By Esther Zoza
HAVANA TIMES – The work Cuban TV has undertaken during these times of COVID-19 is praiseworthy, especially in its efforts to keep families together, encouraging the comprehensive role of parents in the relationship with their children. Unfortunately, the situation isn’t as ideal as it seems.
Everybody knows that both the domestic and international blockade is hitting Cuba’s economy hard, leading to increased levels of poverty and overcrowding. Having several generations living under the same roof sometimes leads to alcohol addiction and violence; women, old people and children become victims of silent and sustained abuse.
If there’s a country in this world that is concerned about children’s wellbeing, it’s Cuba. Ever since the Revolution’s victory in 1959, the Government’s policy has been to ensure education, healthcare and other services for them. Cuba signed the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in January 1990, and it was ratified in 1991, coming into force on September 20 that same year.
It seems ironic how, in a country like our own, some parents continue to use outdated practices with their children. It is no secret that a percentage of parents believe that their children are their property, and they don’t consider rude remarks, beatings and shouting acts of violence. Arbitrary actions, indifference and neglect are becoming more and more normal, and it doesn’t always have something to do with the parents’ education level either.
At some point, these parents forgot their own childhood and have clung to their age today, not remembering that they too ran about, jumped on the bed and in puddles, and were rebellious. What makes them different to other parents over Cuba’s development as a nation will be up to sociologists to study and discover. I just hope that it isn’t too late.
Like many other people, I have witnessed countless acts of violence here of parents against their children, and I have thought of trying to do something, but, as I’ve said before, parents feel like they own their children in our country. I imagine that when violence against our own children comes to light, not only by writers who dare to put this into words, that educating Cuban families about violence becomes an inescapable option.