I Choose to Stick with Cuba

Nonardo Perea

Photo: Elio Delgado Valdes

HAVANA TIMES — As it turns out, it seems everyone who leaves Cuba is having a rough time. Many of my old friends kept in touch and sent me the occasional email shortly after leaving, but, a few months later, next to no one writes me.

When they do write, their messages are brief and do not offer much information about how they’re doing. On the contrary, they tend to be a catalogue of hardships – that they have to work hard, that they get home dead tired, that they don’t even have the time to read a book, that everything costs money, that people are completely different than those in Cuba, that everyone minds their own business, in short, that they feel they have landed in a different planet.

None of them, however, chooses to return from that other planet. I wonder why. At one point in my life, I felt the wish to leave the country, because I thought I’d have greater opportunities to get my hands on the things I need for my work elsewhere (buying a professional stills camera, a lighting kit, a good computer where I could edit videos, etc.) Here, it is next to impossible to be able to buy those kinds of things.

I also considered the possibility of visiting a country that wasn’t my own and never returning, in order to escape from all of the problems here. I came to the conclusion, however, that other kinds of problems would exist on a different planet.

To be honest, I’ve gotten that idea out of my mind. I will continue living where I am for the time being, even though I practically have none of the things that would make my creative work easier.

When I run out of coffee, however, my next-door neighbor gives me a bit for a cup. When she doesn’t have coffee, I offer her some of mine. Every morning, we greet one another and almost always end up talking with other neighbors in the building. We laugh about our problems; confident things will one day change for all of us, save the way Cubans are. Generally speaking, we are people who help one another.
It doesn’t matter if those who leave change somehow. I don’t suppose it’s their fault. The thing is that, out there, things are of a different color.

Nonardo Perea

Nonardo Perea: I see myself as an observant person and I like to write with sincerity what I think and live first hand. I’m shy and of few words; thus it’s difficult for me to engage in conversation. For that reason, my best tool for communicating is writing. I live in Marianao, Havana and am 40 years old.

28 thoughts on “I Choose to Stick with Cuba

  • September 19, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    I have never owned a mobile ‘phone. I note that you like most socialists justify the actions of the Castro family dictatorship in Cuba by saying it is even worse elsewhere. If Cubans in the UK wish to return to Cuba, they just need to go to Gatwick and get on a Virgin flight – they will be back home in just over nine hours.

  • September 14, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    The difference between you and I is patently obvious. You like Cuba because you like the Socialismo system under the Castro family dictatorship, I love Cuba because it is a beautiful country with wonderful people sadly without freedom or human rights which hopefully it will one day acquire. incidentally I spend more than six months a year at home in Cuba – which is why my contributions to Havana Times are intermittant. A result of the regime policy of suppression of information.

  • September 5, 2014 at 7:19 am

    “buy with their own money things outside of the ration card” That’s THE PROBLEM!!!! What money? It is you that knows little about Cuba.

  • September 5, 2014 at 3:00 am

    According to Cuba’s ONEI (Statistics Office), just over 1,000 Cubans were extended repatriation in 2013. Not the thousands you claim. Compare that to more than an estimated 38,000 Cubans who left Cuba in the same period. Check your facts. I know one Cuban who returned to Cuba. He is a retired Miami bus driver. With a pension of $40K, he was going to spend his golden years in Hialeah struggling. In Sancti Spiritus, he will live like a king.

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