Friday, June 09, 2006

Faux revolutionaries

What happens when you live in a society, where the only way to survive and have a somewhat decent living is to pretend to be someone that you are not. The following story is provided via Babalú, which tells us that when in Rome do as Romans do, but make no mistake it clearly tells us that el cesar is all alone.
Mascarade Rafael Ferro Salas, Abdala Press

PINAR DEL RIO, Cuba - June ( - Mrs. Novo says she's a revolutionary. She's the wife of a coronel in the armed forces. Coronel Cámara (that's Mrs. Novo's husband's last name) is the head of the Association of Combat Veterans in this province. It's an organization that groups together army veterans commanded by Mr. Castro who overthrew the previous government in 1959.

By pretending to pass for a "revolutionary" and also by being the wife of a coronel, Mrs. Novo is provided with various perks. But...don't be confused, my friendly reader; Mrs. Novo's is a game that many here in Cuba call two-faced morality, though it's a mere euphemism and has no morals to it. The Novo woman--as some call her--is a fat, well-dressed lady, and it's unnecessary to say that she eats well, too.

Socialism is a system that generates squalor on a large scale, and those squalid conditions are distributed evenly among people. It's a diabolical formula: the distribution of misery affects more misery.

Mrs. Novo adapts herself to Cuban socialism by pretending to be a good socialist, and escapes the squalid conditions. She has almost all her brothers and sisters in Florida, but she doesn't publicize it. Her weakness for money and the good things in life gets carried away when those siblings visit the island. Then Mrs. Novo becomes a veritable lion protecting the packages her siblings bring. Mrs. Novo is very intelligent, as it's said in good Cuban: she knows how to swim and hide the clothes.

From her social rank as the wife of an officer of the armed forces with an "important post" like her husband, Mrs. Novo visits the best tourist resorts in the province, reserved for government officials and high-ranking army officers only. It's obvious to point out that in those places of privilege for "revolutionaries" Mrs. Novo also doesn't talk about her exiled brothers and sisters in Florida.

Just a few days ago a newphew of Mrs. Novo was searched by the police in his home, and all kinds of electronic goods, money and even the house were seized. The nephew put up foreigners there and did it illegally. It seems someone denounced him and the boy's luck changed overnight.

The "revolutionary" Mrs. Novo learned of what happened to her beloved newphew and flew into a rage. She felt that everything they'd done to him was unfair. That's to say as a revolutionary she did the impossible to save him, but... for fun, the woman's mask then began to fall from her face. They stepped on her callus--another popular saying--and it hurt her greatly.

The occupation of journalist leads one to learn about all things--or almost eveything, not to be too absolute--and this reporter learned that Mrs. Novo is preparing something. They say she's on the verge of retirement and when she does, she'll go apply for a visitor's permit at the United States Interests Section to visit her brothers and sisters like the good "revolutionary" that she is.

Don't be surprised, friendly reader; many of "today's revolutionaries" dance to the beat of Mrs. Novo's son. They're the privileged cast of a mascarade ball and... there aren't masks for everyone in this 46-year-old carnival, the longest on earth.

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