Emigrant’s fledgling

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.


33 thoughts on “Emigrant’s fledgling

  1. ***
    A handsome young man. And a good looking Chihuahua.
    Un joven guapo. Y un Chihuahua bonito.

  2. I used to use Silent Voice as my Nick
    it started when I contributed to some Cuban articles in wikipediA but
    after reading Yoany I did realize that I did not feel free if I did not
    express my real opinions about Cuba with my real name attach to them.
    Naturally doing so in the US is no problem my only problem could potentialy be
    if I wanted to visit Cuba again. One thing they should understant is that the great majority of us outside
    Cuba do have opinions contrary to the system they created that is
    why we are out and not in Cuba. It was the easy way for me to gain
    something I wanted badly


    but how good is freedom if we do not use it?
    I understant if many of you for whatever reason don’t want to disclose your real persona.
    It feels incredibly liberating when you speak your mind without any mask!
    I am greatful to Yoani for that.

  3. Regarding emigration there are a couple of links to youtube posted below that I think are great.
    El B ( los aldeanos) “La Naranja se pico”, “El Maleconazo” . There is another regarding “The American form of Government” which in my oppinion is out of subject, but I thinnk is great also.
    It explains to cubans and others, even americans , the idea of how this country’s government was founded upon.
    So, anybody with ten minutes to spare, please don’t miss it.

    tiviri: if you are an american born that one is specially for you.

  4. Yvon:

    Before, I did post a comment saying that Canada was “my bridge to the freedom”!!!!!.

    I was there for one year after I defected in my travel to Europe 25 years ago, and let me tell you,,,I have the best memories of your country,,,like I said,,,Canada was the first time in my whole life where I felt free,,,really free,,I was able to open my mind, I did not have to whisper anymore,,,the people was so adorable, so kind,,,but anyways,,,,Miami is “almost” Cuba,,,,,Cuba with freedom,with liberties, with hope,,,then, the point is that here is where the majority of Cubans are concentrated that is why most of the times we made references to Miami,,even that we know that there are thousand of Cubans all around the world.

    Remember, the Cubans, leaving their country , means a “trip without return,,,for ever!!!!”,,,that is why most of the Cubans from the very beginning when they step out of it , their focus is to be free,,,to do anything to recuperate the lost time,,,recuperate the freedom,,,recuperate HOPE!!!! whatever it means,,whatever it takes!!!!.

    I hope that you could be able to understand it,,,I’m sure you will do it!!!


  5. Concubino:

    For all the reasons you cite, as well as the ones I explained earlier, like most bloggers here, (except for Julio) I choose to maintain my privacy on line. For me it works just fine.

    I think Yoani is a very special person who gives of herself at great personal risk and I greatly admire her for that, as well as for her genius. That is why Yoani is who she is and I am who I am. Just a small blogger who admires her work, and who other than expressing my opinion on this list, prefers to remain private.

    You are brave to provide your information. You’ll hear from me soon. And yes, I stand by what I said, you are still my brother.

  6. Yoani:

    Teo will do fine in the U.S. Don’t let anyone make you think otherwise. How a child turns out depends mostly on his parents and upbringing. Just by looking at his sparky eyes, I’m completely sure you and your husband have done a fine job.

    Regarding the public schools here, yes there are issues which are currently being freely debated, regarding teaching methodology, parent involvement, etc. However, on balance, if a child is closely supervised by the parent or guardian to ensure he does homework daily, and participates in school activities, he should have no problems whatsoever.

    I’d say, send him on. No one should be confined to an island unless like my Great-Grandfather, he felt totally happy and fulfilled just with blue country skies, puffy clouds and a horse to take him to work. With the Castros in power, none of this is possible.

    I think Teo is ready. And yes he might want to bring Chispita, it’s a big country he just might need him.

