N.'s husband looks out the window to plain-clothed security patrolling calle neptuno, a street that had become hot with activity by the peaceful dissident group damas de blanco. i thought i'd photograph the security guards from inside the house, but N. asked me not to. she was afraid i'd get caught, and told me she'd be the one that would go to jail.
later that night i was detained by 3 of the plain-clothed security that had been in the area. i was innocently taking pictures of buildings in the neighborhood, when 3 men started calling at me. i walked away, and they followed in their car. i ran, they got out and chased - i started yelling because i thought i was about to get assaulted. they grabbed me and demanded that i get in the car, they told me they were security. people nearby chimed in, telling me to go with them, that they were indeed security. it was all a misunderstanding: i didn't know they were security, and they thought i was some kind of spy. i asked if i did anything illegal, they said no.
things work differently in cuba. this was the first of many lessons that taught me to adjust my expectations.
- maria izaurralde
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