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Yoani Sanchez

Yoani Sanchez

Posted April 26, 2009 | 05:30 PM (EST)

On May Day Cubans Will Beat Out a "Kitchen Chorus" for Freedom


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The old pots and pans for feeding the family can be transformed, in the event, into the ballot we can't leave in the box and into the hand we dare not raise in the assembly. Any object can serve, if given the space required: a piece of fabric hung from the balcony, a newspaper waved in public, a pot banged along with others. The great metallic choir made up of spoons and pans could be--on May first at 8:30--our voice, to say what we have stuck in our throats.

Restrictions on coming and going from Cuba have lasted too long. So I will ring my pot for my parents, who have never been able to cross the sea that separates us from the world. I will join the symphony of pans also for myself, forced to travel only in the virtual world in the last two years. I will pound out the rhythm of the spoon while thinking of Teo, condemned to permanent exile if he happens to board a plane before the age of eighteen. I will beat the drum for Edgar, who is on a hunger strike after seven denials of his request for permission to leave. At the end of the metallic concert I will dedicate a couple notes to Marta, who didn't get the white card to meet her granddaughter who was born in Florida.

After so much beating on the bottom of the pan, it probably won't serve me for frying even one more egg. For the necessary "food" to travel, move about freely, leave home without permission, it's well worth it to break all the equipment in my kitchen.

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