Change life

By:Teresa Díaz Canals

La Habana, mayo 2021
La Habana, mayo 2021

“A time without light makes itself felt. And no matter how quiet this time is, it is time at last, with its inevitable temporality ”.

Maria Zambrano



Change the superficial

Also change the depth

Change the way you think

Change everything in this world


The weather changes over the years

The shepherd changes his flock

And just as everything changes

That I change is not strange



But it doesn’t change my love

As far as I am

Neither the memory nor the pain

Of my town and of my people

Mercedes sosa

Everything changes


On January 8, 1880, in a letter addressed to Miguel Francisco Viondi, José Martí asked him to give his wife a little coat and a hat that the Apostle sent to his son and added: “I spend my last cartridges in love salvos. ”. Those words make me reflect on various aspects of the current Cuban issue: on the remoteness embedded in national history through the separation of families and on the issue of sending remittances, which already in the nineteenth century, the greatest figure in Cuba la practiced. He also sent money to his sisters and parents.

These actions: separated families and remittances, arrive on a large scale in our days, they upset the national soul. It is incredible that after more than a hundred years, in another context, they were not surpassed in time. Today we reach the point where depending on emigration is vital for survival, not just for a significant group of people, but for the country as a whole. The economic imbalance is so great that even with external family support you can live without anguish. And I wonder: what happens to those who do not receive help? They survive in any way: scam, resale, deception and a long etcetera that is difficult to name. We all live it, except for a certain layer of officials, leaders, relatives and a shorter etcetera.

On the political level, the offense in the networks is recurrent, the disrespect manifested in various opinions swarms: “what are the people doing that does not take to the streets? “They have what they deserve”; some Cubans call others “sheep” … On the other hand, from the opposite trench, adjectives abound such as mercenaries, counterrevolutionaries, traitors …

However, when the night is most impenetrable, the dawn opens. “The flower is never still, the color in it lights up or fades” .1 What happens to us with this discredit?

The term ram is used here metaphorically to refer to the word meek. Although meekness is often identified as weakness, in reality this attitude is also strength under control. She moderates anger in times of conflict, avoids all disorderly movements due to the behavior of the other. “Blessed are the meek.”

Havana Cuba
Havana Cuba

In 1889, in another letter known as the Vindication of Cuba, written in New York City, our Apostle wrote:

“We Cubans are not the people of miserable vagabonds or immoral pygmies that The Manufacturer likes to describe; nor the country of useless verbose, incapable of action, enemies of hard work ”. No, no people deserve to suffer what Cuba has suffered.

An Argentine tells me: “in my country many people eat once a day, Teresa, once a day! In my country the soldiers are in the streets, a fierce repression; you are victims of the embargo ”… The same old discourse, unbearable, because we have no right to complain when it comes to Latin America. One day they turned us into a beacon, for example, a guide, without the right to be tired, to strike, to protest, without the right to leave freely and one day to be able to return – when we understand – with rights. The social mandate of Cubans is to resist, resist, resist. Our stagnant, invertebrate emotion.

The national coexistence cannot be static, they intend to reduce the meaning of Cuban life to mark in a queue because, possibly, yogurt or chicken arrives, daily life is so miserable! Cominera, absurd. People do not live together because yes, the groups that make up a nation live together for something, they constitute a community of desires, of purposes, of utilities. To command you have to know how to do it. Meetings go and meetings come, generally held to announce how bad we are. As José Ortega y Gasset wrote: “The nation is not born, it is made.”

From an ethical approach I would like to warn of the danger of perceiving the human from the representation configured in a discourse. The human, if it is human, must also express the failure of all representation. If the human is translated into a mere concept, it becomes a mechanism of exclusion, of violence, of inhumanity. There are no unique ways to live, to exist. I end with Michel Foucault in The Archeology of Knowledge: “Do not ask me who I am, nor ask me to remain unchanged.” It is about society being appropriate to the person, his appropriate space and not his place of torment. Ω




[1] María Zambrano: “The mystery of the flower”, in De la aurora, Tabla Rasa Libros y Ediciones S.L., Madrid, 2004, p. 154.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.