iOS app Android app More

Yoani Sanchez

Yoani Sanchez

Posted February 6, 2009 | 10:52 AM (EST)

What Happened to the Star in Cuba's Flag?!


The Star That Illuminates and Goes Missing

2009-01-29-Picture2.png
This photo appeared on the front page of the daily paper, with the star on the flag appearing only as a shadow.

Among the many ways of extinguishing light, there are very peculiar ones such as "shining in its absence." An unmistakable gleam has remained reflected in a photo that appeared yesterday on Granma's front page, where the Cuban flag lacks the five white points in the middle of the triangle. The commotion has been such that the newspaper was sold out in the early hours of the morning and today, on the street, everyone was talking about it. Obviously it's not a question of a printing error, since a star does not escape so easily.

I prefer to think that, capricious and proud, the bright star that represents our sovereignty decided to go away, on the eve of the birthday of the Teacher [Jose Marti]. Because the independence that he radiates is not only that of being autonomous of a foreign power, but that which allows every citizen to be sovereign of the powerful State. In light of the fact that it's so dark in the field of civil liberties that we can't even see our hands, the solitary star deserted its red field leaving the official organ of the Party with its marked absence on the front page.

There are errors that have much greater symbolic weight than hundreds of successes. Evasive stars and readers who interpret their escape; Islands that live dependent on prophesies and superstitions; days to remember the national hero and flags that dare to show what so many people keep silent about.

* Line from Jose Marti, which originally read: "The star that illuminates and kills."

2009-01-29-granmafrontpage.jpg
A larger picture of the front page of the paper.

Translator's Note: Granma is the official organ of Cuba's Communist Party and one of only two major daily papers both government-controlled. The day after this photo appeared, Granma explained the loss of the star was a printing error.

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