Desde Dentro de Cuba.

Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. -

16 de Mayo del 2000

FACES IN THE CITY. By Rafael Contreras, Cuba Free Press.

Pinar del Río.- The city is not the same any more. That happened because its people are not the same. Now the city has filled up with many faces it did not have before. It was always a quiet city, open like a young girl on the verge of giving in. But no. Now the city is not the same. One keeps fancying that those new faces that stick out are to blame.

One leaves the city and already expects the faces that are appearing. There are the deceiving faces of the new class of opportunists with contemptuous looks at those below them and opportunist looks at those on top.

If you who read this chronicle are a Cuban exile, you realize who I am referring to when I say opportunists. And if you lived in this city, there are more than enough reasons for you to remember those faces, even though others are appearing whom you don't know.

There are the faces of uncertainty. They are those whose faces empty their account and are left without a possible balance. There are those people who have doubts and who are undefined, those who say it's not worth it, that no one knows where this is going to end. The uncertainty leaves that lack of definition. It shortens the step until it leaves the whole body disabled. It has shadows and carries fear as well.

There are the faces of intrigue. There are those who work in a factory and die doubting the person at their side. Then the intrigue is brought out, the esoteric evidence of jealousy perhaps.

There are those who decided once and for all to change to the side of the opposition. And they have to confront irreversibly those faces of intrigue. Those that at every step tell you that what's-his-name is from the G-2 security police, that so-and-so isn't frank, so that in short, if you who read this chronicle were a government opponent, you have more than enough reasons to remember those faces of division.

That is the reality in Cuba. The Cuban of today goes out in the street in the middle of a dance of masks. The friend who yesterday was from the gutter of the street like you now has risen a few steps and can't distinguish his confusion from on high. The neighbor who filled his lungs with optimism feels defeated today. The friend from infancy who was at your side playing marbles and flying kites has gone to the other side of protests. Today he speaks to you frightened. You see someone who comes to think as you do but behind your back says you are a government agent.

This is the city. These are some of its faces. If you who read my chronicle are Cuban and were ever a part of this metropolis, you have more than enough reasons to understand what I write. Recall and without fear put the appropriate mask on every face you remember. Then laugh to your heart's content now that you are forever far-removed from the indefinite carnival of this island.

Rafael Contreras, Cuba Free Press.

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