  7. Lo & behold!another similarity!People leave either as young student’s seeking higher & better quality education,or those of a profession that is’nt exactly thriving here,only to never return.The frequent vists on holidays once finally settled in their other home,those vists dwindle,the calls home dwindle,& then contact is almost lost;maybe we talk on holidays or every now & then,but everythings been forgotten.
    Maybe there arent enough oppurtunitie’s;maybe they dont feel safe;or maybe they think things will get better once they leave,but it’s just disappointing.
    Yoani,your not the only one wishing that you had some reason to convince them to stay,but cant find one.-This entry,a little too close to home. :-(

  8. Mr Carbo Servia:
    Any place is good but Cuba.Miami is the best though.BTW are a relative of that true martir( Fransisco Carbo Servia)

    As for Tiviri;
    El pichon is not gonna tax the system,the system is gonna take advantge of him looks at his parents, they are brilliant, What do you expect of El Pichon?Nothing but greatness.

    El pichon is gonna be awesome like his parents( “de tal palo tal astilla”)If you don’t know what that means our friendly translator can help you with that.She’s already fixed the title of this post( in a heart Beat)

  9. 10
    Agosto 4th, 2009 at 22:18

    In reading the previous interventions , it seems that Miami is the only possible and plausible destinations for Cubans . What about the rest of the world ? I am Canadian and aware of many Cuban exiles who seem to be adjusting and enjoying our way of life…………….
    Dear Yvon, I have many cuban friends living in Canada and they tell me only wonderful things about your country.
    I will tell you the history about how I became a Miami “citizen”.
    I am a very adaptable person, I can live almost everywhere in this world and thrive but not my wife. When we left Cuba we headed to Europe, we stayed 10 years in a country with a climate very similar to Canada’s. At the beginning everything seems OK but suddenly the whole family developed pollen allergy and my wife started to get depressed. She spent most of the time unemployed because the depression and other allergies she developed. The doctor recommended change our life style and change the residence country if possible. We visited Greece, Italy and Spain in order to select one of this countries as our new home. Then we decide to pay a visit to our family in Miami. Miami was never a possibility we had in mind to relocate but 1 weeks after we arrived here my wife got free of allergies and depression….. she said to me…… “I stay here, I’ll no move from here, you get back and sell all you can sell and come to Miami when you want but I will stay here, this is the place”
    The reason for this “miracle” lied in what cuban people has done of Miami….. they has transformed Miami in a place like Cuba but with freedom and space for everybody. Here we have to work harder then in Europe, we do not have the same universal health coverage we had in Europe, we do not have the social benefits we had in Europe but still we are happier here.

  10. That Kid should stay in Cuba and bath in the fruits of the Revolution. It is the 15 year anniversary of the MALICONASO, maybe if more Cubans and others took to the streets of Cuba and demanded change. The US has plenty of emigrants who tax the system,we do not need any more. Fix your Cuba and keep your child at home with your dog. Fidel your Master says you’ll even eat malanga, so go get it. GET IT?

  11. John Two;
    I think you are on the money regarding av2ts. I’m guilty of name calling, so I’m sorry. I’m very inmmature at times.It’s a real turn off in this blog, but is very funny in Claudia’s, BTW she does not care,she understands that is part of the cuban culture.

  12. While it’s not possible to completely verify someone’s online identity, I think the ‘av2ts’ who posted below is the same person who runs the ‘A View to the South’ blog: Here’s the link: http://aviewtothesouth.blogspot.com/

    av2ts has posted here before. While I don’t recall ever agreeing with him, and I think post #4 below is particularly lame, av2ts is entitled to his point of view. Counter his arguments like Julio has done in posts #6 to #8. Personal insults and name calling are a real turn-off to this faithful reader of Yoani’s blog.

  13. Julio de la Yncera, you are so right on the topic!!
    I urge and in fact invite Av2ts to go to Cuba and spend the 15 days allowed without an “official” escort – you don’t even have to leave Habana, just go to any park or el Malecon & see how there’s homeless and how drugs and the prostitution of men, women and children is sold for a few “dollars” – cubans have a saying that in order to stay in Cuba you need to be either crazy or drunk – alcoholism is rampant. Get real Av2ts – there’s so much corruption – the Cuban government has basically forced good cubans (if not all)to steal one way or another just in order to survive.
    As for you Yoani – hang in there – maybe just maybe – Raul will somehow come around – there’s not much left, he has to accept change. Even a change like China would be welcomed.

  14. Cold in Chicago;
    Please refer to comment 31 in previous post.
    thank you
    el concubino

  15. As long as there is a dictate from above that noneone can’t question
    As long as different ideas to the ideas and solutions of the communist party are
    nor considered people will go and find their freedom somewhere else.

