By Rosa Martinez

Up until just a couple days ago Cuba was trying to remain open for the tourist business. Photo: Prensa Latina

HAVANA TIMES – Diana and I are long-distance friends. We’ve been sharing our dreams, happiness and woes over instant messaging for about two years now.

Even though Diana is a US citizen through and through (with all of the good and bad things about living in the world’s greatest superpower), and I’m just a simple Cuban, from Oriente as well – Cuba’s poorest region -, we have more things in common than we could have imagined the first time we spoke to each other.

In spite of never wrapping our bodies in a physical embrace, we have found many other ways to do this, by offering each other support in tough times, by giving accurate advice and this confidentiality friends share, which only we women can understand.

She is in quarantine right now. Coronavirus is causing more harm than it should have in this huge nation, due to Trump and his Administration in the White House’s poor handling of the situation. They were too late in taking action; how can you when the president himself is calling it a small bout of the flu (this was his derogatory term for it): “Relax, relax, we have it totally under control.”

No US state has escaped this terrible disease. Up until now, there have been 38,792 confirmed cases and 401 deaths, however the government is preparing for a pandemic that could stretch out for a year and a half. Supplies are running out in hospitals and the number of people infected has multiplied by 40% in just 24 hours. Diana lives in the most powerful country in the world, but this country’s power hasn’t stopped this lethal virus from entering the country. The opposite, in fact, some people’s stupidity has helped its silent and rapid propagation.

I live on an island in the Caribbean which, in spite of the damage wreaked by the US blockade and all kinds of restrictions, it has found a way to build a quality Health System. Right now [Sunday March 22], we have 35 people sick here and 954 potential cases of the coronavirus. While our health system isn’t one of the worst health systems in the world, the shortages we’ve been experiencing for a long time now could be lethal if COVID-19 were to spread.

The government had chosen to keep our border open to tourism, in spite of the great risks this implies for the general population.

Governments make mistakes time and time again, and as always, it’s the people who pay the consequences who won’t have access to what they need if they get sick.

Diana and I only have one choice: to come together once more and pray for our families, our friends, our fellow countrymen, our peoples.


Rosa Martínez

Rosa Martinez: I am another Havana Times contributing writer, university professor and mother of two beautiful and spoiled girls, who are my greatest joy. My favorite passions are reading and to write and thanks to HT I’ve been able to satisfy the second. I hope my posts contribute towards a more inclusive and more just Cuba. I hope that someday I can show my face along with each of my posts, without the fear that they will call me a traitor, because I’m not one.

27 thoughts on “Cuba: Quarantine or Tourism?

  • Really Nick, If you had proof of what you are stating, show us the proof. I for one would back you 100% if you were able to show all of us undeniable proof of Cuban women being exploited in Canada.
    Having said that, without a doubt, some women in Canada are exploited, and the persons responsible for these heinous crimes should be jailed for life, no excuse, no bail.
    I do know Cuban men who have married Canadian women, and as soon as their feet touch Canadian soil, leave these women. In a country like Cuba, you have to expect a certain degree of manipulation on the part of Cubans who have very little.
    Having said that, I have been to Cuba 19 times and will return. I find them to be amongst the nicest people I have ever met. They have never tried to scam me, and have asked for nothing knowing I will be returning a few times a year. Canadians have a lot to learn about humility from the Cuban people. We love them and will return yearly as long as our health allows.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *