By Pedro Pablo Morejon
HAVANA TIMES – My friend Manolito isn’t your ordinary young man. His humanity is way above the average. We shared our lives for a while, which is why I know his life story down to a T.
He used to live in Havana, and his dad was a chronic alcoholic. He spent much of his childhood with an aunt here in Pinar del Rio for this reason. It turns out that when his father would get drunk (which was most of the time), he would beat Manolito’s mother. He would also accuse her of sleeping with all the men he could think of, baseless accusations.
The child was so psychologically scarred than an expert suggested that he go to live with the aunt. It’s fair to say that Manolito’s father was a very kind and generous person, in his moments of sobriety, especially with his son.
He was shabby looking on the whole. Always dirty, gaunt, his body abused by this addiction. He looked like human waste, and he became chronically ill. He ended up paralytic and Manolito, who was now a man, took care of him right up until his dying breath.
He wasn’t the kind of father a son could be proud of; however, he loved him with every fiber of his being.
In spite of everything, he was still his father.
This story makes me contemplate a little, especially when I remember the article that was published on this website a couple of weeks ago, about being proud to be Cuban.
I’ve mulled over this matter for much of my life and, trying to be reasonable, I haven’t found a convincing enough reason for me to feel proud that I was born in this country.
We don’t only have beautiful women here in Cuba, there are also beautiful women in Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil and word has it that Eastern European women are stunning.
Every Caribbean island has idyllic beaches and landscapes.
Any natural virtue we have here is shared with other countries.
Maybe a Norwegian, French, or US citizen can feel proud. These are countries that have made great contributions to civilization… but we haven’t.
How can I be proud to be Cuban when I belong to a people who let their rights get snatched away over 60 years ago. A people who always lower their heads and answer any call made by their oppressors?
How can I be proud to be part of a country stuck in time? One of the most backward and poorest nations in the Western Hemisphere?
A country with one of the highest emigration rates in the world?
I can’t be proud of belonging to a country that is head-deep in double standards, opportunists, informers and cowards.
A country without freedom, unity and prosperity.
A country without a future.
But I was born here… I am Cuban. While I don’t have any reason to be proud of it, I still love it. Like my friend loved his father.