HAVANA TIMES — While thousands of Cubans cross third countries to reach the United States and thousands others emigrate legally or use work-related trips afforded by the government to “desert,” the island’s official media cover the migratory crisis affecting countries in the Middle East and Europe with sarcasm, stating that the lives of war refugees depends on a quick response from the different governments of the old continent.
How are those who flee from war, trying to escape terror, different from those Cubans who choose to leave everything behind and look for what they surely regard as their salvation, deliverance in terms of their civil rights and their right to a life where their efforts and their incomes are more logically related? When will the Cuban government make the life-saving decision it demands from its European counterparts?
“I’ve been living in Venezuela for four years.” a friend who came to Cuba on vacation says to me. “There are a million problems down there, but I’m going to give you a very clear example that explains why I prefer living there and not here. I try to lead a healthy life, to eat properly. Between my house and place of work, there are many places where I can have a stress-free breakfast, ask for whatever I want to have without giving away half my salary, without any tension. That gives you an idea of why I’m there, no?”
So many different people can’t all be wrong, I thought, while, on the Cuban news, the government washed its hands of all responsibility with respect to the migratory crisis in Costa Rica, blaming the United States and its laws (which, I admit, I consider absurd and unnecessary at this point). I wonder: isn’t it time to acknowledge our mistakes? To continue to yell that another country’s policy towards us is solely responsible for our fate seems a show of hypocrisy and weakness.
How long will the same, tired people govern us? How long will we allow people devoid of energy, whose one interest is to cling to power, pull the strings of our destiny? What, beyond our freedom and standard of living, is at stake here?
I would say our history is at stake, the possibility of being remembered as a submissive people, the people who passively waited for a dynasty to hand over power of its own will. It may be too late for us to be anything like our independence fighters.