Thursday, July 30, 2009

Cuba And U.S. Start To Dismantle Their Mutual Insults

Cuba And U.S. Start To Dismantle Their Mutual Insults

At night a few red flashes lit up a bit of the Malecon, just where the
guards' whistles warned that no one could sit. The United States
Interest Section had a lighted news ticker, which few managed to read,
to transmit news items, articles about the Declaration of Human Rights,
and political messages. A forest of flags in front of it prevented
anyone of human height from seeing the scrolling letters slide past.
With their constant beat, the enormous fabric flags "contributed" a
noise to the neighborhood that made it difficult to sleep in the nearest

Although the official version says that the 138 flagpoles are there to
remember the victims of terrorism, we all know that they accomplish the
mission of covering, almost entirely, the statements appearing in the
windows of the Interest Section. The screen on one side, and the flags
on the other, were the visible symbol of the confrontation between the
two governments, whose evolution is still very difficult to predict. To
vary the repetitive path of the conflict, some days ago the Americans
deactivated the luminous notice board that projected over the street. A
little before, the Cuban side had also removed the billboards, with
their mocking and insulting tone, that had been located on the sidewalk
in front.

The question many of us have is what will happen now with the beating
pieces of fabric if there are no phrases for them to cover up. The
enormous costs of replacing the material damaged by the wind and
maintaining the masts, strongly attacked by the saltwater, makes no
sense if there are no words on the other side. Removing the banners will
be gesture that will come about a little later, but in the end it will
happen. Some day I will walk along the coastal avenue of my city and
nothing will interrupt the union of the two blues made by the sea and sky.

If they have already disconnected the digital ticker with its messages,
then it's time, also, to lower the flags intended to hide it.

Yoani Sanchez: Cuba And U.S. Start To Dismantle Their Mutual Insults (29
July 2009)

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