The True Alicia

Veronica Fernandez

Photo in Cienfuegos, Cuba by Caridad

Alicia is the oldest of my female cousins.  She was always very close to my mother, who considered her more like a daughter than a niece.  And for my mother, everything that Alicia said was of the absolute truth.

Alicia, the daughter my mother’s oldest sister, always wanted to consider herself the protector of those of us who were younger than her; that was particularly the case with my sister and me.  Alicia’s mother, who of course was my aunt, always got along with us fine, to the point that some people said that I seemed more like her daughter and Alicia like my mother’s daughter, since these they had such similar characters.

Both my mother and Alicia had very strong, severe and rigid personalities; while my aunt and I were just the opposite; we looked at life differently, more openly, sensitively and able to understand many things despite the age difference between us.

I of course loved my mother a lot, and I showed it to her during life’s most difficult moments, but she never understood my way of being.  During that whole time, Alicia conspired against me and precisely because of my mother’s inflexibility they became allies with each other.

No matter how much I tried to be pleasing, I was never going to achieve it because of Alicia’s mentality – highly self-interested and skilled.  Day after day she continued to instill in my mother everything that was false, negative and twisted to prevent — at all costs — the mother’s union with her daughter; it was that Machiavellian notion of divide and conquer.

I always told my mother that she had a bandage over her eyes and that she didn’t realize the true situation, since toward my sister her attitude was completely different: flattering, obliging, concerned and submissive.  The point of the matter?  My sister lives abroad and she frequently comes to Cuba.

I live in Cuba.  My sister is heterosexual.  I have a different sexual preference.  Is this a good reason for discrimination?  Is it a crime?  Is it drug addiction, betrayal, delinquency?  And even if it was — though in fact it’s not — a person doesn’t deserve to be distanced, detached from her own family.

Is this a yardstick for measuring the integrity or value of a person?  Those who think like this these days are out of touch, completely out of step and are maintaining an enormous distance from today’s reality.

There will always be elderly people whose context of sexism, prejudice and false concepts in which they developed led them to not see any further and not understand certain things.

What is unforgivable is that others, like Alicia herself, think they can criticize other people and assume postures that have nothing to do with them and much less concern them; keeping in mind — like the old saying goes — no one is free of sin.

To the contrary, the excessive interest in material things, their lust for money and their craving to do harm to others make them diabolical beings, completely gorged with sin, which they conceal behind the apparent mantel of rectitude and decency.

To me, Alicia has become a completely worthless being.  But I don’t blame my mother, because although she didn’t support me, she let Alicia lead her and my mother served her purely as an instrument in her misdeeds.  At least, at the end of her days, she realized who the true Alicia was.

So I continue to wonder: How many Machiavellian beings like Alicia continue to reign in this world?  How long will it be necessary to allow mentalities like this to destabilize families, homes or even one’s own work?

Veronica Fernadez

Veronica Fernandez: I was born in the town of Regla, on the other side of Havana Bay. Over the years, many people from Regla have gone to live in Cojimar, fleeing the contamination from the petroleum refinery in Regla. That's what my family did when I was just four years old. Since I was a little girl I have been drawn to the arts and letters. Poetry and narrative writing are my favorites. I had the good fortune to study philology, a branch of the human sciences dealing with language and literature, at the University of Havana with top notch professors. As a Capricorn, I adore organization, people who are mature, the romantic things in life and the lack of self-interest that is the backbone of these times. I enjoy our typical Cuban food, (white rice, black beans, pork and yucca with garlic sauce) and also Italian food. I also like chocolate and drinking a mojito (rum cocktail) in the historic center of my city.



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