Rhymes of Unfiltered Thoughts
We had a pact
You promised me the most fundamental
Human Right: Freedom
Offered me a social(ist) paradise free from
Neocolonialism & capitalist vices
I, in return, swore to shed my blood,
Shouted with conviction I’d go to war:
“¡Patria o Muerte! ¡Venceremos!”
“Fatherland or Death! We shall overcome!”
But you forgot to mention the most basic
Condition of our pact: Freedom
Is a subjective word.
What you call “free healthcare and
Education” comes with a cost:
1. Wake up at 6:00 a.m., go to work
(If you ate your piece of bread the day
Before, have an empty stomach ‘till lunch.)
2. Work for 12–15 dollars a month
3. Have no Internet, no phone, no running water
If you live in a town like the one I was born
4. Celebrate my victories with long marches
Under the broiling sun (It’s voluntary! But guess
Who may lose the job if daring to stay home?)
5. Explain to your children you can’t afford toys.
Why? Ugh! Niños: they ask so many questions
Anyways, tell them it’s the Americans’ fault:
El bloqueo económico. Explain to them that
Americans are evil and make them jump:
“¡El que no salte es yanqui!”
“Whoever doesn’t jump is a Yankee!”
What can I say? Bravo! I suppose?
You’ve managed to trick millions of people
Around the world, who see you as
An ideal of social justice and hope.
I wonder what they’d thought had they
Grown up as an average Cuban:
6. Forced to work in the land from a very
Early age: Weed, harvest, use a hoe!
7. Forced to become members of the Union
of Communist Youth ’cause universities
Are just destined for Revolucion-
(Revolution, a word which has lost
Its meaning in your political lexicon
= 50-year stagnation and more)
8. Forced to sign papers declaring
To return the passport after your
Academic Interchange abroad
Forced to live abroad. Longing to taste
The Freedom you deprived us of:
Freedom from Degrading Treatment
Freedom from Arbitrary Arrest
Freedom from Interference with Correspondence
Freedom of Opinion and Information
We had a pact, but guess what? You blew it.
And now I can only go to bat for my compatriots
In a language that’s not ours — rummaging
Through the hymns of “our Historical Enemy”
To find my voice. My real voice:
Banished, shattered, exhumed from its home.
You have silenced me, but I won’t lose hope:
La Libertad, someday for my people will come.