I want to borrow a phrase from Pedro Luis Ferrer, “Nobody knows the past that awaits them.” It came back to me a great deal in the days when, simultaneously, I was reading El Expediente*, by Timothy Garton Ash (1997), and watching on the television news the images of the “repudiation rallies” against the Ladies in White.
The book tells the story of a writer who had access to his records from the Stasi (State Security in the now defunct GDR), and through it learned the names of the informants who recorded, in minute detail, 325 pages in his file. What was seen on the news in those days it is not necessary to clarify.
None of those informers, from the intellectual circles of the walled and socialist Berlin, could anticipate that some day their names would be revealed, as probably none of the people, who on the streets of Havana insulted and spat at those women, take into account the fact that all those images have been recorded and will one day become the testimony of the documentaries which, in the future, will describe what inevitably will form a part of the past. “Mama, yesterday I saw you on television,” their children will say, staring at them as if they expect an explanation.
*Published in English as: The File: A Personal History