A Round of Applause for the Cuban People

By Safie M. Gonzalez

HAVANA TIMES – With the exception of Havana, most Cuban provinces haven’t reported any new cases of COVID-19, for some days now. As a result, most of the island has entered the first phase of recovery.

I, and every other Havana resident, will have to wait and, while waiting, pray that the rest of our compatriots are disciplined and we can slowly get back to normal. My grandmother, who is almost 90 years old and still sharp of mind, remembers, with me, the important times we have experienced.

Cubans who were born after the Revolution were taught that work is dignifying, which is very true. Year after year, work has been the top priority of every Cuban living on this island. Some might not have found the right path, but the desire to give their family a better life is still paramount.

This pandemic has come to reaffirm the fact that the Cuban people may not be made of iron, but they take a good beating, no matter what direction it comes from. Cubans fall, but they get back up, my grandmother assures me, rocking in her chair while she drinks a cup of coffee.

Maybe people living in the first world don’t understand all too well what I’m talking about, but Cubans are natural-born fighters. Our Cuba has hit rock bottom many a time, but it has still persevered, because a Cuban doesn’t get scared off by a line.

A Cuban can’t go to bed without feeding their children, or stop washing their clothes, so they walk kilometers to hunt down what they need.

Cuba has suffered blackouts, tornados, hurricanes, food shortages, a lack of fuel and, as a result, transport, and even though it has never had to face a pandemic of this magnitude, it has managed to find a way to carry on moving forward. There’s no doubt about that.

This is why I take my hat off to many Cubans, and I clap every night, not only for the Cubans wearing white coats, but for every Cuban who hasn’t thrown in the towel in the face of so much adversity. For every one of the decades we have overcome, with tears or a smile.

At the end of the day, we are all heroes, all of us, we save lives and give hope in some way or another. So, let’s celebrate this “quasi”- victory. This new opportunity, to once again persevere.

Safie M. Gonzalez

I was born in the 80's. I love nature and animals, as well as my country. I admire the sacrifice of a people. I consider myself a simple and honest person, therefore I detest injustices. I have a taste for the arts in general, but especially for literature, photography, and cinema. I believe in the power of the word and in the ability of the human being to change the world.

11 thoughts on “A Round of Applause for the Cuban People

  • June 28, 2020 at 5:12 pm

    Very interesting about the Scottish pilot – he was indeed fortunate! There are all too few such success stories.

    Regarding Cuba, we had decided that i would hunker down there at home, until the 20th March, when it was decreed that non Cubans had to leave. After the initial error in February of promoting Cuba as a Covid free country for tourists and following the incident of the three Italians arriving in Trinidad bearing the virus, Cuba did the right things – which although known to others, were treated in some countries with scant regard, and decried in others.

    Having passed the death toll for Vietnam, the US has now passed that of the First World War, during which having entered late in 1917, their casualty list was tiny compared with those of the allies. Scotland suffered the highest death rate per capita.

    Thank you for the good wishes, my family Nick are all in good health as indeed is the whole community with no transportation to other places and even bici-taxis in lockdown. Nobody goes anywhere other than trying to find food – that is the real problem now and I am glad that by leaving, I am not depriving anyone.

    Regarding the mentally challenged Trump, as it now appears possible that he may lose the election in November, I have been musing what both his reactions and actions will be in his two months then remaining in the Casa Blanca. With his narcissism unchecked, the desire to inflict damage upon his “enemies” be they be media, non-whites, non-confederates or simply democrats, coupled with frustration and hate, one can only recall an expression much used in Yorkshire: “Owt’ can ‘appen.”

  • June 27, 2020 at 6:03 pm

    Donna Coady writes that “Really, no plane has been able to fly (medical) supplies to Cuba for 3 yrs.”

    If the statement is correct – which I have reason to doubt as I have obtained medications in Cuba of non-Cuban production, – it is not the US that is preventing such supplies being supplied. It is however possible that the pharmaceutical companies for example from India, have sought pre-payment. I think it probable that it is US companies to which she is indirectly referring.

    I can assure Donna Coady, that my Cuban relatives who have traveled to other countries to provide medical services as part of Cuba’s “brigades” have been most grateful to receive about 15% of the charges made by the Cuban regime for such services. For it makes them comparatively rich. A similar sentiment is expressed by those providing educational services. They dislike intensely having to spend so much time away from their families, but welcome the opportunity to earn sufficient to provide properly for their families.

  • June 27, 2020 at 4:42 pm

    Barbara, Thanks. I wish you well too and Stay Safe.

    Mr MacD, I don’t know how closely you follow football (the round ball variety) but it was Athletio Madrid not Real. You may think that I’m being pedantic but a true ‘Colchonero’ would be sending me their blessings for distinguishing them from their no1 enemies. By the way, Athletico and their aficionados are nicknamed Los Colchoneros (Mattress Makers) due to their red and white striped kit resembling old style mattresses.
    I have indeed seen interviews of the truly sane Andrew Cuomo being driven to states of varying degrees of apoplexy by the truly insane trump. As you know I am a big fan of the USA (although a highly critical one) but I am astounded by the rampant politicising in the face of this huge death toll. It ain’t politics, it’s a human tragedy.
    I have noted that the U.S. death toll has surpassed that of their losses taken during the failed invasion of Vietnam. By contrast, Vietnam has experienced zero Covid deaths despite being next door to China.
    This morning I read of a Scottish airline pilot from Motherwell no less. He was working as an internal flight pilot in Vietnam and was unfortunately struck down with the dreaded virus due to his frequenting of popular touristy drinking establishments in Ho Chi Minh City. In order to preserve their status as being a zero Covid deaths nation, the Vietnamese Healthcare Service we’re determined to keep this fella alive at all costs. They kept him ticking over on a highly expensive and specialised blood cleaning ECMO machine for two whole months (in Motherwell they would’ve turned it off after a couple of weeks but in Vietnam he’s now a national superstar). Luckiest guy in the world.

    For all its various imperfections Cuba is one of the far better places in the world in terms of Covid survival rate. I wish your family well in this and all other respects.

    You refer to the upcoming U.S. Elections and I shall give you the opportunity to ponder on this quote from Right Wing Neo-Conservative commentator Bob Kristoll ‘ Trump’s path to victory doesn’t depend on persuading Americans. It depends on voter suppression, mass disinformation, foreign interference, and unabashed use of executive branch power to shape events, and perceptions, this fall.”

    Gosh. Democracy is just so cool.

    You stay safe Mr MacD. That way we get to share a beer one of the days………

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