Memories of glasnost via Sputnik

I have vague memories of the articles about Glasnost in those incredible Sputnik magazines, before it was banned by the government in August 1989.  With this act of censorship against those they considered the “murderers” of socialism, began, for me, the last chapter in the saga of the Cuban government, which began with a wandering journey to nowhere, very visible in the sector of the economy, the diaspora, the sterile “cultural rescues” and the restrengthening of nationalism through small appliances made in China.

A Russian satirist wrote something like this:

In my city people who lived the arts dedicated themselves to the stuffy and perfection of their skills and came to be honored artists.  Those with a talent for the sciences strongly dedicated themselves to science to deepen their knowledge and came to be renowned scientists.  Those with no interest in science and no talent for art dedicated themselves to direct others and came to infect everyone with their mediocrity and incompetence.

And with regards to his immediate environment he said:

My small apartment is the same as my neighbor’s and those of many of my friends.  The same can be said of the building where it is located. The hard-working builders completed buildings and left quickly to construct others somewhere, forgetting to complete the sidewalks and parks. Opposite the entrance to my building there is a huge puddle full of mud, determined to soil our shoes…

Today, as I observe the deterioration of the neighborhood, the garbage watered by dogs, the ‘lions’ and the ‘divers’ and I avoid a huge mud puddle every time I enter and leave my prefabricated Soviet-era building, with minimal apartments where it is simply impossible to place a three-door cabinet or a game with four chairs without utilizing the famous fourth dimension or the devil’s magic in The Master and Margarita, I can only smile with irony and sadness, remembering those Sputniks of Glasnost, the breath of hope that they brought to our debased atmosphere and hear the recurring echoes of the sound of a door being violently slammed in our faces.

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