Act of Repudiation
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    The Preponderance of the Small

    The Preponderance of the Small / Lilianne Ruiz

    Lilianne Ruiz, Translator: Unstated

    Yesterday I decided to go to Neptune Street between Aramburu and

    Streets to see about and receive impressions of the site where

    from 7:35 in the morning on Friday until today, Tuesday, September 25,

    the repressive organs have established themselves in front of the

    headquarters of the Ladies in White.

    At some point in the afternoon when it came time for me to decide

    between leaving or staying home I made the second choice. I imagined

    myself in the situation of a person who avoids plunging into very cold

    or very hot water, and you just put one foot forward or imagine you can

    but the body and soul hang back, avoiding the danger.

    The news came by word of mouth: the street and house were under siege,

    it was impossible to reach them. They had ordered the employees and

    students from the of Havana to go there to repudiate* them.

    The Federated University Students (FEU) "extras" and a platform with

    singers were making noise, while State Security agents were stationed at

    the door to prevent the Ladies from leaving to go to Church. The extras

    in Cuba have become somewhat macabre, I always perceive them in slow

    motion, the government uses them to repudiate while the mob, brought in

    for the occasion, beats the opponents.

    No one imagines that immensely apathetic people who participate in an

    , under orders sent from the top of the pyramid of

    power in Cuba, have the least interest in either in changing their

    destinies or in defending this government from the threat of a group of

    women who protest in defense of the rights of all Cubans not to go to

    jail for dissent or for denouncing the regime, and who fight for the

    release of those who are now prisoners under conditions difficult to

    imagine, and even to believe on hearing their testimonies.

    I remember the legend of the martyrdom of St. John of Patmos at the

    Latin Gate, and the poem. Surely as part of my quest to continue to

    protect my shell.

    Finally a feeling of frustration invades me. I can't write about

    anything else. At night the number of Ladies in White imprisoned was

    confirmed to be more than 60.

    Meanwhile at my daughter's they are preparing the children for

    the Young Pioneers scarf. A picture of the Castro brothers on one of the

    walls of the classroom and portraits of the five State Security agents

    (the "Cuban Five") — colleagues of the abusers besieging the house of

    the late Laura Pollán — appear in the childish imagination as heroes of

    the fatherland.

    Those are not my values nor the values I want my daughter to learn. I

    would be difficult with her five years to maintain two meanings for the

    same symbols; because none of these people are completely real to the

    child's perception, fairies are more real. It's me who's looking for the

    morals and hope of all these childhood fables, where being brave and

    telling the truth don't leave you completely alone against the forces of


    *Translator's note: The nature of these "repudiation rallies" is clear

    from the photos in this post. The regime often claims they are

    "spontaneous uprisings of outraged neighbors" but in fact people are

    routinely bussed in and the actions are planned in advance. In at least

    one case, confronting the regime with knowledge of a planned

    "spontaneous rally" and demanding its cancellation was successful, at

    least in cancelling that particular action.

    September 25 2012

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