Jun 13, 2008

A quick look to my generation - UPDATED

No need to dig very deep.
Just take a look at the words of this young Cuban actor, recently arrived to Miami. We’re very close in age (although I won’t say mine) and our arrival to the US is separated merely by seven years. The golden nugget?

"Los jóvenes cubanos de hoy no nacimos bajo el encantamiento de la figura de Fidel Castro”… "Sentimos la falta de libertad y reclamamos el derecho a elegir nuestro futuro''.

The philosophy we grew up with –after your “eyes-opening” given experience?
“Lamentablemente, la única salida en Cuba es la salida''

In other words, most of us see or used to see our fatalistic luck, referring to castro’s inc, as “a nosotros esto nos cayó del cielo”, you know, we inherited it “de jamón”.

The sure solution was, and still is, to leave that hellhole. A fin de cuentas, we are not going to be the first ones to follow that route.

Is that right? Is that wrong? I don't know; I'm none to judge.
But the fact is that it was lo que nos tocó vivir.

Then, inevitably, I remember the worst years of the “special period”, specifically July and August, when the summer and the heat are bestial in Cuba.

We were living 8 hours with electricity and 8 hours without it, on a rotating basis. (And we lived in the capital; my relatives in Pinar del Río were without electricity for 16-20 hours in a row).

I used to got nuts –almost literally, screaming on top of my lungs, in the middle of the stairs of my soviet-style-block multifamily building: “Hay que irse de esta m….” “Me voy aunque sea para Burundi”. Funny, short after that we started seeing in the news the civil struggle in Burundi.

Meanwhile, my poor mother wouldn’t stop to pull me from my arm, telling me: “Niña, cállate la boca, que te van a meter presa”. I think I was lucky that none of the chivatos del barrio thought I was becoming a “social pre-dangerous” individual.

By then I was almost half of my career in law school (in the distance education program, you know, all by myself, so nobody could come later to tell me that I owe my university career to anyone; no social service required, BTW) and I started to realize that what I was studying and answering in my tests was nowhere close to the reality. Things didn’t add up, you know, no me cuadraba la caja con el billete. Y se hizo la luz…

If you read Yoani's post about the hand that throws the palitos chinos, you'll see it's not only the filólogos, it's an entire generation that has been spreaded all over the world. I have classmates living in Germany, LA, Chile, Spain... and I've also know of some that died in the Florida Strait.

Everything is so familiar!

I also wanted to study journalism, but I was not awarded any of the five choices of careers that I requested. Not matter the good grades in HS and the good grades in the admission tests.

I also knew I had to leave. I knew it since day one.
The difference is that I don't have what is required to go back, like she did.

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