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Delfín Prats: the bosses reward him but do not apologize

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Delfín Prats

Havana Cuba. — A jury chaired by the main cultural commissioner of the regime, the former Minister of Culture and current president of Casa de las Américas, Abel Prieto, has just awarded the poet Delfín Prats the National Literature Prize.

The prize is well deserved, but it comes too late and is not enough to make up for all the damage that was done to him. The poet would also deserve, at least, a public apology for the censorship, ostracism, misery and all the humiliations that he had to endure because of this regime.

Now, at the end of his life, at the age of 77, when so much poverty and suffering is taking its toll on his mind, the commissioners, more out of hypocrisy and clean face than because their conscience bothers them, award him an award that entails a monthly pension so that he spends a little less hunger and deprivation.

As there will be journalists who want to interview the winner, he goes and even sends a brigade to repair him and his miserable house in Holguín does not look so ugly before the cameras. I hope they mend and secure the doors and windows, so thieves don’t try to steal his laptop again, which is the only valuable thing he has.

They could also get you a decent kitchen and guarantee you a gas bullet, so you don’t get soot when you cook with firewood.

The regime does not ask the poet for forgiveness, but after making him go through the hoop and bite the cordovan, it is he who forgives his inconvenient verses from the past, his improper conduct, his bad company and his youthful sins, now that It is not a crime to be homosexual.

Today, colleagues who had forgotten him, those who stopped dealing with him for decades and who did not know if he was alive or dead, rushed to congratulate Delfín Prats on the award, something that, moreover, did not interest them, and some even commented on it. Generous that the Revolution is when it comes to correcting its mistakes with those who suffered reprisals from yesterday.

Many prefer to forget that in 1968 his collection of poems language of dumbwhich had won the David Prize from the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC), after being published it was collected from bookstores and each copy turned into a pulp.

There began his ostracism, which was worse from 1971, with the Gray Decade. In his case, because he was homosexual, they parameterized him and made his life impossible.

He, who had studied Russian and philology in the Soviet Union and was an excellent translator, was not given a job as a translator. He had to work as a clerk in a restaurant and shelve the poems he wrote.

It was not until 1987 that his collection of poems would be published in a small circulation and without promotion. To celebrate the rise of Icaruswith which he won the National Critics Award.

Then he returned to his native Holguín, where he has lived ever since, accompanied by his cats, the only friends of his who have never failed him.

His compatriot and friend Reinaldo Arenas, who nicknamed Delfín Prats Coco Fusco, never forgave him for having told him off. No one could convince him otherwise. That is why he was so severe with Delfín-Coco in Before nightfalla.

I imagine the Dark Skunk, seeing this award, the winners, the winner and the hypocrites who today remember him again and congratulate him, exclaiming, with raised eyebrows: I can’t with these people!

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