Looking Back on the Year in Cuba

Elio Delgado Legon

Happy New Year. Foto: Caridad

HAVANA TIMES– When New Year’s comes along, most human beings think back and draw a balance about their experiences and future plans. The young make long term plans, while those who are no longer so young, like myself, can only make plans for the shorter term, as our options begin to run out, like in a game of chess.

A person’s life, see, is very similar to that thinking person’s game: when it opens, we have many possibilities and options ahead of us, and the outcome depends on the attitude we assume before each situation. In other words, the move we make in response to what life deals us will determine the subsequent course of our existence.

After looking back on this year that ends, I’ve come to the conclusion that, when the game opened, in my youth, I made several correct decisions that changed the course of my life. For instance, faced with the option of working with my father in the countryside, as many of my contemporaries did, I decided to continue studying and to look for work in the city, the kind of job that would allow me to study and work at the same time. Though I didn’t earn enough to support my family, I always had my parents’ support.

This decision had important consequences for my life.

Another crossroads I faced – connected, to some extent, to the previous – had to do with politics. There, I had three options: to support Fulgencio Batista’s dictatorship and become an accomplice of a regime that was murdering thousands of young people, to keep away from politics and take no side, which, to a certain extent, also made me an accomplice and, thirdly, to struggle against my country’s ills and to do so to the last consequences.

I chose the third option and do not regret this, for I feel I contributed, however modestly, to the best of my ability, given the limitations life imposed on me, to the triumph of one of the most important revolutions in the history of the West.

Life has continued and I’ve had to make many personal decisions. Some brought me success, others, failure. As far as political ideas are concerned, however, I have been firm in my convictions and support for my country’s revolution, a process which, though not free from error, has had results we can be proud of.

Today, as this chess game of life draws to a close, I am faced with different options, and I choose the one that ought to take me to a final victory: to continue defending my revolution as best I know how. Others have opted to quit the game in search of improvements in their lives. I don’t criticize them, but they should know life will present them with many challenges they will have to face alone from now on.

I came to the end of the game, accompanied by Cuba’s fraternal and revolutionary people. And I have absolutely no doubt that we will overcome.

Elio Delgado Legon

Elio Delgado-Legon: I am a Cuban who has lived for 80 years, therefore I know full well how life was before the revolution, having experienced it directly and indirectly. As a result, it hurts me to read so many aspersions cast upon a government that fights tooth and nail to provide us a better life. If it hasn’t fully been able to do so, this is because of the many obstacles that have been put in its way.

19 thoughts on “Looking Back on the Year in Cuba

  • January 1, 2016 at 6:32 pm

    One thing about Elio, and yes, I do respect you, the pot gets shaken with the comments almost every time he writes. It’s a bit sad how the average Cuban doesn’t really have that luxury.

  • January 1, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    IC, I was going to offer Elio an olive branch and tell him he’s a good person with a slanted viewpoint, but you killed it!

  • January 1, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    I admire you because you keep your position in spite of the criticism you receive. Each of us is responsible for what we think, says and do although at times it can be very difficult.
    Your early life experience is similar: yours in the country side, mine in a poor barrio in La Habana. Now I live en Puerto Rico but have lived in Canada. I went back to Cuba in 1969; had to leave then because I was kicked out of the job in a Scientific Research Center.

  • January 1, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    Had Fidel restored democracy, then it would be something. But to subject your own people to socialized poverty is not something to celebrate. Elio I can assure that the errors of the revolution will be corrected. Already changes have taken place that will not be reversed. All corrections are about moving from direct to indirect control of economy. Not even Marx conceptualized the level of micro management that Cuba attempted. The failure of a system that only worked with dependency of Russian or Venezuelan oil was always assured. Living on charity is not a long term winning proposition. History will not be kind to Fidel’s many errors. Raul by comparison will be better remembered for his late life management of the basket case he inherited from his brother.

  • December 31, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    ….”impeccable Democratic credentials”? Seriously?

  • December 31, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    The Revolution was a failure from the start because it jailed homosexuals and dissenters, exiled artists and musicians, squashed all dissent and caused a huge exodus of the professional class.

  • December 31, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    The real twist my Bolshevek friend is that the Cuban regime sends these “doctors” to other countries in order to earn hard currency for the near destitute regime. They use them as indentured servants while pocketing the vast majority of their hard earned money.

    As far as a Venezuela’s impeccable Democratic credentials …..

  • December 31, 2015 at 9:34 am

    Anybody here read Bloomberg News ? There’s an article today about the Colombian military’s problem of losing their Special Forces. These fearsome US trained and equipt soldiers, with years of experience disemboweling peasants in Putumayo and Caqueta, are highly sought after by the democratic regimes in the Middle East, such as Saudi Arabia. Mercenaries can earn $12 a day. The Colombian government is trying to stop these free lancers and broker a deal. Colombia receives billions in US aid and investment, and obviously is not embargoed. Cuba has the same problem, but with a twist. It sends doctors, not soldiers, and to countries such as Venezuela, with impeccable Democratic credentials. Of course, the availability of internet and the quality of cookies in the timbiriches looms large in the conclusions of HT readers that the Revolution is a complete, unmitigated failure. If that were the only perspective, they would be correct.

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