- May 28, 2020 -
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Harold Cárdenas Lema

Harold Cárdenas Lema

Photo: EFE

Children of Triton

The memory is capricious and unjust, magnifies successes of the winners while hiding under the rug the pain of defeat and the price paid at sea. Many Cubans risked their lives on a cruise north and lost it because the sea doesn’t forgive adventurers, nor understand politics or distances. Triton´s children are only in the memories of family and friends because most has begun to forget them. The winners tell the story of triumph, those who have not succeeded wait for their slice of the American dream and those who fell by the wayside simply cannot do it. The price paid by emigration is very high for some families, well kept secret or spoken only in moments of melancholy. Others cling to dream of a reunion that defies logic but it is the only reason to go on. There are stories like this in every corner of our Island, one need only to scratch the surface. In the city of Matanzas studied a 13-year-old boy named Yerisán, he was very popular among the girls in the School of Art but with so few men there, it was no great merit. His father lived in the United States and the family...

The syndrome of those rooted

Given the economic difficulties, many young people decide to emigrate from Cuba; the amount is such that at the moment you do not know who is farther from the island, those who migrated or the ones who stayed? Then a new syndrome arises. Times have changed, what was norm before, now becomes the exception and it is no longer clear who moves away or stays. Over the years there are more lost friends and new empty seats in the classroom occurred more quickly or frequently than expected. For some unfair irony it seems easier today to plan a class reunion 90 miles away from Cuba than in the same playground and those who stayed suffer shared solitude quotas. Much has been written about nostalgia of those who emigrate, but my generation has said goodbye to too many friends and couples with mostly unfulfilled promises. Nobody told us that life was too hard and the world too big. It comes a time when a doubt emerges for those who stayed in Cuba: were they or us the ones who left? We are a generation that did not choose its circumstances that could decide very little about it and reacts moving away...

Special generation

There are things we do not talk about, that stubborn memory tries to delete by all means or return it to us wrapped in a blanket of longing. The Special Period ranks as one of those “things”, named because although it has a name, it does not say anything, it was a period not left behind nor so special. More than sweeten it with this euphemism we must call his name: Fucking Period. No wonder that we have so few family photos of those years, it's like in the late 1980s many things had happened and then for most of the nineties, few embarrassing event photos timidly reflected. In pictures skinny parents and grandparents like if Valeriano Weyler had returned to Cuba, half smiling faces and the innocence of who may not have full awareness of what is happening. Let me clarify that we Cubans are not particularly special, otherwise we would be Argentineans, but we did live in a very unusual circumstance. At home we had no way to prepare for the Fucking Period, but we did. My father used to travel abroad for work, after his penultimate trip to the family sat at the table and solemnly said...

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