Mothers Are Leaving Cuba

Passion fruit flower

By Nike

HAVANA TIMES – Out of all the things I’d like to write about, today I’ve chosen a topic that makes me really sad and that’s the issue of Cuban mothers.

I’ve already written about this before, as I’m a mother and it deeply moves me.

During this time of hardship on the island, mothers are suffering a lot more than they did in previous years. One of the reasons for this is because there are many mothers who are unable to feed their children like they themselves say: “As God tells us to.” It’s very common to hear this phrase out on the street, the rest is putting clothes on their back, taking them out on a Saturday or Sunday, there’s nowhere to take the kids other than the beach, and this is also hard because there isn’t any public transport or it’s very bad.

However, the worse thing is that mothers prefer to leave the country on their own. I have a friend who is traveling across Central America, running into numerous perils that put her safety and life at risk to reach a country where she will be able to claim her children in a while, and send them food and medicine from there in the meantime.

I respect and admire these mothers who risk everything for their children despite giving up living with them on a day-to-day basis in this land where a mother’s protection is much-needed. Both parties will always be traumatized, separating overnight without a preamble is very sad.

Another example is a friend, who is like a sister to me, and currently finds herself in the same situation. She traveled to Guyana alone to go for an interview at the US Embassy there to see if they would give her a visa because she’d married a Cuban-American. She left two daughters behind, with the same idea of claiming them when she can or helping them in the meantime by sending food and medicine, until she can make her biggest dream come true: be altogether again.

A few days ago, I was walking to the root vegetable guy and ran into an old friend who studied at Junior High with me. I hadn’t seen her for a while and she told me all mysteriously, “don’t tell anyone,” but I’ve already got my ticket to travel to the US on Saturday, as her eldest daughter living in this country had made filed the papers to bring her. She is leaving her 16-year-old daughter in her parents’ care. My friend has already left now. We have the superstition to not say you’re going away because the Cuban people believe that if you say it, you won’t be able to make the trip.

These three mothers I’m giving as an example are already in the longed-for land and are concentrating all of their efforts onto getting their daughters out of the county. But they all agree on one thing, if they can’t do this, they will return back to the daughters they left behind here.

Every migration crisis in Cuba has its defining feature, and you would regularly hear people say their father or son had left. In this current crisis, it’s mothers that have decided to move forward.

I wish them all of the luck in the world so they can be reunited with their children as soon as possible.

Read more from Nike here.


I was born in Havana, Cuba. All my life I have had the sea as a landscape. I like being close to it, feeling its breeze, its smell, as well as swimming and enjoying the wonders it gives us. Thanks to the manual skill that I inherited from my parents, I have been able to live off crafts. I work primarily papier-mâché, making puppets for children. I write for Havana Times for the possibility of sharing with the world the life of my country and my people.