Cuba is standing in front of the alleged owner, with the forehead in the sky and the sun between the lips

“Zhazz!, zhazz!, zhazz! Not a moan. The silence is so great that it is almost possible to hear the tears of the slaves and their children when they fall to the ground. The march continues.

“A few steps ahead the owner is comfortably seated to the shadow of a flamboyant tree, hoping that now the black man does not dare to walk past him without lowering his head, in full submission.

“Zhazz!, zhazz!, zhazz! When the time comes, the poor man stands up, as if he wanted to emulate the palm trees, tilts his forehead back, smiles, turns around, and passes his back in front of the man.

“Zhazz!, zhazz!, zhazz! With satanic fury, the whip bites his chest and face, but he does not stop smiling, visibly happy.”

Several times, in my childhood, I heard my father tell that story, moving, gesturing, and speaking like each of the characters. I don't know where he got the anecdote from, but he came to it to justify some of his confrontation with the abuses of the Rural Guard or the owner of the sugarcane farm in which he worked, or to support the challenge to any injustice.

Also, surely, to instill in us the ancestral indomitable spirit of the Cubans and the will to never give up even in the worst circumstances.

The Revolution triumphed, and my brothers and I: poor, blacks and guajiros ("the last cards in the deck," as it was said before) were able to attend school, like all the children in the country.

Thus, in contact with books and reality, we have known and lived sublime stories, but we never forget the one told by our late father, to which we return again and again, especially in moments of definitions, such as the current ones.

And it is that “... Zhazz!, zhazz!, zhazz!...” the whip has not stopped cracking. There it is, 90 miles away, no longer made in Spain, but made in the USA, and more avid than ever for our flesh and blood. It sounds and resounds; but, here, the scared and those with a salable soul are scarce. Cuba is standing in front of the alleged owner, with the forehead in the sky and the sun between the lips.