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Eliecer Avila arrives back in Cuba after traveling in Europe and the United States and Europe

Eliecer Avila arriving back in Cuba after traveling in Europe and the United States.

Last night Eliecer Avila returned, they tell me that today Berta Soler is coming, and Thursday we will greet Yoani and then the others will return: Guillermo Fariñas, Wilfredo Vallín, Juan Antonio Madrazo, Manuel Cuesta… and while some arrive others will leave, among them Dagoberto Valdés, who leaves today after years of his exit permit being denied.

Now missing is permission to visit or return permanently to Cuba for all those they have prevented from returning to their Homeland. Some won’t be able to do it because they died in exile, among them our Celia Cruz, others will require special guarantees, like Carlos Alberto Montaner and others who have been demonized.

“Cubanness,” that indefinable abstraction, will be stronger than any ideology, any religion. When sitting at the table we look at each other and recognize ourselves as Cubans, Cubans, period! as the great blogger rightly said; only then will solutions begin to appear, far from definitive, and bringing new problems, new challenges, new questions.

Someone will have to explain to me what must happen for this miracle to appear.

27 May 2013


This Tuesday, in the morning, tens of thousands of Young Cubans will be taking their history exam as part of their entrance exams to higher education.  The main content of the test is Cuban history, and it covers from the wars for independence of the 19th century through the early 21st century. To enter university, one has to pass three exams: mathematics, Spanish and history.  The final score on these tests represents 50 percent of the final score that is added to the other 50 percent formed by the cumulative grade point average acquired through three years of high school. Thus, the final scores are accumulated with which students compete for a place to study the major of their choice.

Very often, the opportunity to study a specific major is lost because of a missing decimal point in the final score. That missing decimal point can be the result of giving the wrong answer on the subsection of a single question.

Tomorrow, tens of thousands of Cuban youths’ future will depend on the way they answer questions like these: “When was the Moncada Program* fulfilled?” “What has been the repercussion of the US Blockade against Cuba?” and others of a similar style in which ideology is most important.

Many will answer what is expected of them because to a great extent their chances to fulfill their vocation depends on it.  Then, they will have to face the “University is only for Revolutionaries” requisite, and they will have to make new choices, such as attending an act of repudiation**, or raising their hands to participate in a meeting, or applauding something they dislike.  But, one day they will laugh at all that, and they will tell their children what they had to do to obtain that college degree hanging on their wall.

Translator’s notes:

* The Moncada Program was a series of demands and measures stated by Fidel Castro in his History Will Absolve Me (La historia me absolverá) speech while conducting his own defense at the trial for his assault to the Moncada Army Barracks in 1953.

** The linked video shows images of an act of repudiation against the author of this blog.

13 May 2013

Link to Original Blog in Spanish

Please help translate

Reinaldo Escobar (1947), an independent journalist since 1989, writes from Cuba where he was born and continues to live. He received his degree in Journalism from the University of Havana in 1971 and subsequently worked for different Cuban publications. His articles can be found in various European publications, and in the digital magazines "Cuba Encuentro" and "Contodos."

Desde Aquí/From Here is a personal undertaking born from the need to write about those topics that fill my head every day but that cannot find a space in the official Cuban media.

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