A Story Between Cubans and Venezuelans

By Nike

HAVANA TIMES – Today, looking over some notes I’ve been making for my articles, I came across the following anecdote.

In 2019, a good friend of mine traveled to Spain to visit her daughter in Madrid. It was a trip they’d both been longing for. My friend more so, there was nothing more in this world she wanted than to see her daughter and to be with her grandchildren. The daughter wanted to give her mom a nice holiday……

From the day she arrived, not a day passed without her daughter taking her to a new place. A few days later, my friend got in touch with a couple of old work colleagues who emigrated to Spain after retiring. She arranged to meet them for lunch one day, at a restaurant near their house.

My friend described that morning as a clear day with a pleasant temperature. They had just sat down at the table, when a young woman appeared with the menus out of nowhere. While they looked it over and decided what to choose, the girl gave them some recommendations and asked my friend if she was Cuban.

My friend, who is already past 80 years old, said she was and pointed to her friends saying that they were also Cubans. The young waitress told her that she had figured that, but she, my friend that is, seemed to be fresh off the boat and immediately, without losing her friendly tone, told her that she was Venezuelan and that it was the Cubans’ fault that her and her parents had to emigrate, but that she missed her friends dearly and all she wanted was to go back to her country.

My friend, who is apolitical, told her that she was always a worker and wasn’t to blame for anything.

The story ended a few days later in a store where my friend’s daughter took her. They were immediately helped by an employee who identified herself as Venezuelan. Then, my friend told her the story about what happened in the cafe.

Very kindly, the store employee told her that the young waitress was her daughter and that she was very worried because she was afraid she’d leave for Venezuela. My friend who has also had to live with her family separating ways, tried to console her. The two mothers ended up in an embrace.

I don’t know whether they cried, but the story makes me think they were both very emotional. That’s because nearly every Cuban can identify with a story like this one. That’s why I had to tell it.

Read more from Nike’s diary here.