PINAR DEL RIO


support babalú


Your donations help fund
our continued operation

do you babalú?

what they’re saying


bestlatinosmall.jpg

quotes.gif

activism


ozt_bilingual


buclbanner

recommended reading





babalú features





recent comments


  • Rayarena: Asombra: “The NYT knows exactly what the score is, as it always has, but it’s simply playing its long-accustomed...

  • asombra: Cuba is doing what suits Castro, Inc., period. But let’s give due credit: the regime could hardly be clearer. It’s...

  • asombra: Che Guevara, for one, was all for the USSR crushing the Hungarian uprising, just as Fidel later kissed Soviet ass by being all...

  • asombra: Carlos, it’s OK. They’re Latrines, which means their concept of shame and disgrace is VERY different from yours, so...

  • asombra: The NYT is simply protecting its creature, its Frankenstein, as it always has and always will. The Herbert Matthews business was...

search babalu

babalú archives

frequent topics


elsewhere on the net



realclearworld

Reports from Cuba: To Dream in Cuba is to Dream of Escape

By Jorge Olivera Castillo in Translating Cuba:

To Dream in Cuba is to Dream of Escape

balsero-solo-en-goma-1er-plano“If I die from drowning, I don’t care, if here I’m dead in life.”

HAVANA, Cuba — Although it is increasingly risky, crossing 90 miles on a raft continues to be the dream of the young people. My neighbor Alfredo confessed to me his determination to undertake a journey that could cost him his life. He already has the exact measurements of a raft, the paddles and a sail, parts with which, this summer, he will try his luck against the waters of the Straits of Florida.

“If I die from drowning, I don’t care,” he said, “completely, if here I’m dead in life. There are no changes or anything close to it. I live overcome by anxiety.”

As someone who is self-employed — at first — he had the illusion of achieving some goals, that he dreamed of for more than 20 years, but the reality was stronger than his dreams. The harassment from the State inspectors, being forced to engage in more than one illegality in order to make a profit, and the rising prices of raw materials on the black market, made it impossible for him to make and sell pizzas.

Despite the risky plan to get to the United States, thousands of young Cubans only dream of escape, like Alfredo. “It is impossible to live in peace. Between the fines and the chance that they will close your business for not complying with the established rules, you can’t get ahead. This could be fatal and you can end up in jail. So I will try to see if I can get to the Bahamas. I know it’s hard to get asylum, but maybe I’ll be happy. I’m determined, whatever happens,” Alfredo says, without listening to my advice to avoid such a dangerous solution.

In recent weeks, hundreds of the self-employed have surrendered their licenses because of so many problems in doing their work. Without wholesale markets and with the rampant corruption,  efforts to get ahead are in limbo. Young people just think about leaving the country.

But this exodus has grave consequences for the social and cultural order. With low birth rates and the constant migration of young people, the future of the island is bleak.

On the other hand, those who dream of leaving and don’t make it, sink into marginality. Alcoholism, suicides and endless uncivilized behaviors are the escape valves.

Alfredo is ready for the challenge. Will he reach his destination? Will it be returned to the Island after being caught on the open sea by U.S. Coast Guard? Will he die in the jaws of a shark?

Cubanet, 11 February 2014, Jorge Olivera Castillo

oliverajorge75@yahoo.com

Comments are closed.