    It’s a pity because Cuba could have had such potential creative and producing force!
    Why can they ease up and give freedom back?
    Give Cubans freedom to criticized problems freely like Yoani
    the freedom to propose other solutions to the problems they face
    make them feel that they the people of Cuba are really on control of their
    destiny and not just a small group of old men base on opsolete ideology.
    Feeling that you work and do things with the fruits of your labor is an awesome
    feeling! I imagine it must be extremely frustrating for the average Cuban to find their goverment
    salaries barely cover the food expense for thenself.
    And you see Raul mentioning in a speech that they have too few born people
    people will procreate if they feel they can pay for all the extra expenses
    a kid will bring! If also they have access to a home for themselves!
    If those things are provided then people will procreate. But this negative of people to do so is because
    they don’t want to bring a new life to live a life of missery and want.

  16. Picking up on the sentiments expressed in the last sentence of Yoani’s blog posting, I ran across this interesting article:

    “The top Cuban leadership today resembles nothing as much as the doddering gerontocracy that governed the Soviet Union in the first half of the 1980’s, that is, until the reformer Mikhail Gorbachev’s ascension in March 1985. In quick succession the rheumy Leonid Brezhnev was briefly succeeded by Yuri Andropov, and then Constantine Chernenko, all three by then in their seventies, infirm and incapable of leading their fading empire out of its terminal dysfunction.

    Cuba’s leadership today may be inherently even more unstable. The Castro brothers’ unpredictable tag-team performance this year has created greater uncertainty in the nomenclatura than at any time since the Ochoa-de la Guardia purges twenty years ago. The announcement last week of the indefinite postponement of the long-awaited Sixth Communist Party Congress is surely the result of tensions and deep policy disagreements between the brothers, and broadly across the nomenclatura.

    Maybe the end of the Castro dictatorship will come before Teo is compelled to emigrate.

  17. My suggestion, regarding with those fifth columnist , like av2ts,,,, “we should not spend just one minute,,,,one neuron with them” , because, they are -most of the times- Cuban spys, just interfering using those agressives ways, to create disunity among us, or they are very short of mind,,,to understand anything about those subjects, then, at the end are very insignificant persons,,,very close to be something invalid, empty!!!!,,just pure trash!!!!.

    Cuba, now has more drugs addicts than before 1959, where most of the times the only drug used by Cubans was “marijuana”,,,,that at the same time was used for people of very low class,,,persons that most of the times were rejected from the normal society.

    Today,they have Marijuana, Heroina, Cocacina, etc,etc,,,,alcohol,,,something like moonshine (from the Dry Law during the 20s),,,something that they call “Chispa de Tren” (Train spark), or Warfarina (which is a poison to kill rats),,,!!!!!

    Before Castro, the prostitution was like has been always,,,remember “prostitution is the oldest profession the human being knows”!!!!!,,,however,Castro did say that he was able to eliminate it,,,but once again,,he lied,,,because now the prostitution in Cuba is 100 times higher than before,,,with one particular aspect,,”The Cuban Prostitute is the Cheapest one in the world”,,,she is able to do anything por a piece of bread,,or a candy,,,just to be able to get something for her kids,,,a piece of bread,,or a candy for her children that are starving because the Revolution has not been able to provide those needs!!!!

    av2ts,,without any doubts you are a “pure trash”!!!!


  18. Interesting “faux pas” on post #4 av2ts!

    “Let him find out how easily it is to be homeless and hungry in YOUR capitalist..”


    “Let him attend OUR horrendous public schools.”


  19. In reading the previous interventions , it seems that Miami is the only possible and plausible destinations for Cubans . What about the rest of the world ? I am Canadian and aware of many Cuban exiles who seem to be adjusting and enjoying our way of life…………….


    Castro ran off the people who could make Cuba grow, the people the nation needed to feed everyone else. These same cast-off exiles through their own efforts, blood, sweat and tears, turned Miami into a world-class bustling metropolis, a paragon of International business success and prosperity.

