Mar 14, 2008

Se busca: a date with freedom

Well, I have to be honest; I've met the concept of freedom not that long ago. Seven years and two months, to be more exact. And boy, I do like a lot!

All this came to mind in the past few days, after seeing the news and blog posts about the seven Cuban soccer players that defected while playing in Tampa. (I've got tell you that I have serious issues with the word "defect", but that's something for another post).

It all started after reading CubaWatcher's post at Babalú, about the sad comments some people have left in the newspaper's websites. I, too, don't understand why we have to turn on our own, and that's why I decided to shared my thoughts with my fellow babalusians, with this comment:

"Bueno caballero, voy a poner mi granito de arena... I totally agree that it is a very complicated issue, it is not written in black and white and I will give them the benefit of the doubt, and above all, no podemos generalizar sin tener en cuenta la situación particular de cada persona.
I grew up without knowing what the benefit of the doubt was. I came to this country not that long ago and I've been a proud American citizen, let's say, for a few weeks.
Honestamente les digo, cuando salí de Cuba me fui porque sabía que si no lo hacía terminaría en problemas porque nunca he podido quedarme callada, pero si alguien me hubiese preguntado si buscaba libertad politíca, económica o cualquier otra cosa, yo no hubiese sabido quí contestarle. Lo único que sabía era que quería salir de aquel infierno.

Yo crecí sin saber lo que significa libertad, ni lo que son los derechos humanos, ni las libertades individuales. Lo único que conocí en los primeros veinte y tantos años de mi vida fue la chivatería del comité, el habla bajito por si alguien te oye, repite en la escuela lo que te digan porque si no te marcan de contrarrevolucionaria y vete pa'la plaza el primer de mayo porque el HP de tu jefe que dijo con antelación que si no vas pierdes el trabajito que tanto luchaste en el turismo.

Me acuerdo que cuando salí de Cuba pasó mucho tiempo antes de que me acostumbrara a hablar de barbatruco o de eso allá sin automáticamente bajar la voz, por aquello de que si alguien te está oyendo. Recuerdo que muchos amigos me decían, "oye mija, ya te puedes cagar en la madre de fidel, que aquí te nadie está oyendo ni te va chivatear con el comité". And for sure, I didn't have any idea of what "No Comment" means.

My point is; when you are born, raised and brainwashed under a dictatorship, once you are free, you need to learn what a democracy is, you need to learn to use your rights the same way a baby needs to learn to take the first steps.

On the other hand, it's a fact that, por dondequiera que uno lo mire, just by defecting they are making an statement, tácito o no. It does not matter if you say you're here por political reasons, for economic reasons, o por brujería... the reality is that one thing does exist without the other, no matter the order you have it in an individual's statement or position.

I can also tell you that it hurts like hell when you have your close family, and I mean VERY close family back there like I have, and you know everytime you say or write something, it might backfire in a matter of seconds to make your family's life even more miserable.
Eso no es fácil tampoco.

Yo no meto las manos en la candela por nadie, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and only time will tell, because they, as myself, never heard of Biscet, the human rights, the horrors in Cuba's prisons, los paredones, all the lies and the twisted stories until we got the hell out of that country.

Ojo! con eso no quiero decir que apoyo a los comem.... que vienen aquí a querer ser más comunistas que barbatruco; eso es una hipocresía como quiera que la pinten!
Por ahora, no puedo hacer mas que desearles buena suerte.

Then, I was left thinking; how the hell do you what freedom is if you've never seen it, felt it or even being talked about it?

It was right there when an essay written by Alberto de la Cruz immediately pop-up in my mind.

Now, I agree more than ever with his statement: "The cruelest and most evil lie the regime has ever told its victims is that freedom does not exist".

Freedom does exist.
It's just that some of us have had to wait like half of our lives to met her.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great post Cubanita!

At least they have already started exercising the freedom of choice, that is, the choice to refuse to go back to the island prison of Cuba! A daunting decision to say the least!

As you stated, we must also keep in mind that these young players have left behind their families and loved ones. We all know that their families' lives in Cuba will be even tougher now!
But with everything that's going on now ... all the CAMBIO in the air ... maybe these young athletes are indirectly telling us that CAMBIO is around the corner and a free Cuba will not require relinquishing their love ones for too long ...

I wish you well :) Melek


“When a government takes over a people’s economic life it becomes absolute, and when it has become absolute it destroys the arts, the minds, the liberties and the meaning of the people it governs. ~ M. Anderson