Rumpelstiltskin, by Anna-Kafka. Taken from

The sweat of the three women who put me into a police car still sticks to my skin and in my nostrils. Huge, hulking, ruthless, they took me into a windowless room where the broken fan only blew air towards them. One looked at me with particular scorn. Maybe my face reminded her of someone in her past: an adversary in school, a despotic mother, a lost lover. I don’t know. What I do remember is that, on the evening of October 5, her look wanted to destroy me. She was the one who ferreted around under my skirt with great delight, while two other uniformed policewomen grabbed me for the “search.” Rather than seeking out some hidden object, the purpose of this search was to make me feel violated, defenseless, raped.

Every six hours they changed my guards. On the midnight shift they were noticeably less strict, but I locked myself in my silence and never responded to their questions. I evaded myself. I chose to tell myself, “They’ve taken everything, even the clip that holds my hair, but — ridiculous searchers — they have not been able to take from me my inner world.” Thus I decide to take refuge, during the long hours of my illegal confinement, in the only thing I had: my memories. The room wanted to appear neat and clean, but everything had its share of filth or breakage. The granite floor tiles were covered with a good dose of accumulated grime. I stared at the figures made by the little pebbles cast in each tile and the gobs of dirt. After a while faces jumped out of this constellation. Characters flourished in the rough floor of my cell in the police station in Bayamo.

Springing from there was the lanky countenance of Don Quixote, while in that corner I could see the simple profile of Eduardo Abela’s “Bobo” — that wise fool who mocked the Machado dictatorship. Some oblique eyes, shaped by mortar and gravel, looked incredibly like the protagonist in the film Avatar. I laughed and my perennial watchers began to believe that my refusal of food and water was literally frying my brain. I espied, in the irregular granite, the Hunchback of Notre Dame and the slender figure of Gandalf, staff and all. But standing out among all these forms that emerged from the rough paving there was one — the most intense — that seemed to cavort and laugh before my eyes. Perhaps it was the effect of thirst and hunger, the truth is I don’t know. A long-bearded dwarf with a cynical look, slyly mocking.

It was Rumplestiltskin, the star of a children’s story where the queen is forced to guess his complicated name and if she does not she must give the despotic elf her most precious possession: her own son. What was this character doing in the midst of my temporary imprisonment? Why did I see him over so many other visual references I have accumulated in my life? I immediately intuited the answer. “You are Rumplestiltskin,” I said out loud and the gorgons watching me looked worried. “You are Rumplestiltskin,” I repeated, “and I know your name. You are like dictatorships, and once we start calling them by their name, it begins to destroy them.”

Translator’s note: Here is longer narrative of Yoani’s arrest and detention.


82 thoughts on “Rumplestiltskin

  1. Hi! We are two students from California studying the Caribbean and we read “Havana Real” for class and have been discussing it this week. Your work has been really eye opening for us, and we are excited to see how others of our generation react to this blog because we were born in this age of technology. We hope that a blog like this with such purpose will redefine what social networking is and how we can utilize it for change instead of purely entertainment purposes. Thank you for being so bold. We aren’t used to being around people who take such risks, regardless of the consequences. You are truly an inspiration. We will continue to read what you have to say and support you. Thanks!

