I have decided, finally, to start a new phase. From now on I publicly assume my identity, but will continue using the pseudonym Eva for this blog and for those occasions when I decide to do so. I am renouncing the mask but not the name; I already feel that Eva González is a part of myself and marked an important stage in my life. Without becoming a woman with two personalities, I have become two names in the same woman. I have fulfilled my commitment to those who asked me to unmask myself and now I must fulfill one with myself: To offer my face.
My real name is Miriam Celaya Gonzalez; I was born on October 9, 1959 in Havana. I am, as I had said, an ordinary person: wife, mother of two children and grandmother of a precious baby boy only one and a half years old. I graduated in art history and worked for over 20 years in the Department of Archaeology of the Academy of Sciences Anthropology Centre, which I left of my own accord in August 2005, while directing a research project. Previously I had been a professor of Spanish literature and language. I have never been pampered nor persecuted by this regime, nor do I desire to be the one or the other.
I count myself as one of those more than thousands of Cubans who awakened to reality in 1980. The events of that time would mark an important milestone for many members of a generation that had grown up in the naivety of faith in the good intentions of the system, in ignorance about the world around us, in a most rigid indoctrination, and in the belief that we were the elected, predestined to build a better world. We were the happy progeny of a perfect utopia.
The events that occurred in the embassy of Peru, the stampede of the Mariel boatlift, the repugnant rallies of repudiation, were among the drum rolls that shook us from our prolonged lethargy. I did not cling to the broken dream, rather I rebelled. That same year I was expelled from the UJC [Young Communist League], which I had belonged to since 1975; every day of my life I congratulate myself on this. For many years I have not been a member of a Committee for the Defense of the Revolution, or been federated with, or a militant of, anything (although I was a member of an opposition party from late 2003 to February 2007). I already had enough. I have experienced in my own flesh that of personal independence is a treasure without price and that individual commitment does not require a call to action. In this journey I have discovered, also, that I am not alone; there are many Cubans who think and feel as I do. A fairly large group of them are working towards the same dream: Another Cuba, one that is safe from dictators, deceptive paternalism, strongmen, and political exclusion.
Since December 2004, the date of its foundation, I began to work as part of the editorial board of the digital magazine Consenso. That initial project has transformed itself and taken a more promising and inclusive course. Today we have, in the digital magazine Contodos hosted on the portal Desdecuba.com, a place for citizen journalism destined to support the momentum of civil society in Cuba, and to this I dedicate the major part of my energies.
In short, Eva and Miriam are the same thing, there are no contradictions nor antagonisms between the two names. I like the significance of Eva for its symbolism; but much more I like my real name. Miriam means rebel; never could my father have conceived, 49 years ago, of a name more appropriate for me.