I am Cuban, give me some respect

By Caridad

Being Cuban should not interfere with our ability to relate to the rest of the world.
Being Cuban should not interfere with our ability to relate to the rest of the world.

I am from Cuba. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to be Jamaican, Dutch, or South African. Why? Right now, while you read my thoughts, more than half of you have already begun to judge me.

Why? Because for too many people, being Cuban is a moral, or even more so, a political matter.

And I can assure you that for me this is more exhausting than waiting three hours in the sun to pay the telephone bill or whatever other bureaucratic paperwork is constantly stifling us.

If someone in Jamaica or the Netherlands creates a blog, it is very likely that few will read it, or if so, nobody will pay any attention to the European complaining about the slowness of the metro at noon or to the Jamaican rambling about his desire to see snow.

If I, a Cuban woman, create a blog and write a note about the grey water that runs in front of my house before kindly depositing itself right in front of the daycare center that is also across from my house; two things would happen:  1) I would receive numerous comments calling the government of my country murderers. 2) I would receive numerous comments calling me either a:

a)  dissident

b)  liar

c)  pessimist who only sees (or smells) the negative around me

d)  person with no right to criticize because-judging by my age-I have done nothing to improve my country;

e)  persona bewitched by the evil, capricious and filthy capitalist system, etc.

I could even be accused of being a provocateur or a double agent of Cuban State Security.

Underestimating our Intellect

What can be deduced then is: We Cubans have no right to express ourselves (unless we are willing to listen to this disrespectful litany of nonsense).

In a few words, our intellect is underestimated because expressing our concern about problems that weigh on us is equated with preferring the “siren song” of the “other government” (the evil Yankees).

This is like reducing our intellectual capacity to blindly criticizing what we have, as if there were no life experiences, learning, talent etc. behind our words.

The ingenious Karl Marx once said that each person thinks according to his lifestyle, which determines their limits.

For me, a Cuban woman, with many earned rights and many left to gain- the nature of progress is the evolution of the human species, to fight daily for a better future, to feel a bit better, more human.

From this liberated position it would be very easy to post on a Pakistani, Afghan or Algerian, etc. website to criticize the passivity of the women in those countries where they are barely considered human beings (or to speak harshly about the men who subjugate them).

Who am I? Where do I live? What do I really know about the lives of these people so far away?

Being the humanist that I am, it pains me when bad things happen to women, men, and children anywhere. But I think that when it comes to giving one’s opinion, one has to be careful not to end up saying the opposite of what was intended.

An old saying goes: He/she who talks a lot, errs a lot. It is also said that one should not criticize others without first cleaning their own back yard.

I would like to say just once: I am Cuban, don’t bombard me with political questions, and don’t judge me based on just my nationality.  Readers from certain developed countries, please don’t look at me like easy pickings for prostitution, phony marriages, like a semi-fundamentalist ready to hook up with anyone who says something against our leaders, like a would-be martyr willing to give my life for an ideal, like a dissident who is barely able to read and who can be bought for $100, or like an immature child.

I am simply one human being with dreams and illusions just like anyone else, with joys and sorrows, living in an environment that is sometimes favorable and sometimes not so, just like any other citizen of the world.

Being Cuban should not interfere with our ability to relate to the rest of the world.  It has always seemed preferable to me -and healthier- to share our experiences instead of judge one another.

6 thoughts on “<em>I am Cuban, give me some respect</em>

  • In my modest persolnal opinion this is absolutely one of the most interesting and moving post that I read of all Cuban bloggers. Well I should just stress that 90 % of your writing concerns all small nations of this world. That is absolutely product of globalization which introduces ignoirance and intolerance – big and strong think they shoul rule small and weak. And belive me when you come from small European (sic!!!) country – Croatia – like I am you are absolutely comfronted with wall of ignorance and prejudices wherever you turn around the globe meeting people from various “big” nations countries.
    And I know what are you talking about. The majority of Cuban blogs are manipulated by comments from the same source – USA – the greatest democracy in the world we should all admire…..Bullshit

  • Thanks for an enlightening post. I was in Cuba 2 years ago and traveling through your extraordinary country opened my eyes to a lot of things, especially how much judgment you and your people encounter from the rest of the world. I’m sorry that this is your reality. I hope that one day people are able to change the way they think. Besitos!!!

  • james burns

    U have not met the right american yet.. Lets say its ARROGANCE VS IGNORANCE of dead pres just because Fidel is in power, and/or the $$ is not as equal as in the US. On the other hand you have to do-gooder who just feels sorry.. Aye bendito. Ave Maria porecita, et/al and thinks that taking a person away from Cuba is best.
    So, what is requested of all people Do as the decent Canadians have done and bring the business, open the hotels, take a real interest and keep visiting ..After all its not just about BEACHES BOOZE B.O.O.T.Y.L.I.C.I.O.US Cubans want and need real friendships

  • Jordanka I think you’d find, if you had some other nationality, there would be idiotic cliches attached to you based on the most common perceptions of that nationality. I’ve encountered that in Cuban perceptions of Canadians (my nationality), and other nationalities as well. Stereotypes are a kind of mental shortcut people use so they don’t have to think deeply. Hell Cubans stereotype each other all the time, especially if they’re from Havana and they’re talking about someone from Pinar del Rio. Of course sometimes the cliches can turn out to be eerily accurate (I’m thinking of an American I had the misfortune to encounter at, of all places, the Hotel Nacional de Cuba. He was the epitome of an ugly capitalist with a heavy dose of ignorance. Most of the Americans I know aren’t anything like that… ok well maybe the ignorance part… *wink*) I guess people should focus a little more on taking their time to see how someone behaves in different situations before judging them.

  • For me, a Cuban woman, with many earned rights and many left to gain- the nature of progress is the evolution of the human species, to fight daily for a better future, to feel a bit better, more human.

    Thank u sis
    i can only take my rasta hat off to ya..lol stand your ground..i support u from afar an who knows maybe one day in one of my monthly visits?
    In retrospect, i am the first to admit that much change is needed, i am also still hopeful that these changes will happen while i am again a resident vs after i change addresses permanently and meet my ancestors.
    We are the world sista, YOU, I and all of us who are citizens of the world are obligated to allow the humaness in each of us prevail against the status quo.
    Suffice that, although i realize that u perhaps are tired of holding on to the ideals of freedom vs living them..i ask that you also hold on to those inalienable rights to not ne labeled. Continue to spktruth2power!! We the people are listening

    U go gurl !

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