When I am pessimistic.
There is no way to look at my son and not predict that in some years he will be climbing aboard a raft to go to Florida or married to a foreigner intending to leave Cuba. Just looking at him I realize that he will, at all costs, try to leave behind this piece of land to which he is tied by the stubbornness of his parents and by the migratory absurdity that prevents him from traveling. Though he hardly knows it, today he is the emigrant’s fledgling that some day will spread his wings and fly far from here. An exile’s embryo, who only needs to know what will be the destination of his pilgrimage.
What would I love more than that he would stay. But I do not have a single convincing argument to tell him not to leave. What reason could I argue? What optimistic prognostication would be adequate to convince him? Will there be any hint of change to make him abandon his idea? If I myself am not so sure he should stay here, how should I attempt to have him put down roots in a country where so few can bear fruit.
After Raul Castro’s latest speech before the National Assembly, with its “shadow” of continuity, its aura of “more of the same,” with its dull oratory of times gone by, I only have the urge to be—for my son—oar, sail, visa, wing… on the road to his early escape.