Daisy Valera

HAVANA TIMES — I’ll turn 25 on January 7, but I’m not going to stop here to list my achievements or my frustrations.

I was born in 1988, so I belong to neither the generation that enjoyed the benefits of the Soviet bloc nor the one that grew up breathing the fresh air of change in the ‘90s.

And even less was I one of those who in the ‘60s and ‘70s were peons in the construction of “something.”

As the children of the Special Period crisis and of the 2000s, we learned not to expect good news. For us the word “future” isn’t much more than part of a phrase repeated ad nauseum.

We follow the dynamic of the grand wheel of survival…where there’s very little time to think about anything except a piece of meat, a pair of shoes or a tube of toothpaste.

I think we confuse optimism with stupidity, and I believe we’ve learned to shelve or shred our dreams.

For things to go a little better for us, they recommend that we talk in low voices and walk on our tiptoes – though I’ve turned out too awkward.

So, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that my birthday will be spent in one of the offices of the Ministry of Science.

I’ll be trying to talk to a secretary who will be looking at me with disdain and even anger.

Now I’m just another one of the unemployed.

They went through my emails — and my rare moments on the Internet — and managed to fire me based on trivial computer regulations.

I’m an “undisciplined”. They could forgive me if I spent five out of my eight hours a day watching movies, chatting or discovering what exercises to do to get rid of cellulite.

But looking for information about Cuba, or writing and discussing that topic is too much; it’s a serious act of “indiscipline.”

To get reassigned, I’ll have to deal with the same people who one year and nine months ago told me that, although I was a nuclear chemist, I couldn’t work in any research capacity given my “characteristics.”

Those “characteristics” are nothing other than writing on this webpage about thing of interest to me or that cause me to worry about my country. Unforgivable.

I expect perhaps months of unemployment, running from one ministry to another, noting how the functionaries avoid me and invent implausible excuses, repeated a hundred times: “Come back tomorrow to see if we can take care of your problem.”

I have a year and three months to complete my post-university social service obligation, and the Ministry of Science is obligated to assign me to a job.

But then what?

My work record says more than any employing supervisor wants to hear.

My current situation is a warning and a vision of the future.

Daisy Valera

Daisy Valera:Soil scientist and blogger. I write from Mexico City, where Havana sometimes becomes so small that it disappears. However in others, the Cuban capital is a city so past and present that it steals your breath.

19 thoughts on “Unemployed at 25 in Cuba

  • you are a dreamer, my email is controlled, my phone is bug and I live in a free America, the Patriot Act has given the government this Authority, please do not kid yourself. Daisy seems to me a good girl, this is my personal opinion, but she has to learn to go with the flow!

  • Let’s see:

    You affirmed that Cuban intelligence agencies monitored her university e-mail, well what she writes here is public. So she doesn’t fit the ‘profile’ required as I said in my very first comment. You and Moses then came to try to portray myself as ignorant.

    You came with straw-man fallacies to distort what I said – the ‘thoughtless sheep’ are universal. By the way the very first one to mention the specific situation in Canada was you, so if the arguing went ‘out-of-topic’ it was by your own initiative, not mine.

    You argued about an Orwellian reality in Cuba. I responded we share academic, employment, military service and criminal records with Cubans. The only difference in Cuba are the CDR reports – and I’m yet to see a view on the social role of the CDR’s (back then when they were created and now) that isn’t simply propaganda, from both ‘sides’.

    You talked about that a Canadian employee may have his e-mail monitored, but only with a search warrant. I proved you wrong.

    You said that Canadian employers are only interested in protecting their intellectual property and business operations when adopting surveillance technology. I proved you wrong yet again.

    So only fool here is you. You are like the Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail movie – left without both arms and legs and pathetically insisting on fighting.

    Give up Griffin, you prove to be unworthy of debating with me.

  • Luis,

    You say I “simply forced” you to write off-topic nonsense? Oh dear, my bad. I’ll try not to make a fool of you again.


  • Moses,

    I wonder why every topic presented you tell us you did something like that as an authority argument, like you were a ‘good boss’ right now. You say you couldn’t afford to lose a professional when in reality there are many out there that could take his place – the ‘reserve army of labor’ as Marx liked to call it. This is one of the reasons full employment cannot take place in a capitalist economy – not even in the most advanced ones – there must be a margin of ‘moveable’ workforce to satisfy the employers demands as they see fit. You talk like if employers didn’t look after the reasons behind one worker quit or got fired in a previous job in their resume. They do. Anyway, what there’s ‘simply no comparison’ is between Cuba today and Stalinist Russia, as you and your propagandist friend like to portray, like if it was by Raul Castro’s direct orders that she lost her job when you said Daisy ‘suffered at the hands of the Castros’. By the way, you didn’t write a single word about the Patriot Act. And stop pretending you are a Democrat.


    You are right, this topic is not about Canada at all. So much that in my first post I didn’t mention anything like that: you simply forced me to offer an perspective of what happens in the business world regarding privacy, and failed to reply to my arguments, thus whining about a change in topic that didn’t occur: we are still talking about the same subject. Those ‘imaginary evils’ you talk about are not imaginary at all – you are the one who look at reality as if there were an imaginary Heaven outside Cuba and an imaginary Hell inside it. And that’s simply not true.

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