Alfredo Fernandez

When did Peru get so screwed up?  So begins the great novel Conversación en la Catedral (Conversation in the Cathedral), by Mario Vargas Llosa.

It turns out that this question posed by Zavalita to a friend in a mid-1950s Lima café can be extended in time to present-day Cuba.

When will those born on this island stop seeing subsistence as an ephemeral period and above all an especially anomalous of life and begin conceiving of it as life itself?

When did we begin to accept as normal that our wages always have to be excessively low, requiring us to constantly concern ourselves with our immediate survival?

When did we decide to accept the decisions of politicians as being indisputable, despite their ineptitude?

When did we decide not to protest what is wrongfully done, since things couldn’t turn out worse than already are – and nothing will change otherwise?

When did we decide to pay to continue to be Cuban when we’re abroad?

When did we stop caring that our hospitals had deteriorated to the point that they are today?

When did we accept that the fact that wages of a police officers are higher than those of a doctor or a teacher?

When did it become normal for us to spend three days in a bus terminal waiting to travel?

When did we begin to conceive of emigrating as the sole way to solve our problems?

When did love and friendship become transformed (not by all) into means of obtaining material goods that are impossible to obtain through work and honesty?

When did we learn to “live” with family, friends and lovers who, in the best of cases, we only contact by e-mail or see them a single week each year?

When did we decide to leave all the solutions to the country’s problems up to biology?

When did Cuba get so screwed up?


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 “When?

  • Andrea,They took away little by little each of the freedoms. Until we were left with the bare minimum.
    To understand it why this things happen we can read some of the mechanism at work

    For example

    I think it may have something to do with the stockholm syndrome and the stanford prison experiment conducted by Philip Zimbardo at Stanford university and also the Milgram experiment and also group think.
    When you combine all of this. It produces such a system where everyone agrees and it is going down a path where criticism is not allowed to the point that being critical is consider treason.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm_syndrome
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Group_think
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanford_prison_experiment
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment

  • Alfredo, you wrote this article almost a year ago.
    Do you think there are more Cubans asking the same or similar questions to themselves?

    It would be very useful to understand the process and the mechanism of that human behaviour that prevents us from acting when our life is getting worse and worse almost each day. Why our basic instincts that are responsible for defending our lives do not make us do something against it? Why do we let the situations get more and more unbearable until we feel deep apathy and we are too tired, bored, resignated and enervated and when we think it is too late? And how long could people be treated like this? Where is the dividing line between being inactive and giving a loud and firm response to the issues that we are not agree on with our leaders and rulers?

    Unfortunately, people can be manipulated easily and there are still enough great manipulators on this planet.

  • Alfredo
    Yes when?
    Hope all Cubans start asking themselves those same questions and looking for answers and start pushing them back. It does not have to be the way it is.
    The power is on the hands of the people of Cuba. No government can hold the power of the people.
    No brutal dictatorship can hold the anger of the people against the injustice of the government of the few and of the governmental elite.
    If we all push a bit we can change things.
    Let us push.
    Push for a free Cuba, a democratic Cuba
    a Cuba for all Cubans.

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