Dreaming is Our Duty

Kabir Vega Castellanos

Photo: Victor Valdes

AVANA TIMES – I recently had the opportunity to watch a remarkable movie “Scott and Sid”, made by British directors that is based on their true life stories. If you haven’t yet seen it, I recommend you stop reading this article, look up the movie, find some free time and enjoy it.

However, I don’t want to talk about the movie right now, I’m only mentioning it because of something that Scott, one of the lead characters, says, which left me speechless:

“Once we have our freedom, I believe it’s our duty to fight for our dreams.”

Thinking back to my fondest memories, when I was just a child, I didn’t imagine how tough the reality was in the country I lived in. I think I remember everything I told my mother I wanted to do when I was less than 8 years old:

“I want to be a pilot, an astronaut, a millionaire living in a mansion with a swimming pool and travel around the world. I want to have a sports car, a lion, panther and snakes as pets. I want to build robots and create the most famous video game in the world. I want…”

Adults normally underestimate the intelligence of children to unimaginable levels. I had already given up on all of my dreams a long time before entering 6th grade and finishing primary school. Not because I wasn’t interested in pursuing these any more, but because I had understood the objective opportunities that my environment offered. The same thing happened to all the other kids, they looked for ways to spend their time, to have the most fun they could but they didn’t take their dreams seriously any more.

And that wasn’t all. The worst thing was when we grew up and got caught up in this game of appearances. You had to be happy, but your happiness had to be based on success, on the pleasure of leading a purely hedonistic lifestyle (this was important!), even though you live in Cuba and your family has to fight every day to put food on the table so they can continue to work as living creatures.

I have already mentioned the panic that a question at the beginning of every school year caused in me: “What did you do over the holidays?”

Scott, the character from the movie, also says: “I want to ask you to look up into the sky, because there are other people, in some other place, under this same sky, who don’t have the same choices.” 

It makes me laugh to hear about people talking about “Cuban entrepreneurs”, as if this word could be used in a society where money and financial freedom were satanized. Even today, when some leeway has been given such as the purchase and selling of homes or slight changes to immigration laws which made us think that they were laying the foundations for progress, president Diaz-Canel still repeats, in case we had forgotten (as if reality doesn’t make it its duty to constantly remind us) that wealth accumulation will not be allowed.

The only ambition we are allowed to have is to remain in his shadow and go up the ranks via our political merits. It doesn’t matter whether you are a business owner or an independent artist, if you want to prosper, you have to go up the same ranks as any militaryman (with the risk of suddenly falling right to the bottom of the ladder if you act outside of the script assigned to you), knocking on your office door to sign over your talent and your freedom.

Kabir Vega

I am a young man whose development in life has not been what many might consider normal or appropriate, but I don’t regret it. Although I am very reserved, I dissent strongly from many things. I believe that society, and not only of Cuba, is wrong and needs to change. I love animals sometimes even more than myself since they lack evil. I am also a fan of the world of Otaku. I started in Havana Times because it allowed me to tell some experiences and perhaps encourage some change in my country. I may be naive in my arguments, but I am true to my principles.



2 thoughts on “Dreaming is Our Duty

  • ….”Lo peor fue cuando crecimos y quedamos atrapados en este juego de apariencias. Tenías que ser feliz, pero tu felicidad tenía que estar basada en el éxito, en el placer de llevar un estilo de vida puramente hedonista”
    Extraída del texto publicado por el autor, esta frase demuestra la gran desviación que sufrieron los valores éticos y morales en la educación de los cubanos después de los años 80.
    Admiro el valor y la sinceridad con que muchos de ellos enfrentan o afrentan la vida que les toca.
    Recomiendo a mis coterráneos preocupados por temas políticos y económicos la lectura de SILVIO GESELL.
    Mi visión sobre estos temas= UNA SOCIEDAD Sin DINERO es POSIBLE.
    (SILVIO GESELL,”El Orden Económico Natural”. Se descarga de internet)

    Reply
  • Your arguments are in order, and your principles rooted right!
    I glad to be able to read about Cuba and better understand your life and what matters – from a perspective of a young Cuban!
    The world is changing so fast, sometimes it can be even confusing…In Cuba, it is all subtle, and hidden, but again, on a second look, it is obvious that changes are underway.
    It is totally another issue can it be done faster. But I believe ‘it takes a village to raise a child’, so the same concept applies in international order and particular country development and progress. It would have been nice if Obama approach continued.
    I wish you all the best and may the wind be in your back.
    Think about your political naivety as of your competitiv advantage.
    Ada, ??

    Reply

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