Miseria, Cuba

Our misery has no equal

Havana Cuba. – Two women they cling to blows for the turn in a queue to buy food. Everyone watches, everyone records with their cell phones and, judging by the faces, almost everyone enjoys the beating, encourages it with words or silence, and even makes room for the brawl to spread as long as those two have the strength Bestialized human beings who, together with those who enjoy the scene, are the living image of our national misery.

Those who refuse to believe that today we are number one on the world misery indexhere is the best proof in that video that circulates on social networks, also in that other one, I don’t know if it is more recent or earlier, where a crowd gathers in front of a turnstile walkway while a shop assistant shouts that she will be the one to turn to the mechanism to impose some order in what is undoubtedly pure surreal chaos.

just a few weeks ago the public torture and murder of a cat was the summum of fun at a state rodeo show. And although the cruelty was later “sanctioned” to try to shut up mouths, the reality is that no one from the public or the administration of the place jumped into the arena to stop such madness, perhaps because we have adapted to human miseries to such an extent that we do not even recognize ourselves in the midst of them.

That’s how we go about bestializing, and I’m not excluding myself or exaggerating when I say that these scenes, together with others of the same negative sign, summarize everyday life in Cuba, despite the fact that the regime makes an effort —just with speeches and slogans— to pass off as sad and repulsive reality as “specific”, “exceptional” cases, which could only qualify as such those who do not set foot on the Cuban streets where horror surrounds us at every step we take. Steps not for the pleasure of walking, of strolling in what could be the world’s Mecca of boredom, but for the vital need to “move forward”, to “fight” as they fight each other, tooth and nail, the damned to the hell. There is no other for those of us who have been trapped here.

From what I have read about it, there is more than one formula to measure the degree of misery in a country. They have all been developed in large universities and institutes where scholars have plenty of time and money to combine variables and make calculations that lead to results that anyone could reach without the need for so many statistical analyzes that, as we have seen on occasions , they end up concluding what suits them for their purposes at that moment, because — let’s be clear — our misery doesn’t matter to anyone, and we’ll be screwed for a long time, that’s the harsh truth.

Thus, in Obama’s time, under the eyes of the same analyst, we were at the level of Switzerland or Norway, because what was involved was landing Air Force One in Havana no matter how many Cubans —even in those times that compared with these they seem like an idyll—, they dreamed of escaping to Haiti, Burundi, Antarctica, because no quantifiable variable in the world is capable of offering an idea of ​​the true nature of our deep misery.

I still remember when, from the comfort of the Parque Central Hotel, the illustrious Ben Rhodes (at that time Deputy National Security Advisor of the United States) spoke to the accredited foreign press (but not to the Cubans) about the “strictly economic” nature and not politics of our emigration (apparently the clever boy was joking).

I still imagine that it is this same “soft theory” that Biden’s team brings to the table of conversations on immigration policy that these days will be held in Washington and, I say more, probably as a prelude to other future “exchanges” of those that are the result of picking up the phone and surreptitiously dialing 001 when misery wets the big toe of those from “here”.

These universities and even the benefactor governments and businessmen who subsidize them have contributed so much —from the cruelest and most thoughtful complicity— to the concealment and adornment of our reality that today even those of us who suffer from so much misery refuse to accept that we head a list where , for the first time, someone puts us in the right place. And we resist believing it, and we question it because every trauma is accompanied by an act of denial: it is hard to look in the mirror in the morning and discover not only how old we are, but how hopeless our situation is.

It doesn’t matter where the student of world misery has obtained the information about this or that, if even suppressing them all and just limiting ourselves to reviewing what happens on Cubans’ social networks would lead us to the same results: we are the most miserable country in the world. universe, there is no doubt about that. And not because buying a bottle of oil, a pack of aspirin, a bag of culeros or a plane ticket to Managua translates into the tragedy of any family, but because we have assumed human misery as a means of survival, and we even believe better than our neighbor when we behave most miserable.

I am referring to thousands of attitudes, exclusive to Cuban men and women, but especially to that rare (or rather, rarefied) way of life in which we can sing and shout “Patria y Vida” in our homes but at the same time we don’t give a damn. I wish the artists who coined the phrase and the song rot in jail. It is that hypocrisy with which the spokesmen of the regime intend to clean up their recent past taking refuge in miami and it is also the certainty that they will achieve it. It will suffice to live to see it.

Our miseries are too many, so many that even having enough to write about each one every day of the year, the mind refuses to think about them, to understand them.

I recognize that there are times when so much misery makes me forget the reasons why it would be worthwhile to continue writing, doing journalism, especially when I am convinced that there will be no other 11Jthat we let the opportunity slip away, that if the “allies” left Ukraine alone they will also do it to us, and worse, because we have neither political nor economic power, that the streets and the newsrooms of independent newspapers are becoming empty with so many young people leaving, and that every day that crazy and stupid “capacity” that makes us cry for the roof of the house that is falling on us, for the innocent girls who They were crushed to death by the fall of a balcony in poor conditionbut that still encourages us to post “nice photos” in front of the new GAESA hotel where our salary is not even enough to buy a soft drink.

Our peculiar misery is made of these details and many more, probably the most absolute in the world, which no expert can measure or compare because it has no equal.

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