There is something about the song, Guantanamera. Belting out that one word somewhat musically does something to one's spirit. Aaaah, I feel Latin, Spanish, Cuban. My Anglo-Irish genes have tucked away in them another gene that rolls its r's and speaks Spanish. And my foot taps: boots with cuban heels making staccato noises. Any moment now a tango, a salsa will come - all because of that woman from Guantanamo whose 90th annivesary of memory in song will be celebrated next year, in 2009.
Which brings me to Roger Cohen. Each day the email edition of The New York Times drops in. I don't read it every day and, when I do, I don't read it all. There's a cursory glance at the headlines as I head for the Op-Ed - the opinion pieces. And I'm picky. My favouritest is Paul Krugman whom I have been reading for years and who, just this year, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics. Nice to know I can still pick 'em. I used to read Thomas Friedman. But not since, some years ago, he complained that no one was helping the USA in the Iraq war - when Australia was, first in after the USA, because of the conservative PM at the time and Australia's penchant for following the USA into hell and high water. I used to read Maureen Dowd all the time - but then everyone in Australia caught on and her columns would make it into the Australia press and I moved on. I read the occasional Gail Collins - not quite as smart and not as politically sharp as Ms Dowd but very amusing. Frank Rich is getting more reading time - and, because of his Cuban columns, Roger Cohen is stirring my heart. See what I wrote about his last column over here.
And now he has written with the dateline, Guantanamo Cuba. Guantanamo: the sounds of music, desire, and inhumanity all in one word. In Cuba, Cohen found a surprise:
A surprise awaited me. The church was full. A young priest in luminous green vestments was holding Mass. His words met me as I entered: “La Misa es siempre un encuentro con Dios” — “Mass is always an encounter with God.”
Read his words for yourself - food on which the mind may meditate and which will touch the spirit.