Sunday, June 17, 2007

"you're a man now"

It was 1976.
I just had voted no for the "socialist constitution" impossed on Cuba.
I was called to the feared "comite militar" for a round up draft to send young Cubans to fight in Angola, which was our very own Viet Nam and Iraq rolled into one. It was an unwinnable war, horribly lost, with scores of Cubans lost in the jungles, killed, devoured by cannibals, tortured, whose bodies never came back. It was also a war of lies of the government against the Cuban people, whose sons were dying in a war that was fought by proxy to furnish the Soviet Empire with oil, diamonds, gold, and ivory. Yes, it was an imperialist war like no other.
I waited for my turn.
I said no.
"I am not going to Angola"
I was pushed, kicked, locked up, humiliated, and allowed to go home.
I sat in a sofa, waiting for my father who wanted to talk to me.
He simply put his hand on my shoulder and said: "you're a man now".