What made me a dissident?
My reality is what made me dissent. My mother, because of health problems, was almost completely unable to study. She worked a lot, more than her physical capacity could stand, in order to raise her three children. I remember there was a farmer who owned the land around our house and she agreed to clear the marabu weed from the farm for one hundred pesos.
My mother always told me my future would be different. I had the chance to study and so I did. But it wasn’t enough. Today I have a degree in Legal Studies, period. I can’t aspire to work for a salary that would allow me to have a house, if not one of my own at least a dignified place where I can live with my son and my husband. I don’t have the opportunity to realize my potential either as a person or as a professional.
Whose fault is it, destiny or perhaps God’s curse? The logic of my thinking would not accept either of these answers. The bad luck did not touch only me, but everyone around me, who have worked as much or more than I do.
There were no saints telling me to speak softly when I complained that I couldn’t plan my future life. There were people like me, but full of fear. Then I decided I couldn’t accept my reality passively. I had too many dreams and ambitions, and the desire and strength to realize them.
I’m not satisfied with my present situation, but neither will I go against my principles and personal values. I will not sell my black body to the first foreigner who walks down Fifth Avenue to achieve my goals. That was, and remains, the easiest way–though a risky one– for young women in Havana to meet their and their family’s needs.
I decided to express loudly and clearly what I feel, not whispering with fear behind closed doors. Independent journalism gives me this chance, now extended to the blogs. I decided to do what I consider correct, just and necessary, not what they would ask of me to get a recommendation as if I had to earn the privilege.
I keep on having the same problems. Every day I keep on working for survival: food, clothes, shoes, cleanliness… for me and mine. And I try to improve my humble home. And they have even added new stumbling blocks, such as the risk of being arrested at any time.
But I feel free, because I say what I think as well as what I feel. And most important, I don’t need to be a hypocrite, nor maintain a double standard.