04 March 2008

You Can Always Count on Them ...

I am an only child.

I like to think that this is because I broke the mold, but I know better.

What was broken was my parents’ heart seeing their country being destroyed piece by piece, province by province, town by town, street by street, home by home, family by family, person by person. They chose not to bring another child into Castro’s orgy of destruction.

Their mission became to get me out of Cuba. When I was around five years old, I overheard a scary conversation between my mother and a friend who had asked her why she didn’t have any more children. My mother told her friend, sobbing, that she would rather die than bring another life into Cuba to suffer and struggle for no good reason, (“a sufrir y pasar trabajo, por gusto”). She said all she cared about was “getting this kid out of here before they kill him.” She was convinced that my mouth and the revolution were on a collision course. I wasn’t very fond of the olive drabbed “milicianos” thugs who were put in charge of destroying Cuban society and took their mission very seriously. And I had my own mission - joder.

For example, in first grade I was given a revolutionary “talk” a “charla”, at school. One day, probably a Friday, they had us lined up outside in the schoolyard just before the commencement of some revolutionary program and they started counting heads. I took offense to that and said “no me cuentes, que no soy gallina”-"don’t count me, I’m not a hen"-under my breath. I didn't exactly know what that meant, but it sounded pretty rebellious. The revolutionary zealot "teacher" overheard me. After the program, I was taken to the office where they very nicely said what they always said. The same infernal speech…kind of like Obam…but that’s another post… “Mijito, tu sabes….blah, blah, blah, the revolution, blah, blah, blah, Fidel, blah, blah, blah……”

So I didn't blame my mother for the way she felt and I saw her point, but she could at least have gotten me a puppy!?!

Seriously, as I grew older, I always wondered if I would have had kids myself had I not been rescued from the island prison. I really see no point in consciously doing so – as cold and as nihilistic as that sounds, But hey, I’m not a very warm and fuzzy person. I blame Che. They told me to be like him and in a way, I am.

ANYWAY, the reason I bring this up is because the Cuban regime has announced that for the second straight year, the Cuban population has declined. By 1,889. Yes, in a country of 11.2 million people, they can tell you, with totalitarian precision, that in 2007 there were exactly 1,889 less Cubans in Cuba then there were the year before. Not 1,885 not 1,890. Not 2,000, which, by the way, is an immaterial .0168069425%. No, 1,889. EXACTLY.

I wonder how they counted the 5 who were on a Coast Guard cutter on the way back to the Cuban concentration camp after being “intercepted” at sea on December 31, 2007? Would they have been numbers 1,890 to 1,894 or where they included in the 1,889?

Anyway, thanks to my mom, I’m one of the APPROXIMATELY 2,000,000 Cuban exiles that escaped Castro's animal farm or concentration camp-pick your metaphor-and are not counted like livestock or inmates.

1 comment:

Ziva said...

The parents, the children, the grandchildren, and now great grandchildren. Generations of Cubans living and dying in exile. How much longer can Cubans bear the unbearable? How much longer before God or man ends it?