I Will Continue Living Here in Cuba, Despite the Dictatorship

Dawn in Cuba, a country submerged in an economic crisis and an unprecedented migratory exodus. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Yoani Sánchez, Generation Y, Havana, 18 December 2022 — Those December days are approaching when we all take stock, set new goals and forecast what is going to happen. The year 2023 arrives on an Island plunged into a deep crisis, with an uncertain outlook. In the absence of certainties, I want to venture on this list (very particular, subjective and absolutely determined by my circumstances) my personal and national toeholds, what I think will happen next year:

I am going to continue living here in Cuba, in the country where I was born. I am stubborn (very stubborn) and one day my ashes will be scattered on this earth, under a guava tree.

Every morning, from Monday to Friday, I will try to record and broadcast my Cafecito informativo podcast, a modest contribution to the Cuban information ecosystem.

I will dedicate my best hours to the newspaper 14ymedio, an informational space that will be nine years old next May and that has built a reputation for being serious, constant and with people in the information field. There is still a lot to achieve, but we will achieve it with work, work and work.

I am not going to allow the political police to prevent me from enjoying the sunrises, the smell of the romerillo daisies and the waves breaking in Caleta de San Lázaro. That’s mine too.

I will try to read more, although bringing in books and printed material is still so complicated on this Island, but I am a “rare” philologist who enjoys audiobooks and reading volumes in digital format. In the absence of paper, kilobytes come in handy.
I am going to spend less time on social networks, especially on Facebook, because I have several professional projects that demand a lot of time. However, I always keep an eye on everything that is published from inside the Island be it a complaint, news or a report.

But the most important thing is that I will continue to be a happy person. My happiness does not depend on the political or economic model in which I live. I am happy because I breathe

I will plant new plants. Gardening and the urban garden are the particular forms that I have chosen so that this authoritarian system does not destroy my most sensitive side. I will watch my tomatoes grow, I will water my pumpkins, I will eat the lettuce and chard sprouts growing on my balcony while I observe the dysfunctional Ministry of Agriculture which — erected right in front of my terrace — fails to harvest hardly anything.

I will continue without saying a word to State Security. If you call me, you know, I’ll repeat what I’ve said so much: “I don’t talk to the political police.” I don’t care if they are named after the guerrilla Ernesto, the disappeared Camilo or the Pharaoh Ramses . I have nothing to tell you. Silent strike is what it takes in those cases and they already know it.

I will look more into the eyes of my dogs and my cats. In those infinite pupils there is a lot of wisdom.

My complaint about authoritarianism, the new ways of totalitarianism and the faces of generals that become managers will continue.

But the most important thing is that I will continue to be a happy person. My happiness does not depend on the political or economic model in which I live. I am happy because I breathe, because I am alive, because I understand that each breath is a miracle for me and I owe it to all those who preceded me. I am happy despite the dictatorship and living in a failed country. I am happy because that is also a form of rebellion.

With that being said, I wish you all a happy 2023. It may not be the year we are all waiting for, but it is the year we have achieved.


COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORKThe 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.