Monday, April 19, 2010

Carlos Franqui, R.I.P.

He was a revolutionary who edited the magazine RevoluciĆ³n and broke with the Revolution itself, leaving Cuba in 1968. Obits from AP here and El Pais here and here.
From his book Family Portrait with Fidel, some of Franqui’s recollections from 1964:
"I went down to the old tropical market, but it didn’t exist any more. No more fish. No more fruit. No more flowers. Where was it all? The socialist market was empty, bureaucratic, and ugly. The whole city was becoming Haitianized. You now saw chickens and turkeys in coops on balconies; there were vegetable gardens wherever there was some open land. Once upon a time only the Chinese had these mini-gardens; now everyone did. The salt in the air was destroying the walls of the houses because no one bothered to paint any more. It was early in the day, and the first lines had already formed, people looking for bread or for the cup of coffee they would never find. No neon signs, no lights, fewer cars than I had remembered. Buses were now a rarity, and taxis were impossible to find. Women came carrying pails of water.
"As day dawned, it dawned on me that I was in real danger. In my mind’s eye, I could see the past like a film. I reviewed it all and found no way out of what I had done, no way out of where I was. I should have thought things over when we came down from the mountains into Santiago at the beginning of January in 1959. Fidel said he would miss the war. I knew I wouldn’t, but I knew I would miss something else – the future I had fought for. Everything was different, but nothing had changed. Only the power had changed hands. The people still had to work and obey."
[Photo from La Razon]

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