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.