Out of the Game
Out of the Game / Lilianne Ruiz
Lilianne Ruiz, Translator: Unstated
This Monday, my daughter and I went to her school at 9:15 in the
morning. The neckerchief ceremony had already ended.
The teacher did not ask me why we were late this Monday, but she didn't
want to know why my daughter had not come on Friday. I waited until the
children had moved away: "This Thursday the political police kidnapped
my friends and my boyfriend to block them from going to the court where
the trial against Angel Carromero was being held, the only witness to
the death of Oswaldo Payá. That day the political police knocked out
Yoani Sanchez's tooth with a blow.
In all countries, especially in Latin America, in which any type of
dictatorship has been suffered, it has been also possible to prove that
one of the worst social effects, for being the most generalized, is the
moral degradation into which people fall. For this reason, when a person
becomes aware of herself and decides to practice a life in truth she
automatically becomes a dissident, especially in those countries
governed by a state dictatorship that also has a discourse about justice
– "all justice" as the Chancellor says – and about peace and friendship.
The hypnotic power of great ideas.
When I ask myself if perhaps the women of the political police who beat
Yoani are, in fact, human beings, the one who falls into a dangerous
form of discrimination about what is human and what is not is me.
On returning from school I ran into the wife of good old Orestis in
charge of surveillance for the Committee for the Defense of the
Revolution (CDR), who asked me why I hadn't taken my daughter to the
ceremony. She knows the answer, but this time I opened my mouth to say:
"She will put on the neckerchief so as not to create an adaptive
conflict among her little friends, but she did not go and she will not
go to any political activity because, among other reasons, behind all of
this, of this adoration for the 'work' of the leader and all those
symbols that don't mean 'the fatherland,' are the guys who ordered the
repression against my boyfriend and my friends.
This lady is one of those cases of addiction to the regime and even CDR
activism and and she hopes to get a visa to travel to the United States
based on being claimed as family by her stepdaughter. When Anita
expressed her complicity with the politics of the government you can't
help but make note of her being in waiting for a visa to live in the
United States and depending on family remittances to defend the
dictatorship, only that, the one who is paying, stupid thing, is the
stepdaughter in exile in the country repudiated by the politics of an
extremely unjust, abusive, kidnapping government that she still defends.
It's a mouthful; much worse, because in this violent paradox many have
lost their lives.
She started screaming, really screaming, that "you can't hold me to
those words." And then her daughter came out, who is the mastodon to bet
on in a contest for people who are ugly within, and instigated by her
mother, she began to hit me until I fell to the ground. I regret not
having responded to the blows because I am not afraid. I was reminded of
all the times that I avoided coming to blows in school simply because I
don't know how to fight by punching.
I told them I would call the police for their assault and so I did. The
cops on patrol heard my whole story and I even presented myself as an
opponent, doubting that the opponents that I admire would concede my
taking such a title, that to me honors me. They then changed their tone,
they spoke to me more sharply but they did not refuse my right to go to
the station to make a complaint for assault. I told them to give me a
few minutes to take my daughter to the home of the only neighbor who is
When I came down the stairs and out the door of the building, I saw
Isabel, the MINIT Lieutenant Colonel, who has made a type of campaign
among some of the neighbors not to speak to me, talking with one of the
police and I clearly heard her tell him, "Let her make the complaint, we
will go and be waiting for her there."
I thought about saying something but continued walking with the cop and
when we got to the car he told me, "Come tomorrow and make the
complaint, but I'm not going to take you." I said, "I am not afraid. If
it's about what she said I have to make a complaint because I don't
respond to their beatings because of cowardice but because it's not my
language and the police are there to stop mobs of people like her who
physically assault others. That is a crime anywhere."
We both argued for some minutes. I telling him that I was not afraid of
"Security" if they really were waiting for me, and he said that if I
wanted to I could go, but I had to do it on my own two feet. The police
station is quite far from my house. The other patrolman came and told
him, "Take her to make the complaint." And that policeman still
intrigues me, as if he was wanted to avoid my being ambushed, he never
stopped saying, "You're not going in this car."
October 9 2012