  2. I took this book on the cruise, but didn’t have as much chcane to read it as I had hoped. Ended up finishing it during my daily commutes. While, as I state in the review it reminded me of the similar PATRIOT TRAP I reviewed a few weeks ago, it was a decent read if you don’t go all political about this type of thing.*************************HAVANA PASSAGE by Jay LilliePublished by Ivy House Publishing GroupISBN: 1571974520With the end of the Cold War writers of thriller/suspense novels have had to search for a new foe for their heroes to confront. International drug cartels just don’t cut it anymore, so since 9/11 various Islamic nations or ‘terrorist’ groups have become the main focus.While the last few Communist nations (China & North Korea, for example) can still cast their evil shadows over the U.S. and their allies, it really amazes me that some authors seem to let their gaze wander only ninety miles from our shores.In the past few months this is the second book I’ve reviewed in which the main character and his/her companions are threatened by elements in Cuba. In both, the chief protagonist ends up in Havana, caught between parties attempting to overthrow the Castro government or attempting to gain power when the current regime ends with Fidel’s passing. Also, oddly enough, in both novels the characters at some point are escaping from Cuba by boat only to be caught off the Florida Keys in approaching storms or hurricanes. I guess this happens more frequently than you’d think.When a fishing vessel is stopped by the U.S. Coast Guard off the coast of Cuba, it is discovered that one of the men aboard is without documentation. When the boat’s owner is arrested and his boat confiscated this triggers a series of events which brings together law student Kate Stevens, Washington D.C. lawyer Gordon Cox and the first female President of the United States. The President, looking to end the decades old trade embargo, sends Kate and Gordon (who at one time dated Kate’s mother) to Havana in order to discover what the reaction might be to such a decision. The lawyers find that things are much more complicated than they appear with angry Cuban exiles on one side and a possible coup by Army officers on the other. Add to this mix the mysterious Santiago deCristo, a one time member of Castro’s elite guard who has his own reasons to return to his native land.Writer Lillie brings an old fashion feel to his book, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s a fast read, ideal for vacation reading. The author throws in the occasional sexual detail and “F” bomb, but it feels as if he is doing it more to appeal to a section of readership who want that sort of thing, rather than something which comes naturally. While the character of the President never rises above reminding me of Geena Davis in COMMANDER IN CHIEF, Lillie brings enough life to the rest of his cast to pull the book up a notch from similar fare.Three stars

  3. And who can forget the team “yoani” complaining about the movies on Cuban TV being “stolen” from usanian Rv stations?

    And yet more hypocrisy self-confession by teh very nail-biter:

    “Some oblique eyes, shaped by mortar and gravel, looked incredibly like the protagonist in the FILM AVATAR.”




  4. And more of ecellent points in the post 40.

    The sketch above is typical sketch of a capitalist parasite (a banker and/or a politician), all with the white shirt, black jacket and a tie.

    That’s one excellent point, well done.

    The other is about the hybby of the terrorist traitor.

    As we can read in the article, they were together.

    How come he was

    N O T


    Because only the mentally deranged one was making the “protest” where there was no need nor place for it.

    So, naturally police

    H A D


    re-establish the order and they did so by arresting the troublemaker.

    The slave of the real “rumplestiltskins”. the white “gods”, who ahd screwed up their own “some kind of pragmatic capitlaism” so bad, it has been on life support since 2007.

    And we all know that the only humane thing would be to switch the life support off.

    None of that explains the absence of husband though.

  5. It is also very telling to see that the “friendly” translator is letting the insults on Damir go full on and are NOT DELETED.

    The filters are switched OFF when the insults are directed at those who DISAGREE with the hypocrites pretending to be all for “freedom of speech”!!!

    We on the other hand have to write with asterisks or other unreadable signs to avoid filter, and even then when the “friend;y” translator reads the posts, she deletes them “democratically”.

    Worse than the Castros, your personal idols, no?


  6. Your dogs are barking from the distance, team “yoan. Scared shiftless to come closer.

    So are you.

    Where are the answers on my questions? What are your pin-up granny nail-biter affraid of? A civilised discussion?


  7. Damir, you are a disgrace to the human race. Do you realise that you are demented? Have you sought help. It’s time.

  8. LOL, having a tooth knocked out by force has nothing to do with how often one “washes” her teeth. Idiot.

  9. Still no response from the liars and terrorists. No wonder. It is hard to explain your own lies when facing the hrd questions like so why did the pin-up granny NOT even mentioned the “lost tooth”, yet complained about the strip search…?

    Did the strip search hurt so much that she had forgotten that she lost her tooth?

    My suggestion is: wash your teeth more and less will be falling out.

    Too late I’m affraid. The autumn has come…

    And thanks to Marx for people like Che who was courageous enough to take it on imperialist murderers and psychopats to defend the people. Che is the real hero. The team “yoani” are a bunch of cowards who called even upon their children to take up the arms yet they themselves are hiding under the veli of protection only internet can provide.


