House Arrest for No Reason

17 May

After my detention for some hours on May 11, when they informed me I was prohibited from leaving town until after May 16, I returned to my house, as is logical. I never thought the prohibition would be accompanied by a plan that included hurting my two children. From that moment until Sunday, cars passes by on the street where my house is, “by chance,” filled with military police in plain clothes, and to give proof that there were there they would honk their horns right under the window where my baby girl, sixteen months, sleeps.  They also sent inspectors and sanitary officials to check on I don’t know what. I also had several apparently casual visitors snoop around my house.

The situation also affected my son Malcolm, who would look out every now and then “to see if there were cops outside” and who was frightened by the nightmares of a child.  The elderly people who live with me saw the other face of Cuba, the contemporary, that “Fidel has enforced.”

Nevertheless, my wife, Exilda, and I have not stopped dreaming of freedom. When a police detachment of more that 20 men is put in place to watch one writer and to be sure his writings do not reach the freeways of cyberspace, something is broken in the repressive machine of the dictatorship.  Why such a ruckus to keep a handful of free men from celebrating the birth of a martyr to democracy, in this case, ORLANDO ZAPATA TAMAYO in Banes, Holguin?

I should clarify that during the house arrest of six days we were given, according to G-2, the opportunity to go out only to the streets of San German and then only in the custody of two gendarmes.  I could have walked on the streets but this was not a spectacle that I wanted to perform in.  My sisters, the Ladies in White, are unbeatable in this and my action would be only a minuscule caricature of civil disobedience by comparison.

My Twitter friends from Havana, Canada and Spain recharged my cellphone account.  From Miami and Texas arrived messages of encouragement and more recharges so that I can continue reporting through the use of this organization that has become a cannon ball.

Father Adonis González Betancourt came to my house so that we could strengthen our faith, and feel companionship. The text messages of Father Pablo Emilio Presilla came always without delay from Antilla. Human solidarity is a rubber band; we never know how far it reaches.

Even as we remembered Zapata we sent messages of gratitude to Reyna Luisa alone with her family, since no brothers were allowed to get all the way there. They were many detentions; there will be  more but ZAPATA LIVES, AND ALSO BOITEL

After they lifted the police surveillance of my home, Sunday around noon, we were once again able to hear the street vendors selling plastic paper clips, candy, marmalade, fresh fish, salty crackers…

No one can stop a runaway horse that is bent on its freedom.

“Marti promised to you, and Fidel kept that promise,”  says a verse written by a Cuban poet to praise Fidel Castro as the only savior of the nation.

Translated by: Mari Mesa Contreras and Paige Harbaugh

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