Little Hope Left for Cuba’s Elderly

Kabir Vega

Outside an ETECSA office in Havana.

HAVANA TIMES — “There’s no hope for our youth”, is a common phrase here in Cuba. Luckily, people have never used it with me, but I have to regularly sit and listen to how many people agree that young people behave inappropiately.

However, there is another deplorable trend which I have been running into for years now and it seems to becoming more and more common.

Old people who don’t respect lines, who curse and fly off the wall over any small thing.

A few days ago, when I was visiting an ETECSA’s telecommunication office with a friend, we found the typical line there is anywhere that provides a public service.

Without further ado, I asked loudly, “Who’s the last person waiting for the machines?” Seeing as noone answered, I repeated the question and the result was the same.

I assumed we were the only ones and I told my friend to wait by the door as we would be the next ones being called to go in.

Suddenly, an old man near the door jumped up saying:

“Who told you it’s your turn now?!  I’m waiting for a computer and that man there is too.”

His tone was full of resentment and unpleasant.

“Listen, why so much hostility?” I answered. “I asked who the last person was in line and nobody answered, even if it isn’t you, you could have said there was a line.”

“I already took the last place, I don’t have to look after any line!” was his response.

Trying to understand one another was completely useless. The argument was becoming redundant and absurd. I decided to stand to one side.

The person who had taken their place in the line after him, ended up admitting that he hadn’t heard us when we asked who was the last person.

Several people in the line began to criticize the old man’s attitude and a woman said:

“They say there’s no hope for young people, but old people are worse. Look what happened to the boy! If I get talked to like that, after waiting here for two hours and with my stubborness, I would have hit him up and we would have ended up at the police station.”

Luckily for the old man, his turn had come, he’d gone inside the room and he wasn’t aware of the fact that nearly all of the line agreed when they said he was very bitter.

It’s true that many young people behave invasively, irreverently or even grotesquely, because of the environment they have grown up in and the environment at most schools in Cuba, where good manners are a sign of weakness.

However, personally-speaking, the people I’ve had the most uncomfortable conflicts with have been the elderly. You can see their exhaustion and bitterness in these individuals. Not for having one bad day, but for having to drag a long series of disappointments along with them.

What could it be?

Maybe the most simple and saddest reason is that they find themselves in the autumn of their lives and they don’t feel that they have achieved anything that satisfies them.

However, as these are older people, they were all born before the Revolution. Maybe the resentment reflected in their eyes and knitted brows isn’t due to their own unfulfilled ambitions, but to the fact that they feel scammed by what they fought for.


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.

3 thoughts on “Little Hope Left for Cuba’s Elderly

  • As you don’t live in Cuba and don’t live in the USA, you are scarcely qualified to speak with accurate authority about either. As one with wealth Kennedy Earle Clarke it is easy for you to pontificate from your island retreat. But whereas I agree that Cubans are in general friendly, they do not follow the “orderly” pattern you describe. When approaching a crowd patiently waiting for service or food or bread, Cubans ask: “Ultimo?” Whoever arrived last before they arrived then identifies themselves and the new arrival becomes “ultimo”. It does not appear that Mr. Vega – who like me would doubtless hate to be your brother – considered that the older person might be deaf.
    Generational differences are commonplace all over the world and Cuba is no exception.
    The cell-phone is making a big difference in Cuba. Although the regime has denied access to information as policy in its endeavors to manipulate thought, students now pass information about the outside world that they have gleaned from tourists and visiting relatives through their cell-phones. The process is slow, but the more that Cubans learn about the free world, the more dissatisfied they become with their own – irrespective of generation. Of course many of the old are bitter, They rejoiced at the revolution and the promises, but the reality of their lives has revealed that they were fooled and now they live on 200 pesos per month and try to extend the food rations.

  • I’m Cuban,and black and I will never would return to Cuba even if democracy and free multi parties elections take place. I don’t know what kind of mojitos, dates leftist Europeans drink in there that they only seeing wonder and are not able to see the repression, lack of freedom, no free press, no freedom of expressions , beggars, prostitution, Havana that once was the Paris of the Caribbean falling apart, in theirs ”socialist” paradise?!?! And please I don’t want to hear about the ”blockade” 1958 Cuba standard of living was higher that Belgian,And Spain the four economic in Latino America. (If you don’t believe check the UN data from 1958) and now it’s a poor country that the government give free health care likes the master used give to slaves, and teach ppl to read and write but tell to the ppl what to read and write.

  • I have been to Cuba some four times now and I find the society to be more friendly and orderly than that of the USA. While I was there in 2017, I saw on the TV where three young boys found a wallet belonging to a tourist containing 3,350 Euros (three thousand, three hundred and fifty)They took it to their parents who in turn took them and the wallet to the Police Station. The owner was traced and the wallet returned to him. If those three youngsters were living in the USA? If Brother Vega entered the office and knowing that all persons line up in an orderly manner, all he had to do was to visualize all whom he met and take note of all those who came after him. He said that the customers were eldely so they did not line up, but they fully well knew who was there before them. What is this big headline all about the elderly? What is this article and Brother Vega, trying to imply? Brother Vega should go to the USA to live and then write this post! Utter Nonsense!

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