Tropical Depression

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Having been blogging about the Cuba for almost six years now, and reading about the Cuban reality on a daily basis from a plethora of sources, I can in all sincerity tell you right now that I’ve become a bit jaded. On occasion I am quite moved by an article or photographs or story or editorial about the island that I’ve read, but, again and in all honesty, it is rare for me, nowadays, to be so touched, so moved by something relative to the Cuban reality that I succumb to out and out sobbing.
I have shed many tears for that island and my people and have felt innumerable emotions and much pain these past few years, and, even though those of us who have not been back to Cuba are more than familiar with the Cuban truth, the following article brought it all home for me. I don’t think I have ever read a better telling of what life is like in Cuba.
Published in The Virginia Quarterly Review and penned by Philips Foundation fellow Lygia Navarro, “Tropical Depression” takes on the subject of depression and suicide as effectuated by everyday life in Cuba. It is, by far, the absolute truest piece on the subject of Cuba and her people that I believe I have ever read.
Please take a few moments of your day to read it, right here, and be ready to be affected to the very core of your being.
Update: There’s much more on Cuba at the Virginia Quarterly Review. It’s an entire issue devoted to the island. Patria y Muerte: Resurrecting My Father’s Cuba by Paul Reyes is another well written piece, although you need to subscribe to read it in its enitrety.

10 thoughts on “Tropical Depression”

  1. Val:
    I doubt that Yumuri is derived from Spanish; and GGrandfather shot himself because with his staff dead he did no wish to be captured

  2. Val,
    I went through this experience as my grandfather committed suicide a year after we left the country.
    I saw my father cry for the first time in my life that last Sunday that we visited my grandparents (his parents). We left the country two days after on a Tuesday morning.
    My father knew that he had to take my mother, my widowed grandmother (Mom’s mother) and me out of that hell and yet he was very close to his parents. My father knew that was not going to see his parents alive again.
    My grandfather was very old at the time but, the heartbreak of seeing my father leave the country for good (plus 2 daughters and 3 other sons had already left the country) was too much for him to bear and finally lost it, deciding to end his life.
    The ironic part of this story is that my grandfather had received a few days earlier to his suicide confirmation to migrate to the USA because one of my aunts here had done the paperwork for him.
    I can only guess that he felt he was too old and did not wanted to leave the country that he loved and was born.
    Both Fidel and Raul Castro can be hanged by the balls upside down from the highest tree in Cuba, cut into pieces alive and dumped into frying oil; and still don’t receive enough punishment for the pain, sorrow and the destruction that they have caused to Cuba and the Cuban people.

  3. Im amazed that this was written via a University! Gives me renewed hope that the truth is coming out via these historically left institutions…

  4. I have my issue of VQR – I was very excited when it came in the mail. As for the excitement about it coming from a prominent University don’t let it get to your head – there is a glowing review of the “Che” movies. Haven’t read the articles yet. VQR usually goes left so I’ve been surprised in the tone of some of the pieces.
    As for suicide I’ve always marveled at the role of self-inflicted death in Cuba. I know Louis Perez Jr. wrote a book touching on the very issue.

  5. Check out the story immediately below this one, to do with the agent stationed at Harvard. Don’t the comments of Lori and Rayarena well say it?
    Isn’t the Harvard apologist pitiful? Tyrants are one thing, but aren’t their apologists pitiful?
    Might this Harvard castrita become the darling of the Boston/NY/DC/LA smarmy set, those who regard\ the four hour celluloid tapeworm euphemistically known as the film ‘che’, as a ‘documentary’, rather than castro’s mockery of truth that it is?
    Alimentary, more like it, eh?
    Isn’t that why those who love the lie, though they may enjoy ephemeral illusory triumphs, in the end collapse, as truth always prevails?
    Paul Vincent Zecchino
    Manasota Key, Florida
    22 January, 2009

  6. It is a really good story. Hope that tomorrow will be better than today is a necessary emotion to get people through many days in their life. And it is in the denial of this hope that static political systems such as Cuba’s most harm their people.

  7. Replace suicide with heroin/crack addiction, sleeping pills with cheap beer, and I’m reminded of Youngstown, Ohio.

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