Foreigners and a Credit Card

Miguel Arias Sanchez

Photo: James NG

HAVANA TIMES — Throughout the history of mankind, we have seen how money has been the source of conflict between countries, families and individuals; but unfortunately, it is needed so people can cover their basic needs. There are people who have a lot, some people only have a little and others have nothing.

In Cuba, where we all know the average wage is low and is not enough to satisfy our basic needs, people find themselves forced to look for an illegal way to improve their lives, other times it’s just not a very honest way.

One of the strangest ways to improve your life is to fish for a foreigner and get them to marry a son or a daughter who then emigrates. A real process if it works out as it can definitively end a family’s financial problems. This can be done in the short or long-term, depending on who is at the head of the business: their skill, dexterity and intelligence.

Some of these don’t have a great deal of cultural knowledge or education to carry out this job, but they have enough intelligence and wickedness to set up a trap, without leaving a single thread loose.

From the very moment a foreigner shows up in the family home with an interest in a son or daughter, the head of the family starts plotting at a dizzying speed.

The first thing they need to do is preach in favor of someone who they barely know, they only know they don’t live in Cuba, and they become an idol overnight, the family home’s focus.

Not all “gods” project themselves in the same way. Some help out with the children in this family and give them clothes, shoes, food; then they leave and that’s that. There are others who are a lot more serious and get married.

That’s when the second phase begins, which we can call the “support” phase, when the monthly remittances, start coming, which are so well received by everyone who depends on them. Even though this involves having to put up with a lot of humiliation; they put up so as to not put other “more important” things at risk.

And once the family member is on the other side of the pond, their concern that everything works out well is eternal. It isn’t always like this, sometimes the daughter or son writes to say that they are homesick because they are thousands of kilometers away from their homeland, their friends, their home; but that’s when their parents’ wise advice comes handy, encouraging them.

They say things like: “This is normal, you’ll see how you’ll start feeling better as time goes by and you’ll get used to it.” If the son or daughter insists that they are having problems with their spouse, this wise advice comes again: “nobody is perfect, this is a good person, you need to put up with it, just be a little patient, anything to avoid returning home to poverty without any opportunities.”

If the son or daughter finally begs for understanding because they can’t put up with it any more and say they’ll end the credit card, I mean, the marriage, then the wise advice comes again, but this time more forceful. “Listen up to what I’m going to say, you’re too big for this, if you come back you’re going to know what a box of guayaba sweets looks like, so stop being silly and put up with it.”

This is what any parent concerned about their offspring would do. Some lucky parents get on a plane to keep an eye on things and to look after the credit card, sorry I said the wrong word again, I meant to say marriage, and their dear and loved children’s happiness up close.

Miguel Arias

Miguel Arias Sánchez: I was born in Regla in 1949. That’s where I went to elementary and high school. Afterwards I took courses to be a teacher and did that for several years. I did my military service and as soon as I got out I studied formally to be a teacher graduating at the University of Havana. I taught in classrooms for nearly 20 years. I had the opportunity to travel and see another reality. I returned and am currently doing different self-employed activities.



One thought on “Foreigners and a Credit Card

  • I love this one fantastic metaphor…the credit card!!!????

    Reply

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