I find wrong with your comments? I wouldn’t know where to begin!

    Pamela is my real name, so how is that a nick?

  17. I find it compelling when the people hellbent on neutralising the truth by throwing the personal slur and commenting on one’s personality (the way they hope one is)run out of puff and turn on typo errors.

    When that is the only thing one can find wrong with my comments, I know I must be on target.

    That is why they are, and poor ones at that, impersonators hiding behind nicks that reflect their true, hidden and subliminal self…

  18. Humberto: Thanks for posting the Pink Panther video, I LOVE the “does your dog bite” sketch. Now, on to business.

    Damir
    Diciembre 28th, 2011 at 17:48
    Cretenoid writing is supposed to divert the attention from the fact, diverting it to the personal level.

    I guess that commenting on how Yoani’s fingernails creep you out, which you have, is not personal. Yah.

    The word is “loser” and not “looser,” and Ron Paul is a racist loser who will not get the Republican nomination. So what if the Huffington Post has lots of coverage of him. Doesn’t mean a thing. What in the heck is a “boffin”?

    “Makes for light reading when there’s only “the bold and the beautiful” on TV.
    After “the days of our lives”.
    Little wonder you live in a cloud of delusions, hallucinations and wet dreams…”

    LOL, now Damir is an “expert” on American TV. I don’t watch soap operas, but I get hundreds of channels, which show way more interesting programming than the Bold and the Beautiful. But I should be so lucky as to live in a “cloud of wet dreams.”

  19. Cretenoid writing is supposed to divert the attention from the fact, diverting it to the personal level.

    Attack the poster, denigrate, insult, create an illusion that they are the bad and the evil and an unsuspecting reader may even fall for this mentally deranged tactic.

    It is just that no one does.

    On a less serious note, I liked the comment from gloria the other day that Ron paul is a looser and not popular “at all”.

    Well mrs esteban, your own huffington post reports on Ron Paul almost daily.

    Just one of these numerous posts:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/28/iowa-caucus-2012-ron-paul-poll_n_1172411.html

    Quite a nice news to someone so unpopular, unknown and a boffin according to gloria…

    Or, could it be that she IS, after all, just as the rest of the 1 and a half strong brigade of pioneers supporting their pin-up granny despite the obvious doom awaiting them all at the end of the road (failure is their first name), DELUSIONAL and BRAINWASHED sufficiently to be unable to SEE the truth?

    Oh, yes. Definitely.

    After all, this site abundantly demonstrates that intellectual and psychological deficiency. You MUST be delusional and brainwashed to read the posts and think they are even remotely close to the truth.

    The number of errors and plain silly remarks thrown at the government as being their fault is staggering.

    And growing by every post they make.

    Makes for light reading when there’s only “the bold and the beautiful” on TV.

    After “the days of our lives”.

    Little wonder you live in a cloud of delusions, hallucinations and wet dreams…

  20. White God said: “You are right, I am SERIOUSLY fubar.”

    OMG!! I WOULD HAVE NEVER GUESSED THAT White God WAS IN REALITY OR UNREALITY Damir!! THAT DISGUISE WAS GENIUS!BUT WE ALL KNEW THAT Damir IS THE BIG BRAIN AND SUPER AGENT AROUND HERE! JE JE!

    YOUTUBE: The Peter Sellers Pink Panther Films of the 1970s

  21. fu·bar/ˈfo͞oˌbär/
    Adjective:
    Out of working order; seriously, perhaps irreparably, damaged: “the clock in the hall is fubar”.

    You are right, I am SERIOUSLY fubar.

  22. Damir, you are FUBAR.. see the movie Saving Private Ryan to learn the meaning of FUBAR, boyo

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