My telephone number shares five digits with that of the nearest pharmacy. So it happens that every day I answer several mis-dialed calls in which someone asks me if this or that medicine has arrived. Normally I give the people the correct number to connect with the dispensary, but to others—at seven on a Sunday morning—I only manage to say, “No madam, in this house we don’t sell this medicine.”

If I take my clue from what people are looking for to relieve their suffering, I would have to conclude that depression is on the rise. Ninety percent of the callers want an anti-anxiety drug or tranquilizer, something to help them disconnect from the unpleasant reality. The difficulties with transportation, the dual currency system, the lines and the stress caused by searching for certain products on the black market, could unbalance anyone. Especially if you’ve lived for decades with the sensation of national instability, of uncertainty and frustration.

So I try to understand, and not insult, those who call me at the most incredible hours thinking they are communicating with the pharmacy. I note in their voices this tone of despair that is only relieved when taking some kind of pill that helps you to relax and sleep. They are the same people who the next day will return to work with their eyelids at half mast, still under the effect of the tranquilizer. The pills will help them to accept that the air conditioning is turned off because of the new energy saving measures, that the bus comes an hour later than expected, that the butcher sold them a kilo of chicken weighing ten grams less. The longed for tablets can’t make things work, but at least they serve to make you not care.


25 thoughts on “Suffering

  1. Just read the links provided by Sandokan on the suicide rate in Cuba. Among other dismal news, it states that on top of the fact that the population has the highest suicide rate in Latin America, Cuban women have the “probably the biggest suicide rate in the world” and on par with that of men which is a rarity, as men usually surpass women in suicides worldwide by 3-1 margin.

    Look up

    Is the dynasty targeting women? or is it just a result of the despair and lack of balanced nourishment which affect women more due their physiological needs? Do the Castros neglect women’s mental health because their personal experiences with matrimony have been dismal, with the elder criminal not having demonstrated any morality in holding on to any one single woman in his life and instead carrying on a promiscuous lifestyle worthy of a sultan in his harem?

    Who knows what the answer is, but once again, one thing is sure: When future history books are written, Castro mafia will be played up as examples of not only of government crimes, but also, lack of family morals, disdain for women’s mental health and genocide by propagating widespread mental illness.

  2. I am convinced that the government has strategic reasons for making meprobamate available primarily on the black market. With no aboveground market or statistics, who knows how many tablets are produced or how many Cubans consume them? The question ultimately is, how afraid is the regime of its people unsedated?

  3. Candido:
    When everything is set and done.Juanes will end up asking for political asylum in Cuba. Silvio and Amaury(now a “blondie”)will ask for political asylum in their own country as well.Then, the Cuban State Police will throw all of them in jail for creating such a mess.
    Silvio will get a reminding how the UMAP feels like, apparently he has forgotten already.It has been such a long time you know ….,not to mention that they have to pay a visit to “Villa Marista” as soon they leave the Revolution Square.
    It will be great if all of them can be in the same cell with Panfilo.I think Amaury will be separated from the group…. you know how blacks cubans feel about “blondies”,specially with “big hips” like Amaury’s has…

  4. Concubi!!!

    Thanks, I appreciate your comment about us as well as your daily comments about our Cuba, (all of them against Castro’s dictatorship!!!).

    Now that Juanes is talking about peace, there is phrase said it by Benito Juares: “Respect the rights of others is peace”!!!!.

    How can Juanes speaks about peace, when in Cuba there is not respect, not connection to the slightest and elemental rights?.

    Cuba’s regime , with the Castros and their mafia gang are flagrant violators of the human rights, basic freedoms , such as freedom of expression, freedom of association, freedom of religion!!!!!etc,etc,,,,.

    The best and most recent example is Pamfilo’s case,,,,,the poor man was sent to jail for saying that he is hungry,,,,just to express what he really felt!!!!.

    Is that peace?,,,and, if that is the new meaning , or the new concept that Juanes knows about peace,,,,then,,,I will try to move to the same island where Robinson Cruzoe lived!!!! at least I will be alone!!!!!


  5. Candido;
    There is no f,,,ing way that my girl is gonna be named that way, but to be honest that make laugh so hard you have no idea,I’m glad you can call me your friend, I knew that i have one from the moment i read your comments,

  6. Cocubi!!!! my friend!!!

    You are right, September 28 was the day when that infamous organization (CDR) was founded,,,,it was created to inoculate the fear , the repression,the “chivateria” (snitching) using the “legal and institutionalized way of cruelty”, established by the Castro’s and their mafia gan!!!!.

    You were right with that date (April 20) it is a Hitler’s birthday!!!!,,,Solabaya!!!!but anyway, if that is your kid birthday,,,what else you can do?,,,just celebrate it but to wish and celebrate many, many, many more!!!!!forget the bad guy!!!!he is already death!!!!,jajajajaja

    One more thing, I’m agree with your “concubina”,,,,because using Pamfila, to name your new baby girl,,,,is not funny!!!!,jajajajaja,,,find another one, for example: Tamara (no Bunke), Clara (no Zetkins), Angela (no Davis),!!!!,jajajaja,,, I’m just joking,,,use any name,,,but don’t forget to use it!!!!!



