My Luck of the Draw

Osmel Almaguer

Tornadoes are common in the US mid-West. Photo by Steve Tegtmeier,

Rain and gusts of wind have left in their passing an innumerable collection of broken branches, felled trees, and ripped down high and low tension electric cables that now lay on the ground.  I don’t remember ever having witnessed anything like this.

Though we have survived the intense storms and hurricanes that cross our country every year, this was something completely different.

What most caught my attention was that no one saw it coming.  Our Civil Defense System boasts, justifiably, of being one of the most capable organizations when fighting against natural hazards. Our people have a highly developed culture in this area.  Proof of this is that —year after year— the number of victims of these forces is close to zero.

It was also strange that in neighborhoods close to mine, not even the lightest breeze of wind blew. Here though, it seemed like the world was coming to an end.  There were three car wrecks on the road that goes by my house.  It appears that they were attempting to avoid the flurry of branches and leaves that made visibility and circulation almost impossible.

I admit that I’m completely ignorant when it comes to meteorological issues, but I wonder if this doesn’t have something to do with accelerating deterioration of the environment.  Day by day, in one way or another, every human being who walks the planet is contributing to this.

Fortunately, my cement-block house was —like the third pig in the fairy tale— able to stand up to the huffing and puffing of our own big bad wolf. My uncle’s wooden place, however, almost fell down on him.

Cuba has never had a tornado; there are no volcanoes, nor dangerous wild animals; the most poisonous creatures that we have is the hairy spider, which can’t kill anyone; and only in the most eastern part in the island do earth tremors occur.  Also, our streets are the least violent in the world.  In short, all my life I’ve felt safe.

Our main problem is ourselves.  Hours after wind and rain stopped, the road remained filled with tree branches hampering the flow of traffic.  There were still no crews cleaning up the area; nor out restoring the electric lines.


Osmel Almaguer:Until recently I would to identify myself as a poet, a cultural promoter and a university student. Now that my notions on poetry have changed slightly, that I got a new job, and that I have finished my studies, I’m forced to ask myself: Am I a different person? In our introductions, we usually mention our social status instead of looking within ourselves for those characteristics that define us as unique and special. The fact that I’m scared of spiders, that I’ve never learned to dance, that I get upset over the simplest things, that culminating moments excite me, that I’m a perfectionist, composed but impulsive, childish but antiquated: these are clues that lead to who I truly am.

3 thoughts on “My Luck of the Draw

  • Just be thankful you don’t rely on FEMA! Anyhow, i think it’s a sign of one of the main successes of Cuba’s revolution right here; specifically, the fact that the Cuban state invested resources in providing better housing and warning systems than anywhere else in the Caribbean. Look at what happens to El Salvador, Haiti or Guatemala in a disaster! Heck, look at what happens in the US!

    Broadly speaking though, the demands on this uniquely effective system (and for all of its failures, one of the things that the Cuban revolution really did right) will only increase in time with global warming. And with the general state of disrepair of Cuban infrastructure, I hope that this system doesn’t start to decay too.

  • Cuba: the new Tornado Alley!

  • Hola Osmel, I will spare you the pain of writing in Spanish, I am becoming more fluent everyday, not quite yet, though. Tell me, in what province and town do you live? What areas were affected by the tornado? My fiance lives in Matanzas, Matanzas; I will email him today to try to learn if he is safe; he does live in a stone house. Everything goes in cycles, and Mother Earth is regenerating herself, even if we humans contribute negativity to the environment. She is strong and able. What she is creating now, for those whose awareness and vibrational frequency remains strongs, growing to be the best they can be, will be a wonderful new world. For instance, perhaps like the Loop Current in the Gult of Mexico now is coming to a standstill is Mother Nature’s way of containment. Have the shores of Cuba been affected by the oil disaster? I pray not. My heart and soul are and always have been in Cuba, and soon it will be my home. Good tidings! Saludos y muchas bendiciones! “Corita” aka Corey DeAhna CloverFox, Artist – Author – Avatar

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