SOS from Cuba: When Will the Violence End?

Rosa Martinez

Foto: Caridad

HAVANA TIMES, Nov 25 — From the time we’re all little, we wonder about things like: Why is the sea blue? How many stars are in the heavens? Or simply, how does water gets into a coconut?

Throughout our lives we also run into unanswered questions. There are always things that occur that we can’t explain, things that no one can explain, like the mysterious power of the eyes.

But there are other ones that are pretty simple, ones we don’t see because we don’t want to, ones we don’t understand because we don’t try.

After living in my Guantanamo neighborhood for almost 40 years, I shouldn’t have so many questions; rather, I should be able find more answers. I shouldn’t be surprised that Adela left her house again, after her husband Julio got drunk and hit her and their child in front of the entire neighborhood.

Nor should I get bothered that Tatiana left school because her boyfriend doesn’t want her to study. Why should I get upset that he threatened to kill her if she even thought about putting on a med school uniform? He says coeds are all whores.

Why should we suffer over the death of Rafaela if we all knew that sooner or later it was going to happen? Is it because of the death of Leo, her son, or the suicide of the murderer, or for all of them at once?

Why be sad if Yuli wants to put up with all sorts of harassment, if she can’t live without Ricardo, if she doesn’t know how to end the war, or at least how to win.

I’ve lived in this neighborhood close to 40 years and I’ve seen so many stories of battered women that I can only wonder: Why am I even surprised at the latest story between Odalis and Saul?

3 thoughts on “SOS from Cuba: When Will the Violence End?

  • I remember seeing the film Lucia, which consists of three parts. I liked the first two set in the past. I totally disliked the third one set during the early years of the revolution. I disliked it because at the end there is reconciliation between the muchacho who tried to keep his wife a prisoner and her. A better ending would have been to see him jailed. What I conclude from the article is that law enforcement officers in Cuba are not doing their job. Just like in the film, the abuser knows he gets away.
    Why are violent husbands left alone for too long when on the other hand young Cuban girls are often treated by the police as guilty of prostitution (not a crime in my book anyway) until proven innocent.

  • Unfortunatly this is nos as simply as it seems. Many women try to escape from violent men but it is not easy. As you say, many depend on their partner economicaly, others think of their children, many have died in the intent.

  • Why do so many women tolerate this shit?! Seems like an epidemic of low self-esteem. Are the same reasons prevelant in Cuba as here in the States (e.g. needing to stay with the man for economic reasons; pressures from family to keep the marriage–or relationship–going)? Any person with self-respect wouldn’t tolerate such behavior. I could see some young naive girl allowing this for a while, but ultimately anyone with an ounce of intelligence will escape any relationship based on violence, intimidation or belittling.

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