Foreign Press Protects Cubans at "Freelance" Book Launch

Between the two walls


Today at 3 in the afternoon we managed to present Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo's book. After sneaking through the alleys of Cerro to lose the two "securities" who were following us, we ended up at the Capitol and took a bus through the tunnel under the bay. Tension, fear and doubt joined us on our brief journey to the fortress of La Cabana. Orlando was thinking of his mother, with her high blood pressure, frightened by the threatening phone calls. My mind was on my son Teo at his school, unaware of the fact that maybe nobody would be there when he returned home. Fortunately, they were only ghosts.

The police operation had--we understood it a posteriori--an intention to intimidate, but there was little they could do in front of the cameras of the foreign press and of the writers who were invited. We began, sitting on the grass, speaking with a group of fifteen people, and ended with the closing applause of more than forty. We were surprised by the presence and solidarity of several young writers and poets with books published by the official publishing house. Also by the attendance of some Latin American novelists who supported us with words and hugs. There were Gorki and Ciro of the group Porno Para Ricardo, Claudia Cadelo of the blog Octavo Cerco, Lia Villares, author of the blog Habanemia, Reinaldo Escobar, blogger of Desde Aqui, Claudio Madan and others whose names I won't mention, so as not to cause them harm.

From the other side of the street a group of persecutors was filming, with a telephoto lens, everything that happened in the green esplanade. Several primary schools had been invited to fly kites in the same place and a raucous reggaeton started just at three in the afternoon. However, we managed to isolate ourselves from all that and enter the door of Boring Home; to raise ourselves a few centimeters above the dusty reality of the watched and the watchers. From where I was sitting, the wall of La Cabana looked to me more deteriorated, full of small porosities that opened in the stone.

Yoani's Blog, Generation Y, was just named one of the 25 Best Blogs of 2009 by Time Magazine. It can be read in English Translation here.