26 November 2006

The Humanity of a Gameboy

Manuel Vazquez Hugs his wife Yolanda and his Gameboy recipient son.
Watch the news or read the newspaper and you’ll notice lots of human interest stories from the media; The personal side of the story, if you will.

A few weeks ago, The Miami Herald, having spent two years investigating the nefarious connection between the white house(s) and the Cuban Exile community, published it’s “expose” of the waste that existed in programs designed to get aid to dissidents inside Cuba. The Inhumane side of Cuban-Exiles.

In The Miami Herald’s undeclared, continuing covert war against the Cuban community there is no human interest, for we are rabid Chihuahuas. They use turncoat double agents like Corral and Menedez to fight behind enemy lines and proclaim our hypocrisy and intransigent inhumanity.

The Nuevo Herald , however, continues to print stories expressing views and information which are noticeably absent from the Miami Herald, revealing the bias and the widening gulf between the Miami Herald's editors and the Cuban - American community.

I have translated the following editorial from the Nuevo Herald. The Miami Herald would never print anything like this in English because it would undermine its anti Cuban-Exile agenda with the English speaking public. Please forgive my poor attempt at translation. If you are fluent in Spanish, read the original.

Two Gameboys for Gabriel

Dr. Paulina raised the scalpel . Her hand sure. Wise. Firm. Behind the windows in the operating room, intrusive gazes. The cuban political police watched. They had been punctual, unmasked. They wanted everyone to know that they were there. Yolanda glanced at them in disgust. Dr. Paulina didn’t allow herself to be distracted by them. It was, perhaps, the first time that the neurosurgeon had been observed by non-experts. Who knows if it reminded her of the severe, impassable scrutiny of her old professors when she was just a student? She paid them no mind. Nothing disturbed her concentration. Serene. Her pulse steady.

A child, barely nine years old waited for her to extricate a lymphoma that was putting pressure on his medulla. She had cared for him over the years. She knew everything about the kid. She could not fail. She could not fail that woman that wringed her hands and prayed for her only child in the next room. She couldn’t fail that man that languished in a punishment cell at the Boniato jail while the boy called out to him just seconds before sinking into the deepness of the anesthesia.

The cut was exact. Long. Deep. It would take twenty eight stitches to suture it.

“Daddy, your friends sent me a Gameboy” he said when he went to visit me a few months later.

He was fitted in a tight corset made of iron and straps. His gait was unsure. Dr. Paulina had prohibited him from making quick movements, exercising and using his strength. He wasn’t as loose as he was when we ran along the coast of Alamar to see would be first to the beach. He didn’t have the same elastic agility with which he used to hug me. An invisible corset, tighter still, had just been fitted around my throat.

It was the first toy that my son had ever gotten that I hadn’t bought him. It was the first toy that he would have to kill the boredom of not being able to roughhouse with the other boys. He would make Super Mario jump while he laid bored on his bed sheets. It was the toy from some uncles he had never met. It was the toy that he would use for the first time without first getting a kiss from me. Without us investigating it together. A feeling of thankfulness and rage engulfed my

“Who?”, I asked Yolanda

“The people from Acción Democrática”

I thought of Juan Carlos, of Guillermo, of Osvaldo de Céspedes. I smiled.

On the next visit, now in Winter, the corset remained as did the Gameboy.

“Daddy, they sent one to Christian and Alejandro”, he said as he bounced on my knee.

“Of Course, They deserve one also”

“They haven’t had an operation”

“No, but they have a great wound. Christian’s wound is that he can’t play with
Osvaldo Alsonso, his dad. Alejandro’s wound is that he can’t play with Hector
Maseda, his grandfather.”

“It’s true”, he said and remained silent.

Yolanda started to fill me in on all the scuttlebutt. She had to keep her voice down, almost inaudible. Just three paces from us the guards watched and listened. She told me about the family. She explained to me about the strength of the Ladies in White. She gave me details about the other prisoners that were dispersed among all of the Island’s jails. She detailed the benefit concert that Willy Chirino had given to help us. She told me of the strong support of the Plantados in Miami, that the Cuban American National Foundation wasn’t far behind; that some women who went everywhere dressed in black had started an organization named M.A.R. for Cuba, were lionesses that fought for us all over the world and that Frank Hernandez Trujillo sent me “these vitamins”.

“To see if you restore yourself a little, and this coat, that’s not pretty or expensive, but it will keep you from being cold in that damn cell”, she said

And I thought that I wasn’t alone, that my family wasn’t deserted. I thought in the books that Re Oculto sent me. I thought in Rolando Cartaya’s efforts to have my voice be heard on Radio Martí, even though I had been condemned to loneliness and muteness. I thought of the writers and journalists that fight for us. And that was when Gabriel brought me back from musings.

“Daddy then I deserve two”, he said.

“Two what?”

“Two Gameboys”


“One for the operation and one for the wound that I have because you’re imprisoned.”

1 comment:

El Zorro said...

Somebody get this gringo a spanish-english dictionary for Christmas! hahahaha