HAVANA TIMES – Living in Cuba, staying here, not leaving the land where we were born indefinitely, has become the worst option for Cubans. Especially for the youngest of us. Very few think about anything other than emigrating.
It’s the most common subject of conversation in households right now, because we all have a family member and many friends and acquaintances who are already planning to leave or have left in recent months. If not, we’re thinking about it ourselves.
Unlike the virtual reality that government media transmits, Cubans’ greatest concern isn’t whether there is any chance that MSMEs will be approved – which is being pushed, supposedly-, or the 63 measures that they want to try and revive agriculture with for the umpteenth time, or Diaz-Canel’s promoted but unbelievable government “based on science and innovation.”
People are more than convinced that there is no present or future here with the Communist Party; that science and innovation won’t be good for anything; or a thousand new or dressed-up measures are going to push anything forward, because none of this means real change, it’s just continuing with the same old that hasn’t worked up until now.
People’s hopes for the Government to react and create positive change are as scarce and non-existent as their hopes of removing them from power and wiping the slate clean. So, emigration seems like the best choice. That’s because the disappointment of living in Cuba is huge and will only end with a transition to democracy.
Those who have already “thrown in the towel and escaped” don’t want people to keep emigrating, as they will lose potential agents of change. When they reach other countries where there is freedom, where it’s very easy and normal to act as a citizen and defend your rights without the need to pay dearly for it or flee, they forget why they had to leave and the sick fear they had because of the system’s repression. They attack Cubans for emigrating instead of “taking to the street and overthrowing the dictatorship.” That’s the vicious cycle we find ourselves stuck in.
As I’m in Cuba and I understand what’s happening to us, I don’t question anyone for emigrating. I should have done it and I’m holding out, while I do what I can to push for change, without bursting into flames. I’m not recriminating anyone for not having the courage, (almost suicidal socially), of coming out of the political closet and standing up to the system.
I’m not pushing anyone onto the stake, I just applaud those who do and call them “brothers”, because I know that things are very tense. I understand why the struggle here isn’t big enough.
I know that democratic and liberal changes are essential for us to have a Better Cuba, but the right conditions for this to materialize haven’t matured yet, in any way.
Even though it seems like it will still be a while, I know the process is in motion, it’s inevitable and is our hope to not falter. We will still watch the country let go of many of its children before we can have the chance to live a dignified and prosperous life on this land.