Everything in Cuba is About the Same Thing

Several artists and independent reporters organized to bring aid to the areas most affected by the tornado in Havana. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Marta Requeiro, 8 February 2019 — We are all hurt by what happens in Cuba, and even more so now by what happened in Havana and seeing the damage caused by the January 27 tornado. However, I am surprised that there are those who ask that the issue of the suffering of the people, homeless and without food, not be mixed up with the political issue. I tell myself: How can that be possible?! How can we not see that one thing is a consequence of the other, that everything has a common denominator: the Government?

Thanks to the Government, Cuba is what it is: a country made up of families seaparated and scattered around the world, with a people divided by fear of reprisals, with supposed followers of the government who clap in the open, or shut up, and criticize from behind. With citizens unmotivated by work because it does not give them opportunities to progress. With people who, if they want to help, come up against the disapproval and lack of gratitude of the already legendary rulers.

Who to blame then? Why is a bag of cement sold at exorbitant prices? Whose fault is it that there is no Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning that works and distributes construction materials, free to those who lost their homes to focus on their reconstruction or that there are no brigades created to work in the fulfillment of that goal?

Who do we question because there is no canned food to distribute to those affected at a time like this, and if there is, it is sold, not given away? Why don’t we talk about dining rooms for these people? Where is the Ministry of the Food Industry with enough reserves to bring sustenance to those distressed in the affected areas?

We don’t want anyone to be confused, everything is a purely political issue. The fact that in a country where, by nature, cyclones, floods and phenomena such as the one that occurred, there is no entity, even a municipal entity, that operates effectively and accurately, is a serious problem of government and political mismanagement.

A disabled person loses his wheelchair under the rubble and can not acquire another quickly because there is no fully effective Ministry of Health to go when this happens, for example.

If everything worked properly we could stop talking about politics and focus on sending aid without fear of inadequate distribution, or contributing to the illicit enrichment of a few. Better yet, we could cooperate without setting conditions.

Applying common sense, we must realize that we can not separate the humanitarian issue from the political in Cuba, it is impossible. By thinking like that, by putting a patch on the wound of the shortages, we are propping up and making the calamity continue in the land that watched us being born.

Every time a natural disaster occurs on the island, the victims go mad when they see the hours go by without receiving help.

Whoever does not want to relate the situation in Havana at this time with the situation in the whole country is being partial and selfish. I ask, please, don’t be carried away by paternalistic feelings and look at the concrete reality.

It is good that neighbors offer a helping hand, it is a matter of conscience and principles that families help each other in difficult times, but the underlying problem of this and all the bad situations in Cuba is a theme that strikes the gong of decadence and it has to do with politics. It does.


The 14ymedio team is committed to serious journalism that reflects the reality of deep Cuba. Thank you for joining us on this long road. We invite you to continue supporting us, but this time by becoming a member of 14ymedio. Together we can continue to transform journalism in Cuba.