The Sounds of the Crisis in Cuba

There is a soundtrack of the disaster that is barely mentioned, but that surrounds us on all sides. (14ymedio)

By Yoani Sanchez (14ymedio)

HAVANA TIMES – Dawn breaks and the sound of some chickens from a nearby patio can be heard throughout the neighborhood, when midday comes we can hear the shouts of a neighbor letting us know there are bananas in the market on Tulipán Street and, in the afternoon, the squeaking of a wheelbarrow with two little kids nostalgic for the amusement park.

Although the images of long lines, unsmiling faces and empty shopping bags are the most recurrent when it comes to describing the current situation on this Island, there is a soundtrack of the disaster that is barely mentioned but that surrounds us on all sides. Some of the sounds echo what we heard in the 90s during the Special Period, as if the needle on the record player of our lives had skipped and went back to playing the same music.

These times remind me of that period when some neighbors in our building raised a pig in their bathtub and, so it wouldn’t bother everyone too much, they operated on its vocal cords, leaving the animal to emit a hoarse breathy sound much more disturbing than its original grunts. Now, on a nearby balcony, someone has a cage with several turkeys that cluck all the time, a practice intended to guarantee protein for families fearful there are worse times ahead.

But there is also another permanent ringing and it is that of irritability. The swearwords of domestic fights, fueled by the lack of resources and the forced confinement the pandemic has brought to families with positive cases of covid-19; the crying of children who do not understand why they can’t go out to play; and the sobs of the son whose mother died for lack of oxygen or medicines.

A suffocating resonance, the chorus of a city and of a desperate country.

Read more from Cuba here on Havana Times.

7 thoughts on “The Sounds of the Crisis in Cuba

  • the additional restrictions in Cuba are not a consequence of Covid 19. They are a consequence of the people taking to the streets in protest about the ever declining standard of living, shortages of food and essential products, the inability for most Cubans to access foreign hard currencies, and the ever increasing controls by a repressive regime. In short, there is desperation! Saying that does not in any way suggest that Covid 19 restrictions ought to be lifted, as stated by dani. Endeavoring to divert attention away from reality by such a false suggestion, indicates where dani’s actual concerns lie. That dani is the big difference between us, your concerns are for the regime, mine are for the people of Cuba.

  • Carlyle – you know perfectly well that I was referring to your comment “As the regime adds ever more controls” which seems to suggest you are in favour of lifting all covid restrictions. I’m just pointing out the obvious that every country has faced tightening restrictions. Those that failed to lockdown harder or fast enough have suffered far worse in the pandemic.

  • dani sinks to a new low in suggesting that my comment about the inexorable tightening of supplies of food, medications and essentials is equivalent to proposing that all restrictions required in endeavors to control the spread of the covid virus be lifted. If like me, he had watched and listened to Dr. Duran giving his daily detailed report upon the spread of the virus, and if like me he had personally experienced the effects of lack of food supply, medications and essentials, he would know how desperate the position is. But for dani, the priority is not concern for Cubans, but self-satisfaction in expressing his undying support for the Castro regime. A real sycophant ! Your drum is indeed a hollow one dani !

  • I have friends in Cuba who desperate for food and medical supplies and even things like bike tubes and tires. We need a change of gov.

  • Carlyle – so what you are saying is that the government should lift all restrictions so that the covid virus runs rampage through the whole country killing loads of people.

  • Great to know you’re still around, Carlyle- All your past posts have shown you called it right, 100%. Stay well.

  • The key word is desperate! As the regime adds ever more controls to eradicate any hope of change, and the inexorable tightening of supplies of food, medications and essentials continues, the position for the people of Cuba is indeed desperate.

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