  7. Cold in Chicago:

    In 1982 the Cuban Public Health ministry (MINSAP) alerted for the first time the rate of suicides in Cuba had exceeded 20 for every 100.000 inhabitants. Since 1985 the government classified suicide statistics as state secrets. Cuba’s current suicide rate is estimate at more than 20 per 100,000. In the rest of Latin America, the rates of suicide hover between 8 and 12 per 100,000. Defected Ministry of Public Health workers claim that the official tallies heavily underreport suicides, with the government recategorizing many as accidental deaths. The suicide rate in Cuba during the decade of the 1960 was between 10 and 8 for every 100.000 inhabitants according to the World-wide Health Organization.

    These are the sources:

    1. Zoila Macias, a physician who was director of national statistics at the Cuban Health Ministry from 1991 to 1994, and Donate-Armada, a psychologist who left Cuba in 1993, which was working for the Health Ministry during the 80th, wrote this paper in 1998, “Study: Suicide epidemic exists under Castro”

    2. Report elaborated by the Pan-American Organization of health on 2006, “Suicide in Cuba”, link:

  8. well I can see in english less people put comentarios Yoani do you read all comentarios? Can you answers some comentarios in spanish? where I can see your answers’s comentarios?

  9. thanks Cold..
    She is my concubina(BTW) and is gonna be my third ,2 boys, a baby girl coming soon
    I’ll be in this blog forever ,.it took me a long ime to get in , to opinate ,but once i got in ,there is no way out..

    thanks again

  10. Concubino:

    Congratulations on you and your wife expecting. If this is your first one you are in for the ride of your life. This is good and as it should be. You’ll become a new person. Hope you stay in touch with this blog after all is said and done.


    On the subject of depression and suicide suffered by the population as you point out below: Could you cite your sources for this information. It’d be interesting to find out some statistics as to what extent the regime is causing people to become suicidal.

  11. Candido;

    I’ve already avoided August 13(that was my biggest concern),Sept 7 I want to avoid that one too(my boss Bday), I think Sept 28 is out of the pictureit wll be kind of late), NOW I don’t want sept 20 .
    I had a serious talk to my concubina I wanted to change the name of our dauhgter to be…. to PANFILA, but she refused, she had no idea what i was talking about. It was a long argument , but she put her foot down and there is no way that it is gonna be a change of heart… or name….That is already decided.
    Anyways my second son was born April 20th. Check who was born that day, Kindda of scary..

  12. Cubans on the island have the highest rate of depression and suicide in Latin America. Suicide is an act of desperation which reflects societal, political and economic outlooks without future. People escape via the suicide route.

  13. Concubi!!!! (now with more familiarity between us!!!!,jajajja):

    Congratulations!!!!,,,at least your new baby girl will be a free person since her birth!!!,,,one more thing,,,, if you see that her birth comes to close to September 28,,,please,,,,talk to her,,,,very loud!!!!she should go out before or after that day!!!!,jaaaaaaaaa (I’m just joking, any day will be wonderful , but just in case,,,can you imagen yourself celebrating your girl’s birthday that “specific day?”!!!!,jaaaaaaaa).


  14. Hey Candido

    I’ m rereading your previous comment. Perhaps you noticed that I also came from……yes!!….. Cuba. LOL!!

  15. Hey Candido

    I got your previous comment from the very begining. I know exactly what yo meant. It was very sarcastic and well written.By the way if Juanes mentions Panfilo the first bounce will be not in Alaska but in the North Pole ,the second in Antartica.
    And yes I’m in a “concubinato” relationship. I’m expecting my third child (due date is beggning of Sept) is a baby girl!!.

  16. I always suspected that these self-styled connoisseurs of “opiates” would one day end up drugging the people, in order to make obedient zombies out of them. As if the mindless slogans, hours long speeches and child indoctrinations weren’t enough. First they depress the population, then they play heroes by pretending to be the good and caring doctors that properly diagnose and medicate the public.

    If it wasn’t that they can’t even produce toilet paper, and that they need some people around to provide services for the small click around these criminals, they’d probably convince people to euthanize themselves at an early age. And given the government induced despair, some in the population just might do it.

    More material for the history books. The Castro’s in their sick logic, might just want to unseat Adolf, Joseph and Caligula in their quest to be first for notoriety among history’s most cruel and sick characters.

  17. Yoani,

    Add to your magnificent post all the cubans that are persecuted ,harassed, physically and verbally abused, “sofocated” in a retlenless way by the Cuban State police. People thrown in jail for no apparent reason.
    The picture one’s get is nothing but despair.
    Yesterday for instance two gays activits the same that are supposed to be protected by Mariela Castro for which she is apparently an advocate went missing.

  18. It is incredibly sad that people in Cuba continue to suffer the oppression of communism. What I don’t understand is the inability for anyone to fight back. The time for peaceful dialog and “change” has long passed for Cubans. The only solution is a violent uprising that will definitely cost the lives of thousands, but one that will allow future generations of Cubans to regain their spirit, the same spirit that made Cuba the envy of Latin America after its independence.

    I am sure there are a lot of exiles in the U.S. willing and able to arm the Cuban people and help their liberation. Will anyone who thinks like me be considered a terrorist for aiding in this fight?

    We can no longer wait for governments or so-called humanitarian organizations to help. For the most part these are socialist/communist sympathizers, who’d love nothing more than be able to impose their will on the rest of the free world.

    It’s time for individuals in the U.S. and patriotic Cubans all over the world to actually do something and end the suffering for good.

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