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Rosa Martinez: I am another Havana Times contributing writer, university professor and mother of two beautiful and spoiled girls, who are my greatest joy. My favorite passions are reading and to write and thanks to HT I’ve been able to satisfy the second. I hope my posts contribute towards a more inclusive and more just Cuba. I hope that someday I can show my face along with each of my posts, without the fear that they will call me a traitor, because I’m not one.

Does the Calm Return After the Storm?

October 10, 2016 |

Rosa Martinez

Typical scene in Baracoa after Hurricane Matthew struck.  Photo: cubadebate.cu

Typical scene in Baracoa after Hurricane Matthew struck. Photo: cubadebate.cu

HAVANA TIMES — Hurricane Matthew is finally long away from Cuba, but it destroyed the city of Baracoa beforehand, not only by destroying 90% of the municipality’s housing partially or completely, but also by leaving a deep mark on the hearts of those who live in Baracoa, seeing their city destroyed which took them over 500 years to build.

Cuba’s beautiful First Town is a heap of rubble, broken roofs, stones, fallen electricity cables and poles, cracked walls, missing doors and windows, trees strewn on the floor and buildings too…

My first love’s city makes me weep once again, and not because of the memory of a sensual past, but because of the destruction you can see with every step you take.

Mother Nature wanted the people in Baracoa to pay for the damage that all of us inhabitants on Earth have caused.

What will friends, relatives, neighbors there do now? People ask who don’t know what it feels like to lose everything and be helpless like those affected by Matthew.

However much it hurts, and it HURTS; however difficult it may be, and it is; however much it costs, and it will cost us; there’s no other option but to keep on going.

Our brothers and sisters in Santiago did it after Sandy (2012), people in Holguin did it too after Ike (2008), now we will also do it.

Of course it will cost us a great deal and it’s going to be a long and tough journey, but we have to keep on going, because no matter how much it seems like it won’t, the calm does come after the storm.

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  • Sleepy

    I got here after a while. The curiosity of getting some news and the fear of reading this.

    News have concentrated on Haiti and very little has been said about Matthew and Cuba.
    I have been in Baracoa 2 years ago and I have been enchanted by this town and its surroundings. Reaching it was our most rewarding endeavour. Time for holidays was scarce and connections are what they are in Cuba and Baracoa is kinda end-of-line. Even reaching Santiago with the Carnival in full swipe was no easy task, going then to Baracoa was really stretching our possibilities.
    But the effort was really rewarding.
    The town centre was (and indeed, at this point really “was” it seems) very nice and the bay and the more distant Park Humboldt have been for me one of the highlights of our stay in Cuba.
    I sympathize with the habitants of Baracoa for this disaster and I hope you will be able to get on your feet soon.