With God and with the Devil

For me, music and sports are universal languages which reflect the societies in which they develop. This island, which is at the mercy of the Caribbean ocean and is considered to be the key of the Gulf due to its geographic location, is currently living through days of baseball euphoria- the national sport and passion which consumes us. With that said, the play-offs were underway to determine the new champion of “balls and strikes”, while also in the country, a group of young musicians decided to hold a concert at the headquarters of intolerance in Cuba: the Jose Marti plaza of Anti-Imperialism.

The group’s lead singer, Rene, took stage with numerous drawings and signs on his body. I don’t criticize him and I don’t applaud him, but I should mention that I’m not really fond of tattoos, though the subject of this writing has nothing to do with marks on bodies.

With the lyrics of their songs, the group Calle 13 infected the very demanding public of the capital city. I affirmed myself and analyzed the most daring of their stanzas: “the people rule and the government obeys”. He said this in a country where the authorities in power suffocate even the most minimal of traces of the dissidency, without any consequences. The most recent example were the fanatical groups of disturbed people who, fueled by hate and intolerance, degradingly threatened the Ladies in White.

The young musicians demanded freedom for the five agents of the Cuban intelligence service who remain jailed in the United States for a little over a decade. According to some of my friends and colleagues that reside in freedom, the musicians declared: “we live in the same planet, we are all humans, and amongst prisoners and family members the ones who suffer the most are the latter”.

I invite these artists to visit the families of political prisoners and of conscience in order for them to understand the meaning of pride of having a relative that unconditionally serves the country. Sometimes I really think that this island lives within a waterproof bubble and some foreigners prefer pious misinformation over the crude reality.

Calle 13 then continues to make news. Someone told me that they took part in the march which was convoked and lead by the Estefan family. I cannot deny that he has that right; in fact, I am neither shocked nor bothered that he seeks to be in peace with both God and the devil. But there is one thing that remains beyond clear: we Cuban political prisoners of conscience need more than words, we need actions. At certain ages it’s difficult for people to be manipulated, unless they chose to be manipulated.

I wish on-going success for Calle 13. We political prisoners of conscience need respect, and overall, we need justice.

Pablo Pacheco Avila, prisoner of conscience


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