I had never flown abroad, at least not physically. This first trip took me by surprise; I didn’t even have time to say goodbye to all my friends and family – that was the bad part. Nor do I like the fact I’ll have to go several months without seeing them.
But I can’t complain; thousands of Cubans would love to be in my place.
Leaving the island is entering another world
Venezuela is an enormous country, and it seems like everything here is related to the size of the country.
If I look out the balcony of the building where I’m staying, I can see enormous buildings surrounding me, enormous mountains surrounding me, an enormous avenue that I can’t tell where it begins or ends.
The noise level is also enormous; it is like the night sea —turbulent— but sprinkled with sirens, horns and gun shots.
The first night there were several shots very near my building, and since then they haven’t stopped.
Everything is like one of those movies we see in a dream: we’re there, we can even be a character, but in fact we’re not.
Even before arriving, the only thing I’ve felt: Is that I’m not me…I’m not. I believe my soul stayed there in Cuba, petting my yellow dog and hugging my friends and parents.
It should be that way. That’s why I haven’t allowed myself to become gripped by the fear that’s expected to accompany me in this city – where being Cuban can be a blessing or just the opposite…where you can get shot for the equivalent of a few dollars.
In my small village of Cojimar [on the outskirts of Havana] you can hardly hear a car drive by, not to mention sirens… or gun shots…. But there are many positive things that I’ve found here in Caracas in these first three days. I’ll speak about those later on, because they deserve it.