About two years ago I came across this letter from a young Cuban. Of course, it was sent out anonymously and in Spanish. It hit me very hard, where it counts. Having nephews and other family still in Cuba, I know these situations are real. Specially when this young man talks about the inability to express his thoughts if against the government.
I translated it with only one comment inserted, and this to explain a term of common usage in today’s
It expresses what many Cubans go through on a day to day basis while
the communist/socialist elite and their children live a very
capitalistic, opulent life, studying and often vacationing in Europe's best
places at the expense of the people. Despite the so called opening by Obama's
visit, the control of everyday living is oppressive, it has not changed one bit
for the street citizen. I thought it was worth a second view. Cuba
“I was born in
but a foreigner has more rights than I here; I am free, but I cannot talk about
what I want, or express my dreams. Cuba
I'm told I live in a democracy, but throughout my life I have only known one (political) party, one viewpoint, one government. I can vote in elections, but there is only one candidate.
My education was free, but I had to work as a volunteer in the back country schools so I would not be thrown out of the free schools; my education was free but I had no choice in what I could study. I have a university degree but I work in a “paladar” (Note: private, semi clandestine mini restaurants catering mainly to foreigners, a way to earn some badly needed “hard” currency); officially these do not exist nor can they be advertised because they will be closed by authorities.
Officially we have nothing because of the American blockade, but for the tourists and foreigners the blockade does not exist; for them, there is everything. My mother used to tell me that before this government, when there was little to eat, they would eat flour cookies … by the way … What is flour?
My health care is free but at the clinic there are no medicines and the doctor who is supposed to take care of us in this area is too busy driving a taxi; the nurse is making do as a prostitute and, as this keeps her awake all night, we cannot call on her during the day
I have a TV, but there are only two channels and we see the same face on both. I have an electric fan, but often we have no electricity. I like to bathe, but often there is no water in my neighborhood.
When I have a toothbrush, there is no toothpaste; when I have toothpaste there is no toothbrush … I have a pencil but no paper and, when I have pencil and paper, I then remember that I cannot write what I think.
They say that you only live once … obviously, whoever wrote this was not in
Here, you don’t live life … you observe it. “ Cuba
Think about communism and socialism and what it really brings to the people next time someone tells you these are the panacea. They are not. As systems, these two have been an abject failure in every country where they have been put in practice.
Remember that those who push these flawed systems will be the ones who will benefit for they are the people who will be in control.
Be Well … Be Back!!!
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