Cuba Suffers ‘Anthropological Damage’

Alfredo Fernandez

HAVANA TIMES, Feb 21 — Recently I was talking to a friend about the situation that Cuba and its people are facing. Without letting me finish, she jumped up — almost hysterical — and said how pointless it was to talk about that issue. According to her, “What you can’t change, just don’t try to figure out.”

This friend fervently believes that her problems will be resolved as soon as she leaves this country.

I had an excellent relation with another former friend, also a Cuba woman, until the moment I decided to suggest she look at a video on the Estado de Sats website. The subject was the “The Media in Cuba,” which was filmed this past December and featured David Canela and Eliecer Avila and me.

Without a second thought, the now former “friend” responded to me with a sharply phrased email in which she clarified her status as a “representative of Cuba to the world” (she’s in Japan doing her doctorate).

Given these times, it’s hard for me to understand this person’s fear of clicking onto a website, even more so since she’s thousands of miles from the censors. She must be suffering from a deep pathology when, despite so much water between her and Cuba, she continues to experience such a high level of fear.

Another friend who works in Mexico told me that he met a Cuban who immigrated there more than fifteen years ago with his family.

He said that whenever he starts to talk to this person about what’s happening in Cuba, the guy will grab him by the arm and walk him out to someplace where no one can hear them (as if he were still in Cuba).

The guy reminded him that “no matter how far away you are, you still need to take precautions.”

If these examples have something horrible about them, the only thing would be their incredible accuracy. This is what happens to people from a country where the only options to responding to the excesses of the government are silence or exile.

The situation is such that the agronomist and director of the magazine Consenso, Dagoberto Valdes, has given it the name “anthropological damage.”


Alfredo Fernandez

Alfredo Fernandez: I didn't really leave Cuba, it's impossible to leave somewhere that you've never been. After gravitating for 37 years on that strange island, I managed to touch firm ground, but only to confirm that I hadn't reached anywhere. Perhaps I will never belong anywhere. Now I'm living in Ecuador, but please, don't believe me when I say where I am, better to find me in "the Cuba of my dreams.

3 thoughts on “Cuba Suffers ‘Anthropological Damage’

  • As we have many defenders of the Cuban system on this website, I wonder if they would care to comment. Is this really the type of system you hope to see in action, where consent is based on fear. The historic leaders of the revolution were true rebels. What they have created though by their bossy nature is a total lack of rebel spirit, a nation of too many cowards.

  • after that many years the damage now might be genetic

  • Your commentary is sooooo true! I have a Cuban friend who emigrated to Los Angeles one year ago. He still strokes his chin with his thumb and forefinger to avoid saying Fidel Castro. These Cubans are not likely to change. The fear that Cubans bear every day of their lives leaves a permanent scar on their psyches. Here is the irony…typically, these Cubans also possess in other aspects of their personality a type of equally illogical recklessness or bravery. That is to say, they are likely to agressively demand service at a restaurant or be the first one to respond to some perceived social slight. Truly “anthropological damage”.

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