Skeptical grandchildren

joven

I go wandering with my smallest grandson through the streets of a Havana that is both different and at the same time familiar.  I don’t have a blog and my seventy years show in every wrinkle of my face and in my long white braid.  Even though this could be a dark futuristic fantasy, I prefer to believe that we are walking through a city reborn and prosperous.  We come to the park to take the sun and I try—like all old people—to tell him about my times, those years when I was thin and displayed the energy he now exhibits.

Spanish continues to be the mother tongue of my offspring but the boy looks at me as if he doesn’t understand anything I say.  He casts a doubtful grimace my way when I refer to the “Special Period,” “the ration book” and “rationed products” or “ideological loyalty.”  His problems are so different, how could he understand those I once had?  He displays without embarrassment some historical confusion and calls a dead leader by the name of a salsa singer.  He’s incapable of differentiating between the speech decreeing the socialist character of the Revolution and that announcing the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Out of respect he doesn’t tell me to be quiet, but I can see in his eyes that all my chatter bores him.  “Grandma is stuck in the past,” he’ll say when I leave, but in front of me he pretends to listen to antiquated anecdotes about a remote Cuba.  This boy doesn’t know that the premonition of his existence allowed me to maintain my sanity forty years ago.  Anticipating him—with his expression of disbelief sitting on a park bench in the Havana of the future—kept me from taking the way of the sea, of pretending, of silence.  I’ve made it here thanks to him and instead of telling him that, I confuse him with my anecdotes about what happened, about things that will never happen again.

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12 thoughts on “Skeptical grandchildren

  1. I have a question. How do you get the money to spend it at an very expensive hotel to work on this block and don’t help to fight the poverty instead?. I don’t get it.

  2. To all,

    For those who want to contact any or all members of the Black Caucus who went to Cuba to kiss Fidel and Raul’s A** a list is below. It seems that debating is good on this blog but letting our voices heard to those who can make change or should be repromanded is a great way for our voices to be heard, see link below for letter from Black Political Prisoner who was ignored by BLACK CAUCUS MEMBER!! SHAME!!

    Black Cuban Dissident Leader Sends Letter to Members of Black Caucus:
    The full text of the letter can be seen on http://www.CapitolHillCubans.com
    Contact: Mauricio Claver-Carone, 240-441-8345

    Barbara Lee (Democrat)- Chair- Oakland
    Oakland Office (510) 763-0370
    Washington DC Offic (202) 225-2661
    Web Site for e-mail form: http://lee.house.gov/

    Laura Richardson (Democrat)-Long Beach
    Long Beach Office (562) 436-3828 – fx: (562) 437-6434
    Washington DC Office (202) 225-7924 – fx: (202) 225-7926
    Web Site for e-mail form: http://richardson.house.gov/

    Bobby Rush (Democrat)-Chicago
    Washington Office phone: 202-225-4372 fax: 202-226-0333
    Chicago District Office phone: 773-224-6500 fax: 773-224-9624
    Suburban District Office phone: 708-385-9550 fax: 708-385-3860
    Web Site for e-mail form: http://www.house.gov/rush/

    Marcia Fudge (Democrat)- Ohio
    Washington, D.C. Office Phone: (202) 225-7032 Fax: (202) 225-1339
    District Office Phone: (216 522-4900 Fax: (216) 522-49
    Web Site for e-mail form: http://fudge.house.gov/

    Mel Watt (Democrat)- North Carolina
    WASHINGTON OFFICE-Tel. (202) 225-1510 Fax (202) 225-
    CHARLOTTE OFFICE- Tel. (704) 344-9950 Fax (704) 344-9971
    GREENSBORO OFFICE- Tel. (336) 275-9950 Fax (336) 379-9951

    Laura Richardson (Democrat)-Long Beach
    Long Beach Office (562) 436-3828 – fx: (562) 437-6434
    Washington DC Office (202) 225-7924 – fx: (202) 225-7926
    Web Site for e-mail form: http://richardson.house.gov/

    Bobby Rush (Democrat)-Chicago
    Washington Office phone: 202-225-4372 fax: 202-226-0333
    Chicago District Office phone: 773-224-6500 fax: 773-224-9624
    Suburban District Office phone: 708-385-9550 fax: 708-385-3860
    Web Site for e-mail form: http://www.house.gov/rush/

    Marcia Fudge (Democrat)- Ohio
    Washington, D.C. Office Phone: (202) 225-7032 Fax: (202) 225-1339
    District Office Phone: (216 522-4900 Fax: (216) 522-49
    Web Site for e-mail form: http://fudge.house.gov/

    Mel Watt (Democrat)- North Carolina
    Washington DC Office-Tel. (202) 225-1510 Fax (202) 225
    Charlotte Office- Tel. (704) 344-9950 Fax (704) 344-9971
    Greensboro- Tel. (336) 275-9950 Fax (336) 379-9951
    Web Site for e-mail form: http://watt.house.gov/

    Mike Honda (Democrat)- California
    Washington DC Office- Phone- (202) 225-2631 Fax: (202) 225-2699
    District Office- Phone: (408) 558-8085
    Fax: (408) 558-8086
    Web Site for e-mail form: http://honda.house.gov/

  3. We, the Cubans,,,,, Do we have to wait until that moment?,,wao!!!!,,,Yoani is in her 30s, her son is a teenager, may be he will be single for more than 10 years, then, supposedly, he will get, at least, one kid, then, from now on we will be waiting until or after 2020?!!!!!!!!!!!! ok,,,if were able to wait 50 years, what else?

