The optimists

In mid-2007, Julito assured me that before August pork would be sold at ten pesos a pound, the daily salary of the average worker.  Not seeing his prediction come true, he was shouting last January about the exact date of the meat discount.  With his permanent smile, he assured me that we could acquire the precious meat—at a fairer price—by the summer months.  Then came the hurricanes and my neighbor’s prediction turned into a bitter prophecy or, even worse, a harmful naiveté.  I didn’t run into him for several weeks and couldn’t throw back in his face his excessive triumphalism.

Yesterday, Julito came up to my floor to talk about another topic.  His youngest daughter has just taken the path already charted by the previous one, after deserting in the midst of an artistic trip abroad.  The two have been reunited in one of the large U.S. cities and her father is not so much sad about the separation as happy about the future of his daughters.   Sitting in my living room he declared that he and his wife plan to reunite with the exiled part of the family.  “There we will be more useful,” he tells me in the tone of someone who’s already made a decision.

I had the urge to ask him if he wouldn’t wait for the meat discount, and afterwards fly to the family reunion.  But I know that as parents we don’t usually care for jokes about our children, so I preferred to ignore his past optimism.  I forgave him the fatigue his prediction caused me and even the appraisal of “pessimist” with which he’d greeted my suspicion.  Julito is one of those who even on the gangway of the airplane will continue to swallow his criticisms.  Later, in Boston, maybe he’ll read this blog and he’ll probably send me an email to confess that he never believed in anything, that he was just as skeptical as I am.

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15 thoughts on “The optimists

  1. Anonimo

    I would go step by step:

    1. “I only know that prohibitions never has solved any problem” First, the problemas are still there, so “freedom” do not solve anything either !
    “but instead has worsted the problems.” _____That ´s not true. these are speculations.

    2.”Long time ago the US government tried to solve the alcohol “problem” by not allowing people sell it, the results: illegal manufacturing, illegal selling, mafia, smuggling, gangs war, corruption.” _____ Long time ago??? This applies nowadays by allowing them everything and the situation is not better than before.
    3. “In some European countries the state is the only authorized alcohol seller, the result: illegal manufacturing, smuggling, mafia, corruption, public health in treat, etc.” _____ In Europe, people´s security is higher than in USA, even with the fact that there are more risks because of so many conflicts between frontier countries and economic diffrences among them. There, in case you don´t know, people experience less violence on the street than in the land of “freedom”

    4. “We have been for decades trying to solve the drug problem by prohibitions, harder laws, etc.” ___ How? You have solved the problems for those who looked forward to find where to get the stuff and that´s why it is never going to work out.

    5. ” We have solve nothing”.____ I agree with you here, so you are concious that something it´s not going well.

    6. ” am pretty sure that if one day the american government suspend the free buying of gun in this country we gonna have much more gun problems then we have today.”____ How can you be so sure of it, if americans hadn´t really tried?

    7. “Today at least I have the right of defend my life and my love ones life, but what are you suggesting is to take away this right from the american people. Prohibition is a very ugly word in this country, this is the freedom country!!!!!
    ____ jajajaja, Here you make me laugh in this part, because you sound, and excuse me, like one of those insane people who repeat stupid slogans in Cuba!
    It is really ironic that what you call freedom, is the freedom for criminals! A free land where criminalas can buy anything they want and can even realize their dreams and people have to keep a gun just in case, also when don´t want to kill.

    I don´t see any other way that could solve that problem than prohibition, people are exposing their lives in the present day, more than defending it .

    Instead, I compare this banning I suggest to an AIRPLANE. I agree with that control on the airports because it is for my own security. Don´t you think the same thing?

    But anyways, if this is the desire of american peaple, that everything remains “free”, then enjoy it!

    Still, it´s a pitty that this “free choice”, brings also negative consecuences for the whole world.

    Thanks for this discussion, and sorry that I keep on stick to my opinion.

  2. Interesting post…Julito either has information not available to the average Cuban, or he naively hoped for some good in everything. But by deciding to leave and join his daughters abroad, he shows that he finally realized that his optimism was just an illusion.

