Actos de Repudio… A Reckoning

Screen shot of act of repudiation against independent journalist, Iliana Hernandez, December 8, 2020, Cojímar, Cuba.

February 2, 2022

Bridges to Cuba just posted my new essay on “acts of repudiation,” the organized public shaming brigades that are sent to the homes of dissidents to shout insults, hurl eggs, and sometimes deliver beatings. The essay explores how my own family was marked by the “acto” that we experienced when we were trying to get out of Cuba and my efforts to turn that ugly legacy into something constructive.

Bridges was created by two Cuban American author-heroes of mine, Ruth Behar and Richard Blanco. It was an honor to work with them on this project. It’s a far better essay because of their insights and guidance.

You can read it here:

2 thoughts on “Actos de Repudio… A Reckoning

  1. casi1967

    Before we knew what it would be called and how prevalent it would become, my family and I were victims of an act of repudiation on 1/1/59. When a mob of six men broke our front door, furniture and terrorized my mother, my brother and myself. In spite of the chaos and terror being inflicted upon us, my courageous mother called them cowards and thugs. She told them they were no better than esbirros and added that their red and black flag stood for blood and mourning “sangre y luto” and that some day they would realize it. She cursed the leader of the pack after he slapped her face. Told him that he would die before getting the chance to enjoy his revolution. Soon we found out he was dying from cancer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anahflaster

      I’m so sorry to hear of your own encounter with this ugly “revolutionary” tradition. What a brave mother to have had at your side! Thank you for sharing that unforgettable memory. I hope the essay helped you at least feel “seen.” That’s the least we can do for victims of injustice and violence. The very least. I hope, also, that the sharing your story gave you the solace that can come from being heard. Today, brave Cubans like your mother continue to reclaim the decency, justice and freedom that Cubans lost. The diaspora is doing its part to tell the truth about today’s Cuba. You’ve reminded us of how long overdue the truth-telling is. Mil gracias.


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