HAVANA TIMES – No exile is worse than being in your Homeland and feeling like you’ve been kicked out. It’s heartbreaking to see how we just don’t matter to those in power. Jose Marti’s “with everyone and for everyone’s wellbeing” is now a thing of the past. What happened?
Sugar cane is no longer the same; our coffee has lost its aroma; our smiles have turned into grimaces. Our children are just about surviving in poverty. All we do is watch with our mouths shut and our hearts bleeding.
Our Cuba has suffered Kafka’s “metamorphosis”. How? The well-off that the regime said it was going to “get rid of”, has only changed their name: leaders. They make decisions, selling themselves off as men of the people, while living a life worthy of emperors. They have no idea what it’s like to live off an average Cuban wage for 30 days a month. Nor do they know what a never-ending line is to buy a bar of soap.
A profile of our “leaders”
The “leaders” travel around in cars with blackout windows, and we will never see them walking down these streets that have become a jungle. They are restoring a provincial government building in Cienfuegos (the city where I live). They have allocated all kinds of resources to “touch up” this iconic building.
But why are they using resources for this?
Wouldn’t it make more sense to repair the city’s streets, full of potholes, sewage and garbage? The 21st century well-to-do control everything and have everything at their disposal. They have endless resources for repairing and/or building whatever they want to. While those of us at the bottom of the social ladder, can only watch and keep quiet. It’s sad to watch your city fall to pieces. Projects that begin, only to end up unfinished and become part of the city’s ugly landscape.
Cuba is in survival mode. Where you go out like a hunter looking for food. Watching people insult each other in long lines outside stores is embarrassing. People who sleep for days outside supermarket entrances is perhaps one of the saddest things I’ve ever seen.
However, something makes the heart ache a little more: anonymity. In Cuba, there is persecution of “those who think differently”, and it’s very well-disguised. The people who don’t exactly think differently, but tell the truth. The worst of ordeals awaits them if they are “detected”.
They are kicked out of their jobs, no matter what they do. Likewise, any office paperwork they need is made impossible for them. From getting ahead in their profession, to building a home or leaving the country. Recently, a doctor spoke up on social media and was kicked out of his job.
It’s dangerous to be right
This situation fits in with a phrase by Voltaire: “It’s dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.” They think that we will lower our heads in the face of threats and injustice. That will never happen, not in my case anyway.
I am writing this article so that you can know what is really going on here on the island. I run the risk of being discovered, losing my job and God knows what else…
No exile is worse than being in your country and feeling like you’ve been kicked out. Moreover, that you don’t count for anything, and that only a small minority are favored. If we keep quiet and really pay close attention, we can hear sobbing. It’s our Homeland, it’s grieving.