Inalkis Rodriguez Lora, Havana | 23 May 2014
The lives of birds are wonderful, especially when they are free.
But in Cuba, being free is hard, thanks to the human predators. For example, the Cuban grassquit, an endemic bird, is now captured at such a high rate that we fear its future extinction.
Another bird injured in this subject of prisons is the mockingbird, which is not endemic but lives permanently in our country. They say that if someone catches a mockingbird chick, takes it home and, of course, locks it in a cage, the parents of the captured chick, if they find it, bring it poisoned food so that it will die immediately because they would rather see it dead than a prisoner for life. In this country story, true or not, there’s a love for freedom.
Humans also go after parakeets, parrots and bullfinches, doomed to be amusements for human beings, as if their vocal qualities or plumage were a terrible crime. And it doesn’t give people any pangs of conscience. On the street in Camagüey it’s common to see, in broad daylight, the cages hanging with their prisoners for life.
It seems that certain people like to run roughshod over nature. I remember my grandfather, to whom I owe all my love for the natural world, was a passionate and jealous caretaker of flora and fauna, to the point that no one on our farms and its surroundings dared to hurt even the least plant or animal. If some little boy thought to pull out a slingshot in front of him, he immediately grabbed it and threw it in the kitchen fire, while giving the boy a good talking to about why he should care for nature.
And today, are there no people or laws in Cuba to stop the unjustified abuses against nature and freedom, like my grandfather did on his farm?