    Come out and play with guns if you dare, since you are so brave with words.

    Yeah, it ain’t the same thing is it, “heroes”?

  10. Good article Pam, Che was a twisted psychopath who preferred killing civilians to fighting an armed enemy.

    Just a correction, it was the Black Liberation Front not the Black Liberation Army, which was formed later, that plotted to blow up the Statue of Liberty. Some nutty Quebec separatist was also involved. I guess people who like blowing up things attract each other.


    YOUTUBE CARTOON: “Tell Me How It Was,That Revolu” (English sub-titles) – An animated film by FOTUTOONS, animation studios of Guamá Newspaper. Animated Short in full color on Cuba. 20 minutes. Carlitos, a young Chilean leftist militant excited about his first trip to Havana wishing to learn about the Cuban revolution, he doesn’t imagine that he will be involved in an adventure that will make him later reflect on the reality of the island.

    “Cuéntame Cómo fue Aquel Revolú” (English sub-titles) – Una película de FOTUTOONS, estudios de animación del Periódico Guamá. Cortometraje Animado a todo color sobre Cuba. 20 minutos. Carlitos, un joven militante chileno de izquierdas ilusionado have su primer viaje a La Habana deseando conocer de cerca a la revolución cubana, sin imaginarse que se verá envuelto en una aventura que lo hará reflexionar sobre la realidad de la isla.

  12. EUROPE ONLINE MAGAZINE: Spain to try to repatriate politician on trial in Cuba

    Madrid (dpa) – The Spanish government will try to repatriate Spanish politician Angel Carromero, who has been tried in Cuba in connection with a fatal traffic accident, Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said Monday.

    Carromero, 27, a member of Spain‘s ruling conservative People‘s Party (PP), was tried in the eastern Cuban city of Bayamo in connection with the car crash that killed dissident leader Oswaldo Paya and another Cuban man.

    The trial concluded last week. Prosecutors are seeking a seven-year prison sentence for Carromero on charges of negligent homicide.

    Garcia-Margallo said the politician would be moved from Bayamo to a “relatively comfortable” place in Havana. As soon as his sentence is made public, Spain would discuss with Cuba the possibility of bringing him home “as rapidly as possible,” the minister said.

    Carromero was driving the car when it crashed into a tree on July 22 near Bayamo.

    Payo and fellow dissident Harold Cepero died, while Carromero and Swedish politician Jens Aron Modig suffered minor injuries. Paya, 60, and Cepero had been riding in the back seat and were not wearing seat belts.

    The official investigation showed “categorically” that Carromero was speeding at the time of the crash on a stretch of road that was being repaired, Cuban authorities said shortly after the accident.

    Carromero was discharged from a hospital within a day, and has since been held by Cuban authorities.

    Cuban dissidents and Paya‘s family had expressed doubts about the nature of the accident and voiced suspicions of foul play. Both Carromero and Modig, however, said in Cuba that it was just an accident with no other vehicles involved.

    As head of the dissident Christian Liberation Movement, Paya waged a long-running campaign of legal initiatives to reform communist Cuba. He was nominated several times for the Nobel Peace Prize and in 2002 was awarded the European Parliament‘s Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought. dpa sit ris vs fff jln Author: Sinikka Tarvainen.

  13. Supporters like to view Guevara as someone who suffered with his people, a man too idyllic to concern himself with matters such as money and material possessions. Inconveniently for Guevara’s followers , however, he didn’t show so much discretion when it came to his own lifestyle choices. Humberto Fontova, a Cuban refugee, describes the mansion Guevara lived in only a week after entering Havana, Cuba, in his book, “Exposing the Real Che Guevara.” The owner of the mansion was forced to flee Havana with his family in order to escape a firing squad. Guevara’s plunder contained a yacht harbor, a huge swimming pool, seven bathrooms, a sauna, a massage salon, and five television sets. Does this really qualify Guevara a “man of the people”?

