By Ana Hurtado on September 6, 2023

photo: Enrique González Enro

My friend Cuban troubadour Ray Fernandez says in one of his songs, “If only I had the patience.” Of course you have it, you have to have it.

Every day is a new thing that the Cuban people have to put up with, not only from the U.S. administration that makes life impossible for them with its well-known hostile policies, but also from their dogs that defend their master even if they sleep in the yard, rain or shine.

Judas sold his master for 30 pieces of silver and we all know the atrocious end he had. Although in this case, the payment is very small compared to the 30 silver coins of the time.

The level of hatred is so great that when imperialism in its spite wants to sink Cuba, when it cannot implement more pain in its criminal policies, it pulls its “grateful bellies” to give free rein to this inhuman feeling and bring it down to the people. Maybe it used to work for them. Not anymore.

Already this technique fails. Error after error. People in Cuba and abroad know well how this profession of poorly paid mercenaries works.

They try to create false opinion matrixes in social networks, they generate violence in Youtube channels to broadcast it against the Cuban people and their sympathizers, they promote harassment and persecution against revolutionaries outside Cuba, they invent lies and spread them with robots on the Internet, they incite people to commit crimes inside the island… Need I go on?

It is a job that is cheap for the United States and for a while it worked for them. But as I said before: no more. Such is the mediocrity of its employees and the low level of its methods, that people already know what the game is all about.

It is like the old story of Peter and the wolf that we were told in Andalusia when we were children. The shepherd boy Pedro was bored grazing with his sheep and decided to amuse himself by laughing at his people. On two occasions he cried out, “Help, the wolf is coming!” and the people came to his aid on both occasions while Pedro was laughing his head off on the ground.

Until the real wolf came and no one believed him anymore. And the wolf ate all his sheep. If you laugh at your people to their face, the wolf will end up eating your sheep, and maybe even you.

The fact that many of us have been chased down the street, had our doorbells rung, insulted, attacked family members and other cheap stunts, is not a reason to be patient or to think we are brave. Brave was my great-grandfather who, with two death sentences and imprisoned in Franco’s prisons in the postwar period, when in the prison yard they forced everyone to sing the “Cara al Sol”, he did not sing it or raise his hand to make the fascist salute. That is courage.

Courage and patience is what Cuba and its people have on a daily basis in the face of the lack of medicines and basic necessities that are scarce because a capricious and criminal blockade does not allow the country to do business and feed its people. Patience is having to put up with the United States, which has been sowing barbarism in the world, introducing Cuba in the list of countries sponsoring terrorism.

That is to have patience, courage and a high forehead in the face of attacks.

The rest of the issues that can make us people, are things more, things less. We do not fight with those who do not exist. We fight and have fought on our part when it has been necessary and Cuba has been directly attacked. But we cannot go around shaking off the flies that want to prowl around us because without us they do not exist. We are clear about what we want, and as I said in a previous writing, we go forward, without averting our eyes.

When I visited New York in 2020 I was able to draw my own conclusions.

The city’s subway was an every man for himself scene. I saw all the mentally challenged people I could have seen in the last few months, gathered at that moment, in one car. Lying on the floor, relieving themselves, banging their heads against the glass. I can’t say I felt fear but I was in a state of awe.

Walking down the street in Harlem I was surprised to see something that had not been seen in Spain for many, many years, more than thirty something years: syringes on the ground. The streets were homey. The latter did not surprise me so much since in Spain there are many homeless people living on the streets, but the number in NYC was very high.

But one day I stopped in front of the door of a school in Manhattan and I was very surprised to see how the children were accompanied to school by many people, how there were security measures at the door and a police van. I thought that maybe it was something to do with that particular school, but then I learned that schools in the United States, as we all know, are a source of danger. There where so many shootings take place and so many parents leave their children with a fear in their throats.

And then there are people who dare to ask why there are so many of us who defend the Cuban system?

Just look at last Monday’s return to class for schoolchildren. Look at the educational system of a town and you will see its progress. Look at the faces of the parents, of the students and you will see hope.

There may be more or less material development (not because of the government’s responsibility), but the educational program and security is something untouchable for the Cuban people. It is the future, and nothing and no one can ever take that away from them.

That is what we want for the world. Why don’t they want people to see the childhood in Cuba? Why do they insist on covering up the achievements of the Cuban Revolution in all fields in spite of their damned blockade?

Could it be that they know that those who really get to know it, without fallacies and lies, know that it is a true model to imitate?

I don’t think it’s really about patience. It is about courage, which is in the DNA not only of the Cuban people, but also of the person who embraces the Revolution as a way of life. There is a word that I find very funny that Cubans use and it is “guapería”.

I thought it was a meaning that had been expressly given to the word in Cuba, but reading a few days ago one of the novels that for me best represents the Andalusian society of the first half of the 20th century: “Juan Belmonte, Matador de Toros” by the eminent Manuel Chávez Nogales, I realized that in Seville it was used with the same meaning at that time.

Courage is in Cuba, and it is in all those who fight for the sovereignty that cost so much work, blood and tears to conquer it.

As a very Cuban saying that reflects well the essence of the people says:

“It is not that we are handsome, it is that we are not afraid”.

Source: Cubadebate, translation Resumen Latinoamericano – English