The Walls Against the Heart: CUBA The Most Profound Restriction Will Be Lifted
Some may think the Cuban trade embargo is the most profound hardliner restriction all these years. It may be.
But there’s another embargo that has gone on since many Cubans fled the island in the 60s during a military takeover…
and that is the embargo on hearts and minds that has kept families separated from one another between mainland US and mainland Cuba…
The latter hardline embargo has extracted a ‘right of humanity’ by setting barriers for decades against family members being able to freely move back and forth to visit, to love, fight with, care about, watch over, joke with, walk with, heal, guide, help one’s own relatives, visit the graves, do the feasts, play the music, on either shore.
Free movement of family members between the two countries has been littered with difficult…. and as we saw in the Elian Gonzales case- politically charged dirt scrabbles– so in the Gonzales case, a decision was made by governance, not for the child to be able to be loved and cared for by all his relatives here and in Cuba, but that he could be with only one or the other with no visiting back and forth. And this to a child who had just lost his mother to the sea.
Too, in the conquerings of my own people, Mexicanos, called by the Spanish, Aztecs, but we ourselves go by our group tribal names and by our larger original 16th century name, Nahua peoples…. the idea to continuously overwhelm the people was to cut a family in pieces, leave part here and deposit the other part many kilometers away, and then build walls between the family members, by politically rewarding some and aiming opprobrium toward other family members. In essence, to kill the legacy stories –and love— and the plethora of ideas that came from all the family members being together at will, not just as quarantinees.
Its the lack of the richness of stories that often make a person small of heart and mind, the perseveration on just a few that makes a person,
as my father used to say about matters like these… ‘a man is so lonely without family, for he has only two stories, yesterday and today… while the little birds who fly in flocks, even though they fly far and wide from one another, always come together… and they carry thousands of stories from having been thousands of places and lived thousands of days and night… and they tell their stories to each other constantly.’
So that’s what my father said, he an immigrant to the US who was blocked from returning to his huge peasant family by the outbreak of Hitler’s machines. He was not able to go back to the home of his childhood, nor to send medicines or tools again for sixty-one years, not until the fall of the Soviet states. I know the ongoing sorrow of separation from family and land. It lived in my house silently, as in crying silently, day and night.
So, during the election, now President Obama promised to look anew at the US relationship with Cuba, the beautiful gemstone of an island 90 miles from the tip of the United States, so close and yet so far.
Today, he is expected to take some bricks out of the long concrete wall built between Cuban and Cuban America people of great heart: literally so they can see each other.
Another phenomena is also being reported hereat Wapo by reporter Michael D. Shear… that not only will Obama ease the prohibitions that restricted Cuban Americans from visiting their relatives in Cuba…
but also, President Obama is also expected to initiate his vision of filling Cuba with new ideas, and will thus allow some satellite radio companies and television providers to create business partners in Cuba and bring service there, as well as allowing the exporting of cell phones, computers, and satellite receivers to Cuba.
That flood of communications network and equipment, may be the great uniting/electronic storyteller that, crud programming and porn highways aside… there will be plenty of room for a flood of new stories in all directions, good ones, nourishing ones, some delivered by telephone and text messaging and internet… but many, most of all, told with love, person to person.
And for those developers who are salivating over the idea of ‘building out’ the gem of Cuba so that, as in other places, the poor are left out of the equation except as housekeepers and gardeners… just this…
Get a new idea that builds but/and helps people to be enabled to be in more than just low pay serving/assembly line positions. There’s more than just two stories (today and yesterday) for developers to learn and live out, too. Such as development married to more education for all. Cuba and the US will both be the richer for educating the people rather than keeping them as lowly work fodder.
For Fernando, Acilia, Guillermo, Constantin, Lupe, Maria, DiSantos Cuban families who fled to the US and who have themselves carried great bitterness in their broken hearts, but great love over all… and for Los Cubanos who are the same– hurt from years of separation and political slanders about ordinary people, yet filled with huge heartfulness nonetheless– as I know them all to be firsthand despite political wrangling…. the day it seems, has come at last, after having waited for 40 plus years.
It may be that you together, US Cubanos y Los Cubanos, will freely walk again on the shores of your childhoods… and whenever you like, and with whomever you like… for as long as you like.
That alone ought be a ‘political-free’ zone for all, for being together with one’s beloved, difficult, funny, argumentative, sweet and smart relatives is a blessing that belongs to the soul.