Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Rappin' in Cuban

El Gusano was rappin' in Cuba today and wanted to share with y'all.... he's got the crunk!
A friend and reader from Cuba sent me a copy of the article penned by Ziva, "Pregunta" appeared today in Babalu.
He knows of the friendship that links us to Ziva, and to be honest, the gentleman follows everything the lady writes, and he appreciate her insights.
Of course he cannot comment, he can read -risky enough- but he cannot comment lest you want the guy to appear in one political prisoner gallery.
I 'fessed to him that to me, it was interesting that the rapper wore a che t while speaking his mind against the government, and far from taking down the post, I left it because I wanted to illustrate the contradiction in ideological terms that life has become in Cuba. I wanted to see what people will say, specially after the controversy of Santana and the Estefans.
After a few e-mails, my friend retorted with one very sharp and barbed arrow that nobody in the States would pull out of the carcaj, just because we don't carry that one in our systems, he said: "oye, es que a ustedes no se le ocurre que nadie en este cabron pais tiene nada que ponerse?" (listen dude, what's with you guys that nobody gets that nobody in this fucking country has anything to wear?) That's so logic that we cannot think about it. Para el maricon de Santana el pullover es un simbolo, para este tipo el pullover es para taparse el pecho!
For the guy, the t-shirt is just a tool to cover his body. Whatever it has printed, that doesn't matter to him. For us, the meaning of the image goes beyond any material significance. As it should be. But they live in a non-reality world.
A couple of e-mails later, he comes with this other jewel: hey dude, the guy's no dummy, he knew that he would be on camera.... a t-shirt of el che saves his fucking life. He can say what he wants, and no one will dare to accuse him of being a counterrevolutionaryI Dig that!
And again, we would not think on those terms. We don't live in Cuba, and our idealism is such that we would never camouflage ourselves under such a hideous symbol. But they need to survive, and they need to make a buck and bring bread to the table everyday. I have to tell you, it hit me like a ton of bricks falling off an eighteen wheeler.
I then told him that Ziva was absofuckinglutely right in being worried about the re-education of the Cuban people, and that I think, like Ziva, that a long time will be required to undo the damage done by the dictatorship. He also agrees with that, and he also says something else.
There will be people who will yearn for the return of the commies to power.
He has a dire prediction: democracy will be intermitent in Cuba, and the ex-commies will be elected to power in many places, specially in the more destitute and poorest places as it has happened in the backwaters of Eastern Europe. I wrote back saying that I was not that happy with that prediction, but I have to take whatever information he has as gold from an open air mine, since he's there and I am here. He proceeded to tell me that there are dissidents in Cuba who are self-proclaimed socialists, and that there are even people who tell you that communism is great, but that fidelism is what's rotten. And I asked him: are those dissidents too??? What the hell???
His concise answer: yes, aqui tiene que haber espacio para todo el mundo. Lo que venga no puede provocar otro exodo u otro exilio, porque aqui lo que necesitamos es gente que quiera vivir y trabajar aqui.
Good thing that my meeting was delayed, because I shot back with another question: what about accepting immigration?
In his opinion, immigration will bring new fresh bloood to Cuba, it could be returning exiles of people from anywhere who want to risk it all (because, let's face, it will be a risk!) to establish themselves in Cuba and work in the reconstruction of the country. He also told me that in fact, immigration has started already. He knows at least one Chinese guy who operates a restaurant in Havana's own Chinatown, and the guy came from China in the mid-nineties. I was surprised, and I said but how's so??? Well, he's not the only one. He mentioned that he knows a few Americans who practically live in Cuba -not the fugitives mind you, but people who live in small coastal towns and so on, and a few Europeans who live in Cuba. married to Cubans, with Cuban kids, and living under the same conditions than any Cuban.
I had to go at that moment, but I told him that it was good to know that foreigners who don't agree with the policies of the government put thier love for a Cuban (and the Cuban people) before anything else and actually move to Cuba. He wrote a last e-mail that I read just a few minutes ago, where he said that those foreigners are foreigners no more, and that the education they give to the Cubans that surround them in terms of what the exterior world is like is invaluable.
I think so too.... so maybe the re-education of the Cuban people already started. I don't like the word re-education that much since it has a commie zing to it, I like better the training for life of the Cuban people already started.
We will have a lot of work in front of us to reconstruct Cuba and bring it forward to the place it deserves amongst the nations.