Tuesday, February 19, 2008

"Cuba will be free."

Fidel Castro resigned today.

In noting this remarkable event, I turn to Cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas.
Convicted of "ideological deviation" for his openly gay lifestyle and unauthorized writings in Castro's Cuba, Arenas was imprisoned and tormented. Living with AIDS in exile in NYC, Arenas took his own life in 1990.

From his suicide note, written for publication:

"Due to my delicate state of health and to the terrible depression it causes me not to be able to continue writing and struggling for the freedom of Cuba, I am ending my life. . . . I want to encourage the Cuban people out of the country as well as on the Island to continue fighting for freedom. . .
"Cuba will be free. I already am."

I know of Arenas through director Julian Schnabel's film of his autobiography, Before Night Falls. Arenas was played by Spanish actor Javier Bardem, pictured above. (Schnabel also directed 2007's The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.)


For info on suicide prevention or help if you are struggling:
"The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals."
Outside of the United States, please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of international resources.

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