    Many people consider Guevara an educated man who understood the value of education and arts. Our newspapers and biographies on the so-called “lover of literature” still contain these themes. It’s a good thing these writers are operating in America, though, because under Guevara’s leadership in Cuba they likely would’ve been put out of business or even murdered. Guevara’s first judicious act was to preside over a book burning of 3,000 stolen books and sign the death warrants for many Cuban authors.

    The same Argentinean man who imperialistically tried to impose his political views on the Cuban people is often lauded as someone who “finally stood up to imperialistic America.” In 1964, Guevara got a hero’s welcome in New York City as he spoke to the United Nations and bellowed, “Executions? Certainly, we execute! And we will continue executing as long as it is necessary!” As he was rushed from one socialite party to the next that night, New Yorkers gushed over him. Only after he left America did the New York Police Department discover his plot with the Black Liberation Army to blow up the Statue of Liberty, the Liberty Bell, and the Washington Monument.

    A peach of man, indeed.

  14. THE TRUE STORY OF CHE GUEVARA- The History Channel presentation:

    From his famous motorcycle trips to his historic role in the Cuban Revolution, Argentinean revolutionary Che Guevara is profiled in a documentary produced to explore the life of the man whose visage has become an iconic symbol of hard left politics. This man, who ordered the execution of countless human beings while in charge of the notorious La Cabaña prison in Havana, who terrorized Cuban society and who denied freedom to thousands of citizens whom he considered “deviants” or “anti-revolutionaries” can never be accepted as a hero, martyr or — the shock of it — a saint.


  15. LA NUEVA CUBA : “Che Guevara: The Fish Die by the Mouth” – By Humberto (Bert) Corzo*- Columnist, Los Angeles California-January 14, 2009
    INTRODUCTION: The saying “The fish die by the mouth”, refers to those who speak more than the necessary until being fooled by their own speech. Can his mythical reputation survive the publication of his own words?

    The objective of this article is to expose the truth about Che, to demystify it in the face of those who feel admiration by this mass murderer, exposing the facts based on his writings, diaries, speeches, letters and conversations with those who knew him.

    Che never questioned the crimes of Stalin and Mao, nor the totalitarian conceptions of Marxism, incompatible with the ideals of liberty and democracy, defending until his death his Stalinists ideas. His fanaticism made him an implacable enemy of liberty. The French writer Regis Debray, author of “Revolution in the revolution”, wrote about the Che that: “He was adept of the totalitarianism up to the last body hair.”


  16. Everyone who can think for himself knows that Che was a blood-thirsty homophobe and racist. He believed in equality for “some.”

  17. forty five years ago October the 9th the CIA eliminated the man Ernieste “Che” Guevara but not his message freedom and equaity for everyone, not just “one percent”

  18. So for the 4th time what happend to hubby?? Maybe GenY doesn’t do shagging much, self-promotion and idolatry are more important!

  19. Yes mouse, it was a cheese croissant. Now go try really really hard to find something interesting and relevant to post.

  20. So for the 3rd time what happend to hubby?? did he get a croissant or a shag at least?

  21. Man (mouse), I’m so sorry that your longer rants, um, posts, are getting censored.

    Heaven forbid we should all be spared another long-winded rant about American pop culture, or the travails of how it sucks to live in a democracy by choice.

  22. October 9 the day Che died…

    We got a hard revolution at the last count in Cuba.. That included the rivarly between two idols. What we know now is, from Rumplestilskin is that from the coming Cuban revolution we could expect soft focus idolatry that genY seem to appreciate and spontenously give…that may get them the dinner with LadyGaga some dream of today!

    So for the second time what happend to hubby?? did he get a croissant at least?

  23. Oh wow my longer messages are getting censored… and no USAnian in sight to defend me as promised here on this blog! What is democracy coming to!… maybe some people just don’t desereve it… they would say!

  24. October 9 the day Che died…

    You wonder what the guy would have made of the idolatry and messages to the supreme being (2 in one – jurno and hr advocate ) played here on MsY over a banal fact of life that other Cubans (Ladies in White, the guy at the Papal visit), migrants and people in general met with in every society once they decided to take matters of personal human rights in their own hands..