    Cuban-Americans make up approximately 4% of the Hispanic population in the United States, yet own approximately 34% of Hispanic businesses. That savoir-faire, the initiative, the drive, the work-ethic and educational diligence, the determination to succeed exhibited by the Cuban exiles in America, could have been the bed-rock for a beautiful economically successful Cuban democratic republic. Instead, universal destitution, misery and starvation are Castro’s legacies, his gifts to generations yet unborn.

  21. I was visiting facebook lately and found that most of my friend and
    people I used to know in Cuba are actually out of Cuba!
    Some here in some place in the US some in some other countries!
    Why can our country be a land for all each with different ideas but ideas
    on how to better Cuba?
    Why anything that opposes the dictates from above must be consider a traitor?
    Why do they need this 100 percent Vote that we all know is force on them?

  22. Funny you talk about matterialism here and I could tell you the cubans
    in Cuba are not any less matterialistic than we are!
    They ask us for addidas Nike shoes and brand t- shirts etc
    your comment reflects poor knowledge of cubans in Cuba!

  23. Av2ts

    what make you think those problems are unique of capitalism?
    Socialism got same and many others that we could add.
    You have listen to too much propaganda!
    Yes there is bad things here as there is bad things over there
    I could argue that there is more bad things over there but let’s not
    get into that. Could you explain to me why prostitution still exist in
    the socialist paradise?
    Why people are malnourish?
    Why can they speak their mind without been afraid of receiving a
    visit from state security?
    Etc etc ?

  24. av2ts:
    I feel sorry for you!!!!

    Everything you did say in your comment is pure bull sh…., but anyway, still there is HOPE,,,,because most of those Cuban that you called “jerk” are successful people,,,but mainly ,,,FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

    By the way, if you do a survey, to compare what you just said, and the current Cuban reality,,,I’m 200 % sure that the scale will be inclined on the escape!!!!,,,get freedom!!!!.


  25. Yes, bring your son to Miami. Let him find out how easily it is to be homeless and hungry in your capitalist paradise. Let him find out that all the good jobs have left the US. Let him discover hard drugs and the place where morals and ethics are to be laughed at. Let him watch our television and listen to our radio. Let him attend our horrendous public schools. Have him try to get health care (I hope he’s never had any kind of pre-existing condition). Let him see a different kind of Cuban (the jerk), and hope he does not turn into one. Let him worship at the shrine of Miami materialism and pretend to be happy buying things.

  26. Cold in Chicago;
    Sorry I’m off the subject.But I need to follow up from previous comments.

    Please refer to comments 27 and 28 in Yoanis previous posts.
    Please refer also to http://www.neoliberalismo.com
    Adolfo Rivero Caro(A.R.C) thought that my comment was interesting.A.R.C is a colaborator of the Nuevo Herald .Here is his email to me:

    Estimado amigo, no estoy de acuerdo contigo. La situación en Cuba es más difícil que nunca y no creo que esta gente esté pensando en una sucesión familiar. La situación de Cuba es muy diferente a la de C. del N. ¿Dónde está la China de Cuba? De todas formas, el comentario me parece interesante y pienso ponerlo en neoliberalismo, un poco editado por nuestra falta de espacio.

    Cordiales saludos

    Adolfo Rivero

  27. Yoanis:

    Your Teo,,will not be the first one, and will not be the last one, while the Castro’s Dictatorship will be established there.

    It is very sad,,,very,,,very sad to see our relatives , our sons, our daughters, our parents, brothers, sisters, friends, etc, etc,,,go away “almost always without the possibility of return””,,,but, at the same time, should be enough motive of happiness, knowing that all of them will be free!!!!!,,,the freedom has no price, no cost, there is nothing comparable as to be free!!!!.

    The same feeling are linked with the one who is leaving,,,the one who goes away!!!!,,has the same concern, doubts, because he is leaving all backwards,,,,but you know what does keep up his head?,,,,HOPE!!!!,,,HOPE to be free,,,HOPE to do anything that was prohibited until the last minute that his foot were in his motherland!!!!just because one group of thieves seized him his freedom for more than 50 years!!!!.

    If that happen to your Teo,,,,you will be one more ,,,another loving mother who will be praying to see his son enjoying the Freedom that was denied to him until he decided to be really free!!!!!, then, both of you will be very happy!!!!


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