I Cannot Be Hypocritical
My friends I want to share with you the answer that I gave Tatu, a young revolutionary who wants to know, after reading a piece about my life, why I don’t agree with the Revolution and want to destroy it.
My answer is simple — four words: I cannot be hypocritical. I cannot think one way and act another. For example, I cannot commit myself to fight against illegality, when by necessity I have to be a part of it. Let me make it clear, I do not want to destroy anything; “the Socialist Revolution” destroys itself.
It wasn’t “the Revolution” that disappointed me, but those who speak for and represent it. Do you want to know when my disappointment began? When I started studying in “the best high school in the country.” God only knows how I much I was struck by the economic differences between many children of leaders: Fidel’s grandchildren, the sons of the deposed Carlos Lage and Ramiro Valdez, the nephew of the Historian of Havana, the daughter of the director of Cubanacan, etc.; to name a few.
My disappointment was completed in the university: “To step forward at every call of the Revolution, to sacrifice to defend the gains achieved.” It sounds romantic and idealistic, but the sad thing was that those who professed loyalty to the revolution later betrayed it, selling everything in the “Ignacio Agramonte” university plaza.
Those who secured a political endorsement through hypocrisy, those who got the best jobs and enjoyed the best invitations to amuse themselves at nightclubs at the expense of the budget of the UJC, are the ones to thank, not me. Nor should you think that I judge their behavior. I simply do not share their interests and principles.
That really influenced me. I was disappointed when I realized that despite all my sacrifice and personal effort to become a professional, I would never be able to give my son a decent life. I fulfilled my goals, but not my plans for the future. With my salary as a legal professional, I cannot live as a person unless I am corrupt. Honestly, that is not what I studied for. I think I would have been better off as a street-sweeper. Is that fair?
I got pregnant at 18, which was also not planned. But from that moment, my life and overcoming it would be to ensure the future of the child I was carrying in my womb. Go back to look at the pictures of the dump. I do not know if you can imagine it, just try. A child growing up there, you cannot teach the rules of formal education because you do not have a table. He has to eat with the plate in his hands. He has no privacy to relieve himself. You don’t know his friends, because he is ashamed to bring them home. I invite you to visit me to clarify your doubts.
You say: “… life cannot be governed by love of material things …” It is your right to think as you wish. For me, the spiritual peace that I feel when I write and with each job externalize my feelings, my thoughts, is enough. Money does not bring that. Professionally I am also disappointed. The legal system of my country is subject to the interests of the ruling political class. The law is applied according to convenience and justice is forgotten in a dark corner.
I am not trying to justify myself, I don’t care if you judge me. I don’t have to prove anything. I think, “If I am not loyal to myself, to whom can I be faithful. Far from feeling miserable, I feel more human, my concerns and aspirations are the same as anyone else’s. I feel no shame and even today, it is what I do with the greatest satisfaction, and for me that’s enough.
I want the satisfaction that my son enjoys. I want him to speak out loud, not to whisper; I want him to be loyal to himself, not to what they impose on him; I want him to have opportunities and dreams; to develop goals for his life, plan his future, and fully develop the potential of his personality.
What I want for him, I desire for all those born on this earth. Inevitably, for that to happen, things in my country have to change. Simply stated: I decided to do my small part to make it happen. I want a society where everyone can define and build the future. Where only a few don’t decide what is best for all.
I am not going to silence the truth, for fear of what they think of me. I do not hide and you are wrong when you say that in Cuban people are not punished for thinking differently. Read the text of Law 88, “Protecting national independence and the economy.” It severely penalizes what I do. Still, it is about my rights, which I enjoy and exercise as a part of my human condition, not because they won “The Socialist Revolution of January 1, 1959.”
That is the reason I disagree and I do it through conviction, speaking personally. Also I assume responsibility for each of my actions. No one manipulates me, I simply say out loud what the majority whispers.
I repeat: I have nothing to thank what you call the “Revolution” for, what for me is involution. Any government, independent of its ideological position, has the responsibility to ensure health, education, and social security and assistance to the governed, and also to respect their civil and political rights. The Cuban State promised this in 1948 when it signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
It is true I go to the U.S. Interest Section, it is the only place that offers Cubans completely free internet access. A piece of advice, don’t repeat everything you hear, find out first. Before accusing me of being a mercenary you need proof, otherwise you would be committing the crime of defamation. Visit the pages of my personal blog, https://leyesdelaritzaen.wordpress.com/. You will find legal information on the subject.
Another thing, you’re wrong when you say that only with my personal effort alone I could, “without paying even a penny, study at a major prep school in the country and at the major university.” It also required the sacrifice of my mother. Though illiterate and lame in one leg, she worked at the cost of her health so that I could realize my potential as a human being. It is her whom I thank, and who inspired me day-to-day.
I have already talked too much about myself. I have told you the why and wherefore. Now I ask, “What is the Revolution for you?” If you answer, please be original. Speak of your feelings aside from ideological considerations.
I forgot, my address if you want to find me is: Calle Ángeles no 169-B, between Lindero and Calzada de Managua, Calvario, Arroyo Naranjo, Havana. My telephone: +5352415948. I wait to hear from you.