Alfredo Fernandez

HAVANA TIMES — In just one day, I’m now free to leave the country. It seems I can now spread my stunted wings before a world that I’m still not sure really exists.

Whenever I see someone from abroad arrive here, I think this person really only wants to mortify me, like those characters at the theater who wear themselves out trying to get me to join their nonexistent reality.

This is why there too frequently comes an idea in my mind that my friends never really left this country, but that they’re just pranksters with bad tastes hiding behind the curtain, poorly staged, at the Havana airport.

I’ll think that they’ve been doing this, sometimes for decades, playing this joke in bad taste that everything is going well in their lives, or at least better than mine. And they do this, by the way, making it clear that I’m only a slave.

Actually I didn’t expect this latest news. I’ve spent so much time longing for it that I could barely process it.

It turns out that now I am approaching what is being a true citizen, almost to the point of being as normal and common as any other one on the planet, except for three or four other rights that I still lack — for once and for all — to no longer feel like a slave of a totalitarian and mediocre state.

Cuba is now experiencing a day that is similar to the one in 1886 when the news was announced that slavery was ended. The difference is that today, unlike in 1886, the slaves know what to do with their freedom.

As soon as the news was broadcast, a friend called me to tell me that the fare to the Dominican Republic typically costs about 300 CUCs and that this country is looking for professionals.

So, friends of the state, this time the slaves won’t be taken by surprise, like they were in 1886.


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.

6 thoughts on “Freedom in the Bat of an Eye

  • RE: ‘dishing’ out “advice from the comfort of your suburban home”.

    I assume this is what YOU are doing, day in and day out, relentlessly offering advice in multiple comments each day. Your “home” may be more in the high rent district if we take you at your word, or it may take place in an ‘office’.

    The difference between your advice and Grady’s, is his is reality based, describing the conditions Alfredo will encounter in his country that Grady knows quite well. Alfredo will be in a position of validating it and will be able to return to Cuba if he wants.

    Your advice is that of an outsider, someone who, if you are to be believed, only lived in Cuba for a relatively short period of time and led a privileged life whilst there. Hardly reality based for most Cubans.

    And of course you are from ‘enemy country’, fully agreeing with the policies of your government. How objective is that? You never have a good thing to say about Cuba’s government. How prejudiced is that?

    And if Cubans took your advice – always counselling regime change – there would be no turning back, no second thoughts if life turned out not to be as rosy as you paint it under US domination. It would be too late.

    RE: ‘reaping the fruits of capitalism’ and characterising criticism of it as being “hypocritical”.

    Using your logic, every Cuban HT writer who disparages their government after reaping the fruits of the health and education system it is responsible for would be hypocrites. I don’t think they would appreciate be called that, dear ‘Moses’.

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