Fear of Change in Cuba

Lynn Cruz

HAVANA TIMES – Ever since I adopted a life philosophy of facing my own external fears (in this case, Cuba’s socio-political system), I have noticed how many people I love and acquaintances project their fear of change, perceiving me to be an enemy.

They might say the phrase: Where do you want to go? This is what someone very close to me said recently.

To be honest, I had to think for a few seconds before answering because it was somebody I hold dear. We had a heated discussion by message. She told me that opponents won’t get anywhere.

I thought long and hard because she perceives me to be an opponent and I just think of myself as a libertarian and fan of social justice.

Ironically, this was the education I received in Cuban schools, that is to say, that according to her way of thinking and maybe many people’s way of thinking, being loyal to Marti’s ideas (which gave birth to the Cuban Revolution) makes me an opponent today in Cuba.

In fact, humanity forgets very quickly and those who were once victims become assassins.  It’s like the example that the late Rafael Alcides gave in Miguel Coyula’s documentary Nadie, when he referred to the fact that most of the generals in the Independence wars later went on to become thieves.

Many of the people who now find themselves in seats of power, abuse and ignore the very essence of what led them to take up arms and fight against Fulgencio Batista’s tyranny, as this is just History for the majority of them now.

The famous historic generation of the “Rebels” still hold as maxims today their motivations from the time when their ideas clashed with the path the country was taking under Batista’s leadership. In their nostalgia, they have paralyzed our lives as a result,

Today, Cubans are only allowed to criticize the past.  Any real dialogue continues to be put off and confusion reigns among the people. Those who perceive others who dare to raise their voices as a threat, are really only projecting their own fear of change.

Many argue that this regime uphold two essential pillars of every society: “Free healthcare and education”, and while these sensitive issues continue to be at the heart of political discourse, our people will continue to support the government.

Every day the so-called “achievements” crumble to pieces and Cubans feel vulnerable. It’s when you’re sick that you see the system’s real face.

That’s why critical thought is so important, as are the role intellectuals and artists play within society. Quoting Alcides again in Nadie: “The artist is a prophet and a visionary at the same time, they document their time.”

And for the people who support injustice by remaining silent because they are afraid of Cuba’s future, they have nothing to lament because this isn’t about Cuba’s future: things have already changed. It isn’t about a Communist dictatorship anymore, but about a money dictatorship which is controlled by a select few.

Lynn Cruz

It's not art that imitates life, its life that imitates art," said Oscar Wilde. And art always goes a step further. I am an actress and writer. For me, art, especially writing, is a way of exorcising demons. It is something intimate. However, I decided to write journalism because I realized that I did not exist. In Cuba, only the people authorized by the government have the right to express themselves publicly. Havana Times is an example of coexistence within a democracy and since I consider myself a democrat, my dream is to integrate this publication’s philosophy into the reality of my country.

One thought on “Fear of Change in Cuba

  • I, like you, am an advocate for change on the island. I was born, fed and nurtured within the walls of disinformation, misinformation, fragmented stories and other stretched truths, all of which set the standards for what is taboo, what is illegal and what is acceptable. For many, it seems a priority to find the culprits and punish them for architecting such stupid structures, judge them and triturate them with life dooming sentences, then replace them when fitting and hope for the better. The problem is, there are offenders in both sides. Offenders with personal vendettas against each other or against each other’s ideals. Offenders whose agendas conflict with the desire of the public to achieve happiness. Note that we become offenders ourselves when we enter their games and pledge allegiance to either side. I hope is not lost between the lines that these sides are “Communist” and “Anti-Communists”. If you find yourself tagging one of them with negative connotation such as “Communist dictatorship” or ‘Imperialism’ then you have chosen a side. If your thoughts gravitate to money and whether there is a “money dictatorship” that is hauling it for their own benefit, then you have created your own agenda of opposition that indeed affects the unsuspecting citizen regardless of what they believe, so your ‘dear someone’ has every justification to perceive you as an “opponent”.

    As stated, I am an advocate for the improvement of the Cuban society and I constantly think of ways to approach a solution that helps without detriment of my relationship with either side. My philosophy is shaped by all past and current confrontations that have cultivated nothing but resentment, just as it is decorated by all past collaborations that have shown time and again that there is a global desire for change and common ground to achieve it. But mainly, this philosophy is held together by our common History, by our heroes and villains alike, despite who anyone considers to be what; by our braveness and cowardice; by our victories and defeats despite what side we have found ourselves on; and by those philosophers before us that tried to teach us peace = progress, and we ended up bending their thoughts to fit our narratives.

    Improve life quality of Cuban population. Integrate Cuban society to the outside world. Harness the intellectual potential of the island and use it for the advancement of The World as a whole.

    Do not antagonize, ears will be more receptive if they are not in defense mode. Science and technology is the common ground, your listeners are willing to stand on it.

    Point one:
    Do not lower yourself to the league of name calling, certain terms have different connotation on different ears. If you are willing to work toward a positive change, offending will not get you more support.

    Point two:
    The new president, Miguel Dias Canel, is a good thing. Not because he is younger, or because he has never seen war, neither because he is a Communist nor because he was “trained” by Raul, but because he is an Engineer. His main goal is the technological advancement of the island, which is the epitome of progress.

    Point three:
    Extremist articles from both sides teach you how not to write. Be neutral. Be objective. Do not defend or attack politics from either side, discuss them, but remain neutral. Be diplomatic, do not offend.

    I invite you, Lynn, consider and criticize. The list could go on but I believe it illustrates my position and explains why I think your objective is noble, however the approach is misguided.

    For full disclosure I am a 22 year old engineer raised in Cuba until I was 15 then moved to Florida, US.

Comments are closed.