Are Cuban Women Repopulating Machines?

By Safie M. Gonzalez

HAVANA TIMES – It’s not news that the Cuban population is aging. Every year, people are becoming more and more convinced that bringing a child into this world isn’t what it once was. People live very hectic lives, we must deal with a thousand needs, especially in this country. A place where wages were only enough to see us through to the 10th of the month… up until less than a month ago that is.

Although, honestly, the recent pay raises for state workers hasn’t made much of a difference. Prices have also gone up and the month continues to end on the 10th of the month for a “normal” worker, who also has children on top of that.

This isn’t news, just like the fact that there are more and more elderly people here in Cuba every day. Let me say all of this out here for you, before telling you the following story.

I have a young neighbor, a teenager. She is about to turn 17 years old and she has a boyfriend. I spoke about her in an article I wrote back in November (A sad and touching story). She’s the girl who ended up an orphan when she was still very little, and her family turned their back on her. Despite a lot of advice, from my mother and I, the girl is now pregnant. But that’s not what this article is about.

Five months ago, she started to not feel very well, she stopped having her period and she went to the doctor. She managed to get an ultrasound scan (and I say managed because all of these medical procedures are given by our great medical power). That ultrasound came back negative, but the girl continued to feel poorly, and her period wouldn’t come.

She waited a “prudent” amount of time and went back to the health clinic… the same thing happened. The ultrasound showed nothing. Today, the girl is five months pregnant, and she doesn’t have the option of aborting.

She has already accepted that she’s going to become a mother, in spite of being barely 17 years old. The boyfriend has also accepted his responsibility.

However, ever since she discovered this news, I’ve been wondering something. Are these ultrasound machines in such a bad state they couldn’t see that the young woman was pregnant? Twice?

What kind of professionals are running these tests? Or is it a strategy to force young Cuban girls, who end up pregnant, to repopulate this aging country? In any case, it’s not right. Above all else, it’s the person’s own right to choose whether they want to bear a child or not.

Read more from Safie M. Gonzalez here on Havana Times.

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.


3 thoughts on “Are Cuban Women Repopulating Machines?

  • January 31, 2021 at 3:55 pm
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    Estimado Ron:
    Lamentablemente esta historia es real. No quiere decir esto que cada mujer que vaya a un policlínico sea atendida de la misma manera. Me alegra que a su esposa cubana le hayan detectado a tiempo el embarazo y haya dado a luz, quizás en optimas condiciones. Pero, lamentablemente no todo el mundo corre con la misma suerte, y ahí intervienen varios factores de los cuales no entraré en detalles, pues algunos los expuse en mi artículo.
    Créame, si a esta chica se le hubiese detectado el embarazo a tiempo, lo hubiese interrumpido, ya que es practicamente una niña.

  • January 30, 2021 at 10:55 am
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    Safie’s comments are not based in facts.

    I am a Cuban-American with a wife in Cuba who recently gave birth in there.
    Back in April of 2020 she went to a clinic and was confirmed she was pregnant, she was 3 weeks into her pregnancy.

  • January 29, 2021 at 10:33 am
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    A very sad story which speaks to three glaring issues. One is teenage pregnancy, the other is Cuban medical mysteriousness, and the third is abortion.

    The first is the unfortunate predicament for the young 17 year old to have to have a child brought into this world without the adequate financial support from the teenage parents. Cuba’s unrelenting, harsh economic situation does not bode well for the parents nor the future of the child. Teen pregnancy is a tremendous hardship whether one lives in a rich Western country and of course extremely difficult in country that can hardly feed the people it already has. Teenage pregnancy, the tangible product of exuberant sexual expression among youth, is a worldwide phenomenon and certainly the two individuals in Safie’s article are not to be castigated for a human foible.

    The second issue indirectly alluded is the inadequacy of the Cuban medical authorities in this situation. How can a pregnant women go to a Cuban clinic with pregnancy issues and receive a routine ultrasound and not be deemed obviously pregnant by Cuban doctors who supposedly are some of the best trained doctors in the world? And, to boot, miss the ultrasound fetus twice!!! Sounds bizarre. How and why can that happen, as Safie suggests?

    Without venturing into conspiracy theories, Safie is suggesting that perhaps Cuban medical authorities are complicit in engaging in population regeneration by not properly diagnosing young women pregnancies. It does seem rather peculiar, abnormal for a young women complaining of sickness that a well trained medical doctor would not question the young lady about having unprotected sex and more importantly missing her period. That would be a reasonable initial inquiry for a doctor who is interested in finding out the young lady’s medical predicament in the very first visit, I would assume.

    Safie’s penultimate sentence “Above all else, it’s the person’s own right to choose whether they want to bear a child or not.” This sentence can be interpreted in a myriad ways. Was the doctor or medical professionals in the clinic making sure the young lady in this case, or any pregnant Cuban women for that matter not told the truth, or the truth so obfuscated, that any thought about a potential abortion particularly in the latter stages of a pregnancy is not possible? Therefore, the young lady must then carry the fetus to term willingly or not – another Cuban born.

    Furthermore, have the medical authorities in all prenatal clinics been directed to ensure no abortions take place in the clinics unless the women’s life is in danger? I suppose more young Cuban women need to speak about their experiences at these clinics to see whether one, the actual decrepit technical medical ultrasound machinery is to blame, or there is a systemic pattern of intentional misdiagnosis by medical authorities in order to postulate about whether Cuban women are becoming, by intention or unintentional, “Repopulating Machines”. Sounds dystopian.

    I certainly wish the young lady, her baby, and the father the best!

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