A Book for a Cuban Blogger

19 Mar

I already know, you’re going to say it’s one more campaign, but I never tire of settling down with any vestige of civilization; I’m positive that in a few years when the prehistory of my children’s generation is written, they will understand how desperate their parents were during the tropical socialism of that time.

A couple of days ago I received, intact, through ordinary mail, three books: two novels I had been seeking for some time, and a small collection of essays that is a gem.

When the mailman arrived with the three little packets I thought it was a joke from the “Island Gestapo,” a letter-bomb the big boys of Villa Marista had prepared for me. But I was completely wrong and setting aside paranoia I decided to open them.  From Germany, Raquel sent me “Tiempos íquidos” by Bauman; from Manzana, Horacio Pesquera passed on to me, from Madrid, the novel “La Casa del silencio“, by Orhan Pamuk and Miguelito, from Manhattan, who had stolen it for himself, gave me “El salón del ciego“, containing the lovely well-executed prose of Carlos Victoria.

And I think that yes, this has been a victory. These three examples have the distinction of being books used by the first owners, or purchased on a special summer discount and forgotten in a corner of the house, but the senders know that a ruthless devourer of books is going to taste them in Cuba and they will be passed on to his peers as if they were the elixir of eternal youth.

They sent me the books by ordinary mail, but they say that there are other ways, CubaPaks, DHL and others that, although more expensive are safe, but it doesn’t matter.  To those who have asked, I have said, don’t stop: send literary magazines, used books that don’t fit on your shelves, paperbacks, or anything someone coming by plane can bring. For now, they arrive. Grab them and send them to the blogger or to your friends, send them as you would water in a time of natural disaster, or as blessings when the man condemned to death must enter the dark tunnel and never return to the light, as this is an island so fastidious in opposing books and information.

Ask the bloggers and independent journalists for their addresses, here is mine:

Calle 20, No. 1303, entre 13 y 15. San Germán, Holguín. Cuba. CP 82800.

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