Original music by José Fernández Díaz
Lyric adaptation by Julián Orbón, based on a poem by José Marti
Yo soy un hombre sincero
De donde crecen las palmas
Y antes de morirme quiero
Echar mis versos del alma
Mi verso es de un verde claro
Y de un carmín encendido
Mi verso es un ciervo herido
Que busca en el monte amparo
Cultivo una rosa blanca
En julio como en enero
Para el amigo sincero
Que me da su mano franca
Con los pobres de la tierra
Quiero yo mi suerte echar
El arroyo de la sierra
Me complace más que el mar
Guantanamera, guajira Guantanamera
©1963,1965 (Renewed) Fall River Music, Inc (BMI)
All Rights Reserved.
Guantánamo is the easternmost province of Cuba. Its provincial capital, of the same name, is associated geographically with an enormous purse-shaped bay, one of whose shores is occupied by a US Navel Base, often called "an offense to Cuba's national sovereignty." There are hundreds of detainees held at the base, without having been tried or found guilty of anything, going on five years. For more information about Guantánamo Bay and the violations of international law by the US, visit the Amnesty International site.
On June 14, President Bush said that he'd "like to close Guantánamo" but added that the U.S. still needs "a plan" to deal with the detainees. He added: "No question, Guantánamo sends, you know, a signal to some of our friends — provides an excuse, for example, to say, ‘The United States is not upholding the values that they’re trying to encourage other countries to adhere to.'"
What I find telling about the President's statement is that he does not say that the excuse for the criticism is invalid.
Two Saudis and a Yemeni hanged themselves with clothes and bed sheets at the prison on Saturday.
Bush made his comments a few days after someone in his State Department called the suicides "a great PR move."
The latest issue of Bookforum has a section on the poetry of Guantánamo Bay's detainees. This section includes poems from detainees as well as a poem from family to a detainee, and an interview with an attorney who represents some of the detainees. About a year ago, the San Francisco Chronicle published a story about one detainee who described how writing poetry helped keep the detainees from losing their sanity.
Thanks to Alma Luz Villanueva for the lead to Bookforum.