A few days ago, I woke up very early—5:30 a.m.— as I usually do. Coming out of my deep, relaxed sleep, there was no way I could have suspected the day that lay ahead.
It was one of those days when everything goes wrong, from the moment you get up to the moment you go to bed. Any news is bad news, and everything that usually works perfectly turns out to be a disaster that day. Just when it feels like the worst is over and you’ve used up all your bad luck, calamity strikes again, confirming you were wrong. In Cuba, we call that “levantarse con el pie izquierdo” (“to wake up with your left foot”), similar to getting up on the wrong side of bed.
Today I was thinking about how I overcame every one of those obstacles, and I realized that, to get past each difficulty, I had the help of supportive people, both friends and strangers. My neighbor, who helped me restart the motor that pumps water to my water tank; it had pooped out at 6 a.m. The young men who helped me change my tire as I was heading, already running late, to take my daughters to school. My girlfriend, who picked up my kids when I called her asking for help after my meeting had taken longer than it should have. The family in the Vedado neighborhood who welcomed me into their house when my pants ripped, loaned me another pair, and sewed mine.
When we were laughing about what had happened to us, my daughters said to me, “that only happens in Cuba.” I don’t know if that is true; I have not lived for very long in other countries, but I can testify to the boundless solidarity that I have received in mine. All of eastern Cuba was affected by a terrible hurricane a month ago, and addition to the measures taken by the government (expert in this type of situation), people’s solidarity saved lives and helped to ease the consequences.
This December, OnCuba presents you with this issue as a year’s-end gift. Some of our topics: the way that we Cubans celebrate these holidays; a look at contemporary art in Cuba; statements by the organizers of the Art Basel fair in Miami Beach; a special devoted to the famous quartet Los Zafiros; and the new economic horizons that are opening up as a result of Cuba’s new migration policy. We also have details on the international festivals of New Latin American Cinema, Jazz, and Arts and Crafts, which are being held in Cuba this month.
OnCuba wishes many good things for all of our people, both Cubans and our many friends who love and respect us. Aché for 2013.