The Curse of the Cursed

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Generation Y, Yoani Sanchez, Havana, 1 April 2015 – Imagine that after a flight of more than nine hours, you arrive at your destination but they don’t let you get off the plane. Your legs are numb from the journey, your relatives are waiting for you out there, your suitcases are full of gifts for friends… but an immigration official informs you that you will not be allowed to enter the country of your birth. You have to stay in your seat, tired and frustrated, while they clean the plane for the next passengers. In the time you wait for it to return to the airport from whence you came, you can’t stop asking yourself, “How could this happen to me in my own country?”

That nightmare, was just experienced by the artist Aldo (Maldito) Menendez – whose nickname means “cursed” – as he tried to visit Cuba to participate in the Cervantes Alternate Lives Festival of Camagüey (FIVAC). The Cuban consulate in Spain had already warned him that he was not welcome on the Island and had even stamped his passport with an authoritarian “annulled” on the so-called “empowerment” that Cuban emigrants need to enter their own country. But… the truly Maldito was not satisfied and wanted to experience firsthand whether they really wouldn’t let him cross the border.

Like any artist, Maldito is daring and irreverent. His works are provocative and even the title of his blog, Castor Jaboa, is an anagram* which, when we reorder its letters, delivers its message loud and clear. However, beyond his art, this young man who studied at the San Alejandro National Academy of Fine Arts in Havana, is a real cubanazo** who boasts the talent, mischievousness and the humor that so characterizes us. So how is it possible that, for political reasons, he is prevented from being in the place where he’s from, the site from which flows much of his art and his world of reference?

Maldito’s is not a new story, but that is no reason why we should get used to such abuse, nor cease to denounce it. After more than two years of immigration reform, its implementation has not eliminated the blackmail that Cuban emigrants are subjected to in order to enter the Island. The punishment of those who criticize the Cuban government from their residence abroad remains a denial of their right to return.

A few, protected by their power, decide who can once again walk these streets, embrace their friends, be in the house where they spent their childhood. And they do it from the arrogance of believing that they, with their ideology and their military uniforms, represent the essence of Cuba, when in realty they only manage to deform it, to restrict it… to kill it.

Translator’s notes:
*Castor Jaboa is an anagram for Abajo Castro — Down with Castro.
**A cubanazo is a boisterous, shamelessly stereotypical Cuban man (a woman would be a cubanaza) who dresses, walks, speaks and thinks in uniquely Cuban ways.

 

54 thoughts on “The Curse of the Cursed

  1. Shaking hands is better then throwing bombs. This is good news. Both Presidents are making history.

    Perhaps it is the time for the US to give immigration visas to those “dissidents”, there are just a few hundred of them, so that they can live in the capitalist paradise they preach so ardently.

  2. MORE CASTROFASCISM VIDEO IN THE Summit of the Americans! THE CASTRO AGENTS AND THEIR ALLIES SHOWING WHAT THEY ARE MADE OF! INTOLERANCE AND VIOLENCE AGAINST THOSE WHO THINK DIFFERENTLY THAN THEY DO! THEY FINALLY LEFT PANAMA BECAUSE THEIR LITTLE SHOW DID NOT DO WELL IN THE EYES ON THE WORLD!

    DIARIO DE CUBA: El castrismo no para de gritar – Activistas prodremocracia se enfrentan con partidarios de la dictadura cubana en la Cumbre de las Américas, en Panamá.

  3. Exile is a tactic used to get rid of politically inconvenient people like Napoleon and many others.
    The fact that the Castrista govt does this is yet more proof of the fragility of that regime.
    CastroChavistas going to Panama shows the world what they’re really like. The worry about that situation is that Cuban opposition members who are also in Panama, may face serious problems when back home. Maybe they should consider not returning?
    Getting off the terror list should allow Cuba to do intl banking, which incidentally also probably is the first prize Iran can get for behaving itself. However, not so fast, gun running to FARC should disqalify. The problem is that there’s such a rush to wrap all this CubaZuela business up in a neat package that disturbing facts can’t be allowd to get in the way.
    The voices of the ex-presidents and PMs of Latin America and Spain seem to be the only audible voices of sanity at this meeting. The world needs to listen to them…

  4. MORE CASTROFASCISM IN The Summit of the Americas IN PANAMA DAY #3 ! THE CASTRO AGENTS SURE LOOK LIKE NAZIS TO ME! AND I THINK TO THE REST OF THE WORLD! QUE PAPELASO!VIDEO VIA Yusnaby Pérez: Esta es la delegación que el Gobierno de Cuba envió a Panamá a hacerse pasar por “sociedad civil” gritando “mercenarios” a los que piensan diferente a Raúl Castro.

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