Another Type of Violence

Danae Suárez

Line at the fish market.

People talk a lot about the violence that reigns among the peoples of Latin America today. Venezuela, Mexico and Colombia are all countries — to mention only a few — that possess ruptured systems of civil security.

That’s why for many it is ridiculous to speak about violence in Cuba or to cite some assault in the street or an isolated murder. In that sense — to be fair— our country is peaceful and safe.

But there’s another type of violence that reigns in the streets of Cuba.

“Sir, could you scoot over to one side to let us go through,” said one woman getting on the bus ahead of me.

“And where exactly do you want me to go, on top of your shoulders?” answered the old man insolently.

In the line for the bus or at the fish market, in the waiting room of a polyclinic, or queuing in a dollar store, a cinema, or vegetable market, everywhere there are irritated people. People wait for the slightest false move to let loose all the anger that has accumulated for who knows how many years.

The accumulation of frustration in the lives of Cubans today has turned them into unsociable and exasperated beings. It seems as if every day we live through what psychologists call micro-psychology, which among other things makes reference to the accumulation of small unpleasant incidents that slowly fill up people’s daily lives at the unconscious level. These build up until the last drop finally falls – and they explode.

I understand the difficulties that we’re going through. I know because I experience them in the flesh and blood, in the shortages that inundate our lives. But to collect hate and bitterness in our hearts is not the right way out. The greatest damage we do is to ourselves.

“I have a dream,” said Martin Luther King. “But I too have a dream,” is my response. It is to one day be able to touch and feel a society where fraternity, tolerance and love among people reigns.

I don’t believe that it’s too difficult. It only means searching within ourselves for the good values that are always sown in our souls and having the courage to live them every day, despite everything.