HAVANA TIMES — I was waiting in line at an office of ETECSA (the only telecommunications company in my country) to pay my telephone bill. There were a lot of people there waiting to do different things. It was extremely hot as it was midday and, to be punished, we have to wait outside of the office, on the street.
That’s when I asked the man on the door – who thought he was God by the way – if he could please let the next two people in, so they would have some relief from the sun and the line wouldn’t be as long. The man very rudely said no.
The woman nearest the door began to say that she was very tired of being maltreated by other Cubans and explained that she had traveled to other countries and had been maltreated there too for being Cuban, she said.
You can imagine what floodgates that opened. A man who said he lived in Miami told us that this didn’t happen in the US and that Cubans were treated well there and that they were even given $500 USD as soon as they arrived.
At this remark, a young woman from Santiago de Cuba jumped in, telling this man that what he had to do was to leave Cuba and not come back if he didn’t like this, and that if he criticized our country one more time she was going to beat him up. As soon as she said that, she went up to him with her umbrella.
Then the people in the line held her back and she began to struggle with everyone so she could try and hit the man on his head with her umbrella, while he was saying that this was the reason that he left Cuba a long time ago and that he only came back to visit his father, who was sick.
That’s when the intellectual in line spoke up and asked the young woman from Santiago to calm down, that the man had just expressed his opinion like everyone else had.
This is when I also took advantage to ask the woman from Santiago where she’d got this violence from. She replied that she couldn’t stand people criticizing our country and that if the man didn’t like it, then he should just leave!… it was already my turn to go inside when a friend asked me to pay her phone bill because her daughter was sick and she couldn’t leave her alone for very long.
When I got home, I had a bath, made some cold lemonade and sat down to write down everything that had happened. The truth is that right now we’re killing each other… and the most important thing we have is that we are all brothers and sisters… it’s a shame… I feel extremely sorry for all of us. I wish that this would stop and that we would all treat each other as equals.