The astonishing and unprecedented sight of hundreds upon hundreds of males, ladies and youngsters taking their meager lives of their palms and filling the streets of ruined cities throughout Cuba has paralyzed the world.
Unarmed and scantily clad in entrance of highly effective authorities brokers, they’ve bravely dared to ask for that sensible factor they’ve been denied for therefore lengthy: freedom. They usually carry a picture of Our Woman of Charity, the patron saint of Cuba, earlier than them. In solidarity, her brothers and sisters just a few miles from Miami flooded Calle Ocho, the principle avenue of Little Havana, and stuffed the Miami shrine to the identical woman with their fervent supplications.
The phrase on everybody’s lips, sung and chanted, in Miami and Cuba, is “Patria y Vida”. It’s the title of a reggaeton music by a gaggle of younger Afro-Cubans who’ve tied all of the ache and longing of tens of millions of oppressed in a single lyrical cry.
The communists who took energy 62 years in the past declared “Fatherland or Demise.” The brand new era, we’re informed, is selecting life. They know it’s a alternative now because it was hundreds of years in the past when God’s impressed phrases have been written in Scripture: Select life, so that you simply and your kids might dwell.
The singers, like a lot of their compatriots, are sturdy, gifted and younger, however trapped in a world devoid of the whole lot, however principally hope.
“Who informed you that Cuba is yours?” they sing, addressing the island’s rulers. “It belongs to the individuals.” They sing the tragic injustice of a small ruling class that enjoys in dizzying abundance of all the fabric items the world has to supply whereas in their very own properties.
Jama ”(“ the pans don’t have any meals ”).
At gunpoint and for many years, we’re informed, they’ve been trampled on and fed not with meals however with lies and evil ideologies. The vestiges of the “malignant” revolution of 1959 proceed to announce the paradise of the legendary seaside of Varadero, whereas the moms cry for the little kids who left the island in despair.
There they have been, earlier this week, his little kids, on the principle avenue of Miami’s Little Havana, singing “Patria y Vida” with the identical fervor, the identical urgency. They waved Cuban flags in a single hand and the celebrities and stripes of their new nation within the different. They grabbed percussion devices on their technique to the door, in the event you can name a wood frying pan and spoon “devices.”
They produced a wonderful beat, a whole lot, possibly hundreds, as numerous automobiles and vehicles slowly handed by, adorned with extra flags and posters painted with the motto of the event. As in all Cuban gatherings, rhythm discovered its reply in our bodies whose knees can not help however bend and hips sway.
Because the week of demonstrations in Cuba progressed, the information from the island grew to become darker and extra tragic. The brief movies which have overcome the brand new virtually complete Web ban within the nation present a bleak scenario.
As an alternative of energetic and demanding crowds, surprising pictures of brutal repression: a person shot at dwelling in entrance of his spouse, 12-15 12 months previous boys taken from hiding to be forcibly recruited into the military, savage beatings, lengthy lists of the “Disappeared”, empty streets aside from menacing teams of paramilitaries wearing black. In every single place concern, ache and the empty eyes of those that have waited a second, however in useless.
For Cuban Individuals it’s clear that their island brothers have hit all-time low after 62 lengthy years of poverty, despair, goals of escape, dislocation and separation from exile. On the island the pandemic has closed the doorways to tourism, for a while the oxygen of the dictatorship.
Cubans drown of their moldy and crumbling homes ready for COVID-19 to reach, understanding that hospitals can’t even have working water or electrical energy, not to mention the therapies that would save them. Its rulers have rejected humanitarian medical help, together with vaccines.
In the meantime, right here and in Cuba, we sing “Patria y Vida”, a music but additionally a prayer. We pray with a religion that can’t be exhausted by time or ache to the identical Woman: Our Woman of La Caridad del Cobre. Greater than 500 years in the past he visited the coasts of the jewel of the Antilles that’s Cuba, to avoid wasting the lives of his poor and ragged kids. It is going to absolutely come once more.