Danger, Collapse!

By Lien Estrada

HAVANA TIMES – In the midst of one of my severe existential crises, a pastor friend from the Episcopal Church of Las Tunas recommended that I seek help from a nun sister of the Roman Catholic Apostolic Church who resided in Camagüey. Her order was near the Agramonte Park.

She was a PhD of pedagogy, among other qualifications, and had an admirable track record as a leader in her faith. My friend provided me with the address, and I headed to that place. I arrived at a majestic house in the center of the city of Camagüey, just a few blocks from Agramonte Park. She received me kindly and with the delicacy characteristic of these religious people, she responded that she could not be my spiritual guide.

We were already saying our goodbyes at the door when she commented: “But let me tell you something useful for life. If you see that this roof is about to collapse, what would you do?” “Run,” I said. “Then do the same whenever you see danger face to face. Don’t start philosophizing, asking yourself if this or that… if you can, run.”

This was what stayed with me from the only conversation we had. Very brief, but enough for me not to forget it. Now I remember it, and I understand a bit what is happening around me, in my country, in these times. Where everyone is in a hurry to escape from the place where they were born. From the nation that is falling apart. And if we continue as is happening with the massive exodus, this country is bound to become a ghost country. An identity dissolved into nothingness by so much human stubbornness. Not to mention that this concerning issue is not new and has already been reflected on more than one occasion in audiovisual media and other spaces of reflection.

When you see so many families selling their houses with everything inside, which is one of the most desolate ways of burning bridges; When people study not to practice their profession, but to arrive with a profession on the other shore; When you only hear about how to leave the Island, whether with an invitation letter, study programs, work contracts, marrying a foreigner, lottery, or the new ways created by the United States. And only a government that only thinks about the survival of an ideology that has created its caste of privileged, untouchable people, remains, which is unsettling to anyone.

In such a land, collapse is evident. Not just a crisis. We are witnessing a total collapse. The flight that the Island faces in the face of collapse is imminent, because it’s not just about financial capital, but human capital, and of all kinds. Although everyone has some responsibility for the current disaster, which is not so recent, the attitudes of those who leave definitively should not be judged. And what the Catholic Apostolic sister taught me one day applies to all human beings yesterday and today. Those of us experiencing the collapse know it.

Read more from Lien Estrada’s diary here.

Lien Estrada

I am a lover of animals. I am passionate about a good book, a good movie, or a good conversation. I can't help but regret that I don't enjoy studying exact sciences. I am glad to have read Krishnamurti from a very young age. My upbringing is Christian, but I am fascinated by all religions, especially those of the East. The sea is another world that I find captivating.

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