From Girl to Woman in Cuba


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Somos+, Marcia Castillo Alvarez, 7 December 2016 — Today I woke up with many thoughts and memories I’m trying to sort out, and it seems incredible to me how time passes and we with it. I remember when I was a girl, how I dreamt of and visioned the future, always wanting to see farther. I was raised in a humble home of peasant origin, with great thanks to Fidel and the Revolution, where I only heard about achievements and good things, but no one talked about mistakes.

As a girl I didn’t question myself, because in my fantasy, for me the whole world was good. At home, on the block, at school, i was raised as a disciple of José Martí, a patriot and a revolutionary. When I saw the comandante on the TV screen I saw him as an infallible giant. Along with my classmates I wonder what day the leader would day and how people would react and what would happen.

Today everything is different, I’m no longer a child, and unlike those times I have a lot of questions, and my way of thinking has changed. I wonder how a man who has imposed his way of thinking, his ideology, his thinking, however, he transcends history today. How millions of Cubans recognize his achievements, while in other areas our country is paralyzed in time. It is impossible not to talk about these things that touch us very closely every day.

How one man who fought for a single social class, “the humble,” had at his disposal the car he wanted, while the people barely had a bicycle. How he partook of delicious banquets, when the working class didn’t earn enough money to eat, not to mention the keys to hunting lodges, luxury hotels and places he visited, when a Cuban could go only if he or she received help from abroad or if their family came, and on occasions hundreds have died without being able even to visit the capital city of all Cubans. If I continued to cite examples it would take me a long time to finish, and the truth is, they want us to see something that in reality doesn’t exist.

Today I ask myself, is if worth investing our time and paying tribute to a person who manipulated, cheated, abused, lied, just to remain in power? Can we teach today’s children to follow the example of a person whose deeds do not correlate with his principles, words and ideas?

I invite you all to reflect and decide what to follow, what to teach and what to remember. But beyond the differences, all of us together can bet on a better country, where man is truly free, to choose and to act, and that the people who lead us, we can really know them and choose them.


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