    To some (here) there is good idolatry and bad idolatry… the bad idolatry is the one Castro, Chavez and any band of dictators ‘encourages’… While ‘good idolatry’ is: the side your human rights jurno bread should be buttered on…so your books get published and the phone rings.

    It seem that genY in Cuba cannot give idolatry up just yet, the more since ‘it is spontaneous’ it is harder to give up when you hold the jurno card in your hand and you need that ‘cutting edge’ reputation that you’ve been there done that!!

    We got a hard revolution and a tough hero from the last count in Cuba.. That included the rivarly between two world idols, one dead and so forever young. What we know now is that from the coming Cuban revolution we’re gonna get the soft focus idolatry of Ygen…that may get them dinner with LadyGaga some dream of today!

    So for the second time what happend to hubby?? did he get a croissant at least?


  25. Cuba Libre is confusing “free” with “heavily subsidized.” Everything in Cuba is subsidized by the slave labor of the Cubans who work 40 plus hours per week for a salary of about $20.00 per month.

  26. Cuba Liar #37

    Here’s what you wrote: “Socialism abides by the rule that every human being should be entitled to the basic things in life,,food,health care, and for free.”

    What about housing and having a roof over your head? Isn’t that also basic? Why did you leave housing off your list? Does Socialism include your funneling of funds from capitalist Canada to a straw man in Cuba so that you can buy yourself a house on the beach? Is that part of Socialism too? Could it be that you know your purchase of property in Cuba is exploitation based on a price difference and your economic advantage? Isn’t that illegal in Cuba? Not sure I understand how this all works. Please explain.


    COMMENTARY MAGAZINE: Chavez Wins—So Does the Opposition – Ben Cohen

    However deflated Capriles may feel today, he has won a victory of sorts. Without question, had he been fighting in his campaign in a conventional democracy, he would have won handsomely. But in Venezuela, elections are stacked against the opposition from the outset. Whereas Capriles was permitted just three minutes of airtime daily, there were no limits on Chavez’s cadenas, his trademark one-man broadcasts that often last for several hours. Nor was Chavez short of tame media outlets hailing him as the leader of socialism in its 21st century mutation. Chavez was never obliged to debate Capriles on issues of policy. Instead, he chose to demonize his opponent, casually throwing around epithets like “pig,” “Nazi,” and “little bourgeois.” Anti-Semitism too played a central role in Chavez’s messaging. Though Capriles is a committed Catholic, he descends, on his mother’s side, from Polish Jews who arrived in Venezuela after surviving the Holocaust. Chavez, whose principal political mentor was Norberto Ceresole, an Argentinian Holocaust denier, seized on these origins with the gusto of a Julius Streicher. Cartoons lampooning Capriles often showed him wearing a Star of David. Among the many vicious profiles of Capriles in the pro-Chavez media was one by Adal Hernandez, a Chavista radio commentator, which carried the title “The Enemy is Zionism.”

    Most of all, Chavez was able to call on the resources of the state to fund his campaign. PVDSA, the state-owned oil company responsible for the petroleum revenues, which make up 95 percent of the country’s foreign export earnings, has been cannibalized by the regime for all manner of pet political projects, from low-impact social programs aimed at capturing the votes of Venezuela’s poorer voters to subsidized oil programs for fellow tyrannies like Cuba and Belarus.


  28. Yes, Cuba Libre, Chavez believes in equal poverty for all, and is laughing all the way to the bank. Fidel is the same.

  29. The poor re-elected Chavez because he gives away lots of free stuff, in order to insure that he will be re-elected. Venezuela is full of slums, poverty, and has a horrific murder rate. After 12 years in office, his “socialism” has been a dismal failure.

  30. What a great woman you are. I have been afraid for you since the first day you started to write. One day, they will try to get rid of you, like they tried to do, 2 years ago. Lots of people throughout the world are with you. Take care!

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