Liudmila Morales Alfonso

Liudmila Morales Alfonso

Candidata a Doctora en Ciencias Sociales por la Universidad de Salamanca y Máster en Género y Desarrollo por FLACSO Ecuador. Periodista y editora.

Entrance to the Stewart Detention Center, in the United States. Photo: CVT.

Cubans in Stewart: from limbo to hell

Day after day, Oveida Hurtado, 64, lights a candle for her late mother in her apartment in the Vista Hermosa neighborhood in Ciego de Ávila. Oveida, who has suffered from Raynaud’s disease for more than a decade, does not ask the spirit of her mother for protection and health for her, but for her son Yosvel, who since June 2019 has been held in the Stewart Immigrant Detention Center, in Georgia, United States. “That is daily and it is sad, very sad, all that suffering,” said to OnCuba Yania Ferrer, Oveida’s daughter and Yosvel’s only sister, who remained on the island, in charge of taking care of her parents, when her brother decided to emigrate. Yosvel Ferrer Hurtado, 40, a Bachelor of Computer Science, single and without children, had had work problems in Cuba according to his sister because, despite relating “well with everyone” and being professionally prepared, “he did not agree with the politics of this country.” Yania says that “in the end, due to that situation, doors started closing and then he decided to take an opportunity outside the country.” He was first in Chile, from where he returned to Cuba to see his father, who was very...

Visiting John Lennon Park. Photo: Otmaro Rodriguez

Mom, Mommy, and Paulo

The boy with two moms: that's how Paulo has been known since the news spread. Although many people in Cuba know what it is to have more than one mother, although perhaps we have called "mommy" and felt the affections of more than one maternal figure, the difference is that both of Paulo's mothers appear on his birth certificate. This marks the first time for Cuba; a wait of months for two women, and a change in computer software to allow the certification to say “mother” and “mother”. Obstacles stood up like the little hands of this child who wants to show how big he loves his mothers. Dachelys Valdés Moreno and Hope Bastian got married in 2017, in Tallahassee, Florida. In that same place, their son Paulo was born in May 2019, thanks to an in vitro fertilization process that they were able to access because Hope is a US citizen. Neither marrying nor accessing assisted fertility processes is possible in Cuba for a couple of women. But they live there, in the middle of Vedado, in a house that smells like pineapple, mango and guava (when Hope cooks, it can smell spicy; and when Dachelys does it, a...

Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez

Do Cuban women fear COVID-19 more than men?

Help us keep OnCuba alive  The results of the study “Gender and Fear of COVID-19 in a Cuban Population Sample“ show that women living on the island experienced significantly greater fear of COVID-19 than men. In the sample, made up of 772 participants over the age of 18, being a woman was a predictor of medium and high levels of fear of the pandemic. The information was collected through an online survey, between April 4 and May 27, 2020, when the country was in full enforcement of the containment measures to counter the advance of the disease. Just one day after the survey’s information was collected, Dr. Francisco Durán, director of the Department of Epidemiology of the Cuban Ministry of Public Health (and authoritative voice on the development of the pandemic in the country) responded in his daily report to the question: why do more men than women die from COVID-19 in Cuba? Durán affirmed that “there is indisputably a higher percentage of men who have died in Cuba from this disease” and explained the cause: the angiotensin-2 converting enzyme, which predominates in the male sex. In the world, gender has been ruled out as a determining factor for the...