01 November 2007


Another day in the tropical island-wide concentration camp that is Cuba, another 60 people thrown in the slammer. Intimidated, terrorized and roughed up.

For what?

Well, apparently for taking Raul Castro at his word. (something you should never do with a communist, btw). On October 28th, in La Habana, a group of young people decided to comment on the state of affairs in Cuba. Now, being young, hip, fashion conscious and brought up to be Che–like revolutionaries, the young rebels did what young rebels do these days. No, they didn’t burn cars like they do in Paris. No, they didn’t throw rocks like they do in Palestine. No, they didn’t whine about it on their myspace page like they do in the States. And, no, they didn’t take to the hills as guerrillas like Fidel, Raul and Che urge the youths in other countries to do. They donned wristbands and took to the streets! Innocuous and pitiful as far as protests go, wouldn’t you think?

But, not in Cuba. In Raul’s New Land of Pragmatism and Open Debate wristbands are deemed too dangerous to be tolerated. You see, the wristbands worn by the youngsters had a message on them. A one word message: “CAMBIO”, (change). The youths were wearing the harmless bracelets to comment on the just completed municipal elections. Now, isn’t that what elections area all about- Change? And aren’t they in fact agreeing with interim President Raul Castro, who himself, has promised structural “changes”-Cambio?

No one would be happier than me if Raul Castro decided to change the course of the Cuban nightmare-volution and transition the country into some semblance of a democracy, (I'm not even all that picky). But arresting young people for wearing wristbands and for complaining about much needed societal change, something that Raul himself has said is needed, is not a very promising start. Maybe if they had worn wristbands with “Inertia” or “Stagnation”, they wouldn’t have invited the regime’s wrath. I doubt it. The regime isn’t against any statement per say, it is against the individual and his right to express himself.

But, what I find promising is that the regime that boasts about standing up to the Empire and repeatedly volunteers its citizenry for all out war against the invading, wristband wearing, annexationist Americans is frightened of innocuous wristbands with the word “cambio”-(change). It doesn’t say much or for its seriousness in making the changes that Raul has promised the Cuban people to improve their everyday lives and thus for the confidence that the regime has in its ability to survive the “succession”.

I have always resisted the temptation of wearing one of those trendy silicone wristbands that support one cause or another or make some sort of profound statement because I’m much too cool to wear my heart out on my wrist, but given the irritation that the one-word wristbands caused the insecure Cuban regime, I’m looking into making my own version of the “CAMBIO” wristband and making an exception. We should all be wearing “CAMBIO” wristbands in solidarity to the Cuban youth who risked so much with such a simple and harmless act.


From The Miami Herald's Naked Politics:

Republican Sen. Mel Martinez and his Cuban-American counterpart, New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, a Democrat, put aside partisan differences today to blast a common foe: Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

From the Senate floor, the two displayed small white plastic bracelets with the word, "Cambio" (change) etched on them.

Here's a picture with the "CAMBIO" wristbands worn by Sen.Martinez and fellow Peacock Sen. Menendez on the Senate floor.

We need to get these in mass quantities and sport them like the counter revolutionary fashionistas that we are!


Anonymous said...

Where can we buy or order the Cambio Writbands?

Ziva said...

Here: http://claudia4libertad.typepad.com/home/2007/11/stand-in-solida.html