Their tongues give them away. As soon as they get off the plane they begin to blurt our phrases like “you have no idea what you have here,” “life out there is very hard,” or “with this sun, what more do you want.” While saying things like that, they take some photos in the most hackneyed tourist places, drink a mojito to the health of some guerrilla, and publish a couple of photos on social media with the blue sea as a background.
The café-con-leche-Cubanologists come to explain our own country to us and convince us to accept, here, what they wouldn’t stand for should it happen in their country. With a foreign accent and academic titles that no one can verify, they stand on the peak of their ego and speak to us as if we were tiny ants who don’t understand the need to sacrifice ourselves for a greater good. They throw in our faces that we must sacrifice ourselves so that they can point to a map and say that “utopia” has been installed on this Caribbean island.
When a skinny woman asks them for something to eat on the terrace of a luxurious restaurant in Old Havana, they assure her that gluten is bad for one’s health and that it is best not to eat red meat, while the steak overflows on their plates along with a few slices of freshly baked baguette. They are the same ones who accuse Cuba’s July 11th (11J) protesters of being violent vandals, while they incite the burning of police cars in their cities and, in their own lives, have thrown more cobblestones than flowers.
The café-con-leche-Cubanologists question why we complain about power outages if blackouts help prolong the life of the planet; they lament that we insist on having a supply of drinking water when we could drink with our cupped hands from the rivers (they do not know that most of the streams in the country are polluted or dry), and they tell us that we are complainers for demanding shoes for our children when the contact of feet with the earth is the most recommended for energy… health and other theories of the sort.
They love to get close to power. They have a special fascination for being invited to an official reception, allowed to speak in the University of Havana’s Great Hall, and getting a decoration pinned on their lapel. Because these so-called experts on the Island consider us restless and misguided children, who do not know how to value what we have, and who must be dealt with with a heavy hand, very heavy. They like it when dictators help them maintain the colorful vignette of paradise that they advertise on their Facebook or TikTok streams.
Nothing annoys a café-con-leche-Cubanologist more than his own object of study denying him. Like on that day when people came out shouting the word “Freedom” in the streets of the Island, or the growing numbers of those who throw themselves into the sea to escape this system, or when patients show through images and testimonies the profound deterioration of the public health system. This causes them deep discomfort, because their doctoral thesis is not designed to include all possible variables, but a single and unquestionable conclusion.
The café-con-leche-Cubanologists have been declining and are becoming more and more pathetic. Once there were Nobel Prize winners, renowned artists and illustrious professors. But over time, such an occupation has become so painful and unsustainable that they have been deserting en masse, to take refuge in silence or to channel their “talent” towards other geographies. But there are still some, pathetic and pernicious.