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Yoani Sanchez

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Occupy Cuba: The Plaza Inside

Posted: 05/30/2012 9:19 am

2012-05-30-DSC08321.jpeg
Havana. Photo: MJ Porter, Translator

We Cubans occupy our beds, the stairs of our houses, the piece of the table before us, the chair in front of the television, the empty refrigerator, the half open shutters we peer out of. All this and more, before taking to the streets and public squares. We talk about sex like someone shouting at a demonstration, we submerge ourselves in the black market as a cry of protest and we climb on a raft to cross the Florida Straits as our most daring gesture. We complain within, whisper our dissent for fear the keen ears of the political police might hear us. Instead of obstructing the sidewalks and the asphalt, we daily launch the cobblestones of theft and inefficiency at the State, although we call the theft "diversion of resources." We do not practice passionate slogans to chant at a rally; rather we are experts at apathy, in the wearing of masks. Our most rebellious action is limited to practicing the double standard, and evading the excessive ideological propaganda.

The ground we occupy is not visible; it is not outside a bank, nor in front of a stock exchange where the numbers enrich some and drag others into misery. No. We have occupied only the territory that lies between our skin and our bones; the tiny esplanade that conforms to our fears and the empty park where all the paranoia and distrust we've been infected with since childhood hangs out. For this irritation to break out and materialize in a crowd, demanding a corner, to manage that, the occupant hidden under our skin must free itself first from the cop with whom we share our body.

 

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