    I don’t want to sound skeptical, but, is the Cuban reality,,,very painful , but, real!!!

    Candido

  4. ***
    I hope that Yoani Sanchez’s grandkids will have a free and better life in the future. And that Cuban Patriots like Yoani will get to take part in the Cuban Government’s decisions. The people with good hearts will do a good job in the future.
    ***
    Espero que los nietos de Yoani Sanchez tendran una vida libre y mejor en el futuro. Y que los Patriotas Cubanos van a tomar parte en los decisions del gobierno Cubano. La gente de buena corazones van a hacer un buen trabajo en la futura.
    ***
    John Bibb
    ***

  5. I hope the Black Caucus getS heat from this article and the Press Release about the letter of Jorge Luis Garcia Perez (”Antunez”). There is also a link to an article below that follows this important letter from a BLACK POLITICAL PRISONER!!

    ARTICLE:Sister of Cuban activist ‘Antúnez’ to deliver letter to Congress
    http://www.miamiherald.com/news/breaking-news/story/1034631.html

    Black Cuban Dissident Leader Sends Letter to Members of Congress Who Recently Met With Fidel Castro

    Antunez’s sister to personally deliver on Wednesday letter to Lee, Richardson, and Rush

    WASHINGTON, May 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Berta Antunez, the sister of Jorge Luis Garcia Perez (”Antunez”), one of the most respected black leaders of the Cuban pro-democracy movement inside Cuba, will be in Washington on Wednesday, May 6th to personally deliver a letter from her brother to three Members of Congress who recently traveled to Cuba to meet with Fidel and Raul Castro.

    Last month Congresswomen Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Laura Richardson (D-CA) and Congressman Bobby L. Rush (D-IL) met with Fidel Castro in Havana but refused to meet with any members of the island’s pro-democracy movement. Antunez, who was incarcerated for 17 years and regularly beaten and tortured as a prisoner of conscience, was outraged that these Members of Congress would not take the time while in Cuba to meet with any of the island’s human rights and pro-democracy activists.

    Berta Antunez will be personally delivering the letter to the three offices on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, May 6th afternoon at 2:00 p.m. at 2444 Rayburn House Office Building, Congresswoman Lee’s office, and is requesting to meet with Lee, Richardson, and Rush to convey to them her brother’s message. “There are brave men and women within Cuba that need to be heard. I hope that these Members that traveled to Cuba to meet for hours with Castro, will take a few minutes to listen to the pleas of the victims of Castro’s repression,” stated Berta Antunez.

    The full text of the letter can be seen on http://www.CapitolHillCubans.com
    Contact: Mauricio Claver-Carone, 240-441-8345

  6. Great article, and there is no doubt that what Yoani describes will come to pass, just as Willy Chirino says in his song “Ya viene llegando”. The end of these false idols as Antoaneta says below, is in sight. Time is unforgiving and will soon sweep them away.

    “I am Time(death), the great destroyer of worlds”….so goes the saying written in the Bhagavadgita or Hindu Scripture. This fact echoes in the dictator’s brain whenever he wakes up with tubes up his nose and rear end.

  7. Antoaneta:

    I just want to let you know how much admire your love Romania and her people, because, even after long time , you were able to made justice and at the end, get the lovely freedom that every human being deserved.

    Cuba’s case is very different than the Romanian case, may be, because Cuba is an Island and could be easier for her dictator to keep total control, besides, Romania was receiving a lot of influence from the other Eastern Communist countries, that one right behind the other, were leaving that cruel system.

    I think that your people were very brave and had the opportunity to bring Ceausesco and his wife to justice with the right end!!!!,,,but, I think that we, the Cubans we will not enjoy the pleasure to see both Castros and their Maffiosa Gang, brought to justice and done it, right in front of us.

    We still have a long way to go, and until both brothers (Fidel and Raul) will get the power in their hands, the Island will be a big prison, where every human being has lost the hope and freedom.

    Thanks

    Candido

  8. Romania is like this now, I was 15 when the Wall came down and I remember deep in the flesh all the darkness of those times. But the people that are 20, or even my sister who’s six years younger, don’t, the name of Ceausescu doesn’t bring back anything else but elders’ memories.

    I do hope the inside walls of Cuba will come down soon, and that all the leftist Latin-Americans will find out the truth about their false idols.

  9. I believe that YOU WILL help change things for the better. I see that, once again, TIME magazine lists you as one of the “100 Most
    Influential People”. Hay que proseguir. El que no anda, no llega!! Te felicito!

  10. “I confuse him with my anecdotes about what happened, about things that will never happen again.”

    Amen to that last line.

    Hopefully Cubans have learned there is nothing free everything is got a price the price for Cubans have being loosing personal freedoms.

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