Human Misery on Display in Cuba
By Jesus Jank Curbelo (El Toque)
HAVANA TIMES – Amanda, this link takes you to a video of a woman shouting with a microphone that the Cuban people are revolutionaries, that thanks to the Revolution, there are doctors and daycare centers, that counter-revolutionaries should leave. I don’t know where, I don’t know when.
Take note of the people who echo her, the others that flutter about nearby, with flags, with loudspeakers on the corner. Look at the poverty on that block and the human misery of these people. The person filming is Katherine Bisquet, from the roof terrace. You’ve read her poems. She’s 28, and was one of the people held up at the San Isidro movement headquarters in November. The protest is against her. She replies with vivas (long live…), when they’re shouting vivas to the Government down on the ground.
Now, look at this screenshot.
A fake profile sent it to me on Facebook. It makes me sad, although I responded with a “haha” emoji. My mother told them that I had come back because of my love for the Homeland, my family, something like that. I don’t waste my time responding because I don’t really know why I came back. About who pays me…
In short, these are very strange days: with the usual repression. However, they’ve also felt like the freest since I’ve ever known about Cuba’s political situation. I follow events with a close eye, just like everyone has. And try to get involved as much as I can before fear takes over. I am still a coward like many in this unfair country where you must flee. From which many do not escape, when they have the chance, because of matters of the heart or resistance. These concepts which seem almost the same to me right now.
I visited Omara Ruiz Urquiola some days ago. She’s a brave woman, a cancer patient, and she was also at San Isidro during the hunger strike. There were three patrol cars on the corner. Three patrol cars all for one woman. I was able to go into her house, it was a miracle. They don’t want her to speak or see anyone, or for anyone to know what’s going on in her life. They are very afraid of her mind.
This was December… full of police officers, warlike vehicles, ninjas, assault rifles. They are stirring up darkness again. I get a call from a private number every five minutes. I know it’s State Security, but I don’t want to answer. I no longer wish to live with my heart in my throat, or to put my phone in airplane mode, or walk and hide as if I were a dangerous person. I have no reason to be sat in interrogations. The only thing I’ve done, like the many that they harass, is write journalism. I don’t even want to leave anymore, because of matters of the heart or resistance.
What I do want is to look into the future and see the day one of these agents step foot in Miami. To see the astonishment on their face when they see the magnificent streets full of cars and magnificent buildings. Seeing it and thinking: “Now, I’ve reached the Revolution.” Haha, such a silly thing.
Not too long ago, I was speaking to a colleague. I told him any conversation a guard and I have begins with the fact that I was in Miami and returned. That I was in the belly of the beast, I enjoyed it and suffered in its belly, and I came back to this monster of hardship and no future. “You would never have come back,” is what I should tell him. “You know that the day you step foot in Miami, you’ll never step this foot back in Havana, not even as a tourist.”
Being here still automatically makes me more of a revolutionary and foolish than them. It puts me more in Fidel Castro’s mind than them, who don’t even know where Biran is.
I wonder what it is that they defend. “The conversation should stem from recognizing and defending the revolutionary project,” Diosvany Acosta, first secretary of the UJC (Communist Youth), said. I wonder what it is they defend. What is the revolutionary project? There is no way for them to want a country that doesn’t exist elsewhere. What I mean to say is: if they wanted, I don’t know, China’s economy, this economy already exists in China; if they want Sweden’s freedoms, these freedoms already exist in Sweden. They don’t want anything else but power and to never let it go.
But, what about those of us who don’t have any power? What about the person behind the fake profile? The woman shouting into a microphone and the other wretched people? The patrol officers, ninjas, Diosvany? Aren’t they going hungry? Do they have deoderant and toothpaste? What’s their deal?
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4 thoughts on “Human Misery on Display in Cuba”
Actually Juan, when I am in Cuba, and I first went in 1993, I Iive in el campo, and I work most days. Have you ever had a mocha in your hands ? Probably not. I am a lawyer in America who represents indigent clients, and I could tell you stories that would make your hair curl. I have also spent lots of time in South and Central America. So yes, I think I do know what I am talking about.
very true Juan, I myself am from Germany and have been astounded to see the level of poverty and corruption in “revolutionary” Cuba. It´s only about wealth and power, nothing else, just like in capitalism, without free press and economy though it is so much worse…
Dan, I don’t know what planet you are from but it must be inhabited by fools. You know nothing about what the Cuban people are suffering. Even in the capital where they get the first and best of everything. There are old ladies homeless, not by choice but because the of limited housing. The family keeps growing but the house doesn’t. The the one who contributes the least is pushed out, into the street. When you are enjoying a mojito at Chorrera, an out door sea side resturant on the Malecon you can see her washing her clothes on the rocks in salt water and trying to retrieve any fruit that was thrown into the sea as an offering by some other poor soul. It’s an offering to their patron saint as they pray for relief from the tyranny. She lays the cloths on the rocks while she eats the half rotten fruit and hopes that her clothes dry before dark and she scurries away to the place she hides to sleep. You don’t have a clue about the suffering Dan.
Miami vs. Havana. What a puerile, ahistorical comparison, but one which is all too common among some Cubans. These Cuban dissidents remind me of our proto-fascist Trump followers. It will indeed be a tragic day for the people of Cuba if they ever achieve their goal of destroying the existing government.
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