    I hope he makes it out alive, as many do not…

    Ettore

  3. Yoarky dice: 25 Enero 2009 a las 12:15

    Anonimo

    You suggest then that keeping selling guns, alcohol, drugs… etc. is the best thing to do, because people would get them anyways anyhow.
    +++++++++++++++++
    Yoarky

    I don’t suggest nothing I only know that prohibitions never has solved any problem but instead has worsted the problems.
    Long time ago the US government tried to solve the alcohol “problem” by not allowing people sell it, the results: illegal manufacturing, illegal selling, mafia, smuggling, gangs war, corruption. The problem were not solved and we got several extra problems to solve. In some European countries the state is the only authorized alcohol seller, the result: illegal manufacturing, smuggling, mafia, corruption, public health in treat, etc. We have been for decades trying to solve the drug problem by prohibitions, harder laws, etc. We have solve nothing. I am pretty sure that if one day the american government suspend the free buying of gun in this country we gonna have much more gun problems then we have today. Today at least I have the right of defend my life and my love ones life, but what are you suggesting is to take away this right from the american people………Prohibition is a very ugly word in this country…….. this is the freedom country!!!!!!

  4. Anonimo

    You suggest then that keeping selling guns, alcohol, drugs… etc. is the best thing to do, because people would get them anyways anyhow.
    Then let´s suicide right now everybody honey, if we are going to die anyways someday !!
    Let´s put the adreess on the newspaper so that people know where they could buy these things cheaper !
    What a solution!

  5. Thank you very much sir, now my comments are visible on the swedish page.
    Thanks again for taking your time and explain about the links and flags.
    Regards

  6. @ Jonas Lundin

    I have access to the Swedish site as well and have just gone in and ‘freed’ (that is approved — but the software is in German and it says I ‘freed’ them!) the two comments that were there, and reset the comment function so that, for now, comments will not have to be ‘approved by moderator’ to show up on the site. If the spam doesn’t get out of control, we will be able to leave it that way.

    That said, I don’t know if your comment was one of the ones ‘freed’ or not (they both had a different name) and sometimes the software simply ‘kills’ comments that should have been posted. So if you don’t see your comment please try again. And if it doesn’t work, please come back to the English site and let me know. (I’m sorry, I don’t speak Swedish, so I can’t write you back on that site and the translator is temporarily away but should return soon!)

    FLAG LINKS FROM SPANISH AND OTHER LANGUAGE SITES
    Unfortunately I am NOT able to put these in (you’ll note on the link from the English site, I just put in words, not a flag, as the Swedish flag is not uploaded to the master site yet). The people who do this are also the ones who will eventually get the new headers (with the red drawer) up on the Swedish, Korean, Hungarian and other new sites. Unfortunately they have a huge workload but I’ve been promised the flag should go up soon. Yes, it is very important that it be on the main site, not just the English one… and we will definitely do that. As I was able to modify this site myself, I did it as a stopgap measure.

    Again, please feel free to post any other comments or concerns about the Swedish site here, at least until the translator returns, and I’ll try to get answers for you.

  7. Yoarky dice: 24 Enero 2009 a las 20:45

    Yoarky, you are right.
    When the alcohol prohibition the smugglers found the way of getting liquor inside the States.
    In Europe the Russian and Yugoslavian mafias “takes care” of the guns smuggling into the Union and so on.

  8. #
    Yoarky dice: 24 Enero 2009 a las 20:47

    Hi Jonas

    Sometimes you have to wait a little bit. It´s been checked, I guess.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Will see, thanks

  9. For Anonimo and Patricio

    To buy them illegally, someone have to buy guns first legally and sell them.
    Am I wrong?

  10. I posted a comment on the Swedish page of this site, my comment stayed there few seconds and then vanished !!!

  11. Hi Yoarky, I take your comment of the last post to answering it here.

    Yoa, it is easy guess that you has never had to do with what I call “bad people”, Those kind of people never, never buy guns in the mall, they always get guns illegally because they don’t want the police knows where they bought it. So, it is irrelevant for bad guys if the government allows people to freely buy guns. In Europe, where the most countries not allows people buy guns freely and where you gonna get several years in prison when you kill someone in self defense, the bad guys get his weapons anyway and assault banks armed with gun machines and kill people in nightclubs using automatic guns, etc, etc.
    So, you not allow normal people get guns you are putting them in danger , you are giving their lives, their money, their security to the bad guys.

  12. In a dictatorship from the left there is not space left for the individual, up the last inch is cover by the “society” (real meaning is government). As hard as it could be to understand for someone that never has been in such a situation this is real, the only place where you still have independency (and not 100% due to psicological factors) is in your mind, and this I believe because they haven’t discover yet an effective way to “read” the minds. Then you get to a point where what you really think is not what you show to the others, so your life is in two levels: the social one (fake) which is what they expect you to be and the other one is in your mind, the only place where you are not punished for being yourself.

  13. Two faces, double moral, be afraid, play dumb ……. Julito is doing what the most Cubans do daily in order to hide their truly intentions while waiting the opportunity of escape ….it not solves the Cuban problem but you survive!!!

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