Friday, May 8, 2015
When feeling overwhelmed, I go back to the happy times in Havana. If life could be a party like that most of the time....Music, dancing and Mojitos.
Vacation is much removed from every day life. I can enjoy the places, people and food of Cuba because I am out of the space-time continuum. I do not live there and do not endure under a communist government that in many ways sucks the very life out of the people.
Reading the book "Let the Bastards Go" about the boat lifts from Cuba in the 1980's gives me a very different perspective on the island nation.
The consequences of asking to leave are loss of all property, employment, ration cards. Requests subject one and one's family to the terror of "repudiation committees," otherwise known as mobs. Mobs beat, bully, tar and feather, and sometimes in their zeal, kill. Grade school teachers encourage young children to terrorize a classmate whose family has asked to emigrate.
This mob action is, I believe, more for the benefit of the general population as a caution: don't ever asked to leave or else. You know what we do to people who ask.
Spending time in Cuba and meeting wonderful, kindhearted people, does not jibe with what I am reading. Still, these accounts by emigres are too similar and frequent to be ignored. Had I know this information before our trip, I may have chanced to ask one of our Cuba guides about this. But maybe not.
In any case, I am here and feeling weary. They are there and feeling weary. Let's hope for a better tomorrow for us all.