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Yoani Sanchez

Yoani Sanchez

Posted: May 26, 2009 12:52 PM

Disloyalty at the Top: Cubans Wait For the Secret Video


One day my father came home pale and trembling. He had just seen a video--shown only to Communist Party militants--where they announced the cuts the Special Period would bring. Sitting at the dining table we heard him tell us that the hardship could reach the dreaded Zero Option, a single collective pot would have to feed all the neighbors on the block. The film my dad saw that night was intended only for people of "proven" ideology. Hence my sister, my mother and I had to be content with the terrifying narration he shared with us.

Only a "revolutionary elite" seems to have the right to learn about these issues that concern all citizens. I thought so selective a practice had gone by the wayside, together with others that were so common in the seventies and eighties. However, for a couple of weeks another video has formed part of the movie listing of the secret and hidden. The topic of this new movie is the downfall of Carlos Lage and Philip Perez Roque, the most recent of the youngest sons devoured by power. They are not the heroes of the plot, rather the victims, the scapegoats for something more like a Greek tragedy than an action thriller.

Everyone's whispering about the scenes in which both ex-civil servants talk rubbish about the generation in power, but so far a copy of the guarded video has not been leaked. It hasn't happened this time as it did with the filming between Eliecer Avila and Ricardo Alarcon, or with the images of Tania Bruguera's performance. Cubans are waiting for a generous hand to steal the film and circulate it on the alternative information networks. These are no longer the days when something like this can be maintained in the closed circuit of the faithful, because technology understands nothing about classified material or news only for the select few.

My father called me yesterday to find out if I've seen the hidden recordings made by those who threw out the foreign minister and the secretary of the Council of Ministers. "Don't despair," I told him, "as soon as I have them I'll bring them to you," and I immediately remembered when he broke Party discretion to warn us of what was to come.

Yoani's Blog, Generation Y, can be read here in English translation.