Truth, even if clandestine, is still truth. Val Prieto August 17, 2006

The “r” on the typewriter no longer works and there’s no ñ key. The ink being engraved into the paper isn’t ink; it’s shoe polish. Typewriter ribbons are hard to come by and paper is old, brittle and scarce. There’s no copy machine, no scanner, no fax and there is no phone next to the typewriter on his desk. Computers aren’t allowed. Satellite dishes receiving the latest world news aren’t allowed. There’s no software, no hardware, and no staff. There are only a few sheets of yellowing paper, a typewriter, a pencil and a candle to see by.

He works by candlelight not because of the frequent “apagones” – power outages – but because any light shining though his window late at night is but a beacon to those who want to silence him. It would serve as proof that he’s up to no good by the standards of his government and an excuse to be picked up and taken into custody for “dangerousness.”

He plods on in the dark, without r’s or ñ’s, unable to see the full text in the darkness, and typing as gently as possible so as not to awaken the sleeping giants. Beads of sweat sometimes gather on his forehead, the humidity of Havana at night trickling his perspiration and making his eyes sting, smudging, perhaps, his already typed pages.

. . . more