Cuban Medical Student Comments on Trump’s Announcement

June 20, 2017 |

By Victor Manuel

The Serafin Ruiz Medical Sciences University in Santa Clara where Daniel Hernandez is studying.

HAVANA TIMES — After so much waiting, I listened closely to President Donald Trump’s announcement in Miami on TV, with respect to the new US policy towards Cuba. Going back in history and back on the rapprochement process between both countries which former US president Barack Obama initiated.

Daniel Hernandez, a young Medicine student at the Serafin Ruiz Medical Sciences University in Santa Clara and the son of emigres who are in exile in the US who he hasn’t seen in 9 years, shares some of his views to Havana Times on the subject of this new stage in US-Cuba relations.

HT: How has your adolescence been given the fact you haven’t seen your parents in 9 years?

DH: It’s been tough, they left Cuba when I was 9 years old and now I’m 18. I have grown up with my grandmother in Sancti Spiritus. I miss them greatly and I would like to be able to see them one day. I have only been able to speak to them on the Internet. I think that’s why I’m studying medicine, so that I can get a [government] mission when I graduate and then abandon it so I can be with them again.

HT: Were you expecting President Trump’s announcement? Were you able to see the speech? What was your reaction?

DH: I’d been following the news a few days beforehand and was waiting for this day to come around, in fact I had a class and I skipped it, I sat right in front of the TV and waited for his speech. I could watch it on TeleSur, I saw all of it. I didn’t understand a lot of what Trump said, but even so I agreed with several things but not all.

HT: What did you expect President Trump’s new policy would be towards Cuba? What announcements or regressions can you see on the thawing process established by Barack Obama?

DH: I think that Trump should break relations with Cuba because the truth is there have been a lot of talks, but people continue living in the same misery and without some freedoms. Plus, the Cuban government makes many demands but it doesn’t want to yield anything.

Obama’s administration tried to restore relations, but the reality is that nothing got fixed, it was just the embassy that opened and that hasn’t done anything but continue to follow the same policy as 50 years ago; US-Cuba relations are at such a point that they were established in 2015 and they still aren’t talking about emigres or former political prisoners visiting this country.

It’s been 9 years since I’ve seen my parents, I grew up without them, and maybe that’s why I see and think about things differently, but it’s this (the Cuban) government’s fault that many families are still separated today. How can it not pain them because at the end of the day we are all Cubans, separated, divided and marginalized a lot of the time?

It isn’t fair that many people are coming from other countries to take advantage of us because of our economic situation, that’s where jineterismo (a form of prostitution) comes from, you can’t deny the fact that our people are among the most beautiful and attractive in the world.

I believe that the Cuban authorities will say the same thing they always do and under the same pretexts.

HT: What do you expect for the future of Cubans now that the US has announced this new policy towards Cuba?

DH: I wouldn’t like there to be a war, because at the end of the day, the emigres in Miami and us are all Cubans, and we shouldn’t pay for anybody’s poor management and wrong decisions. That doesn’t mean that capitalism is the better system because it isn’t, people who have money are the ones in a good situation, but it’s an out-of-date system; Communism is worse because it’s something which is forcefully imposed doesn’t work here nor in the Conchinchina (a popular term meaning any place). If only Cuba were free one day and we were the owners of our own fate. ¡Cuba should live with liberty!

HT: Have you had contact with your parents after finding out about Trump’s announcement? Do you hope to see them again one day?

DH: Yes, in fact I’ve just spoken to my mother and she says that there is a huge party in Miami, that the majority of people are celebrating. Let me tell you that according to what people say there, trips (to Cuba) were suspended and Trump is going to put forward a bill to Congress to apply further sanctions on Cuba while this government remains in power. And something the press here hasn’t covered is that they have revoked visas for all of the relatives of emigres of those who deserted after Proclamation 3447 in 1962. I want to cry so much… If only there were an illegal way out or something… this situation is unbearable!

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  • Moses Patterson

    Daniel says “If only Cuba were free one day and we were the owners of our own fate. ¡Cuba should live with liberty!”. Out of the mouth of babes….

    • Kennedy Earle Clarke

      What do you call free Brother Moses? Tell the world your DEFINITION of FREEDOM! Are the people in the USA free? Do they have a VOICE in the RUNNING of their country after they have voted for their Representatives who they do not see until the next FOUR YEARS when it is VOTING TIME again? When the US president declares WAR, does he consult his people before sending his troops? If the USA is the land of the free why is President TRUMP preventing his citizens from travelling to Cuba? Is he afraid that they will observe the many lies that have been told about the country, its leaders and its people? On June 1st, 2017, Havana Times carried an article dated 31st May, 2017, Headlined, “SAFETY DRAWS TOURISTS TO CUBA!” How come you are always criticizing the country when the TOURISTS who visit, find the place so safe that they had to speak about it? There are more people in prison in the USA, than is the population of Cuba’s 11 million inhabitants: REMEMBER- THE LAND OF THE FREE!

      • Moses Patterson

        Yes, we are free in the US. Our “free” is far from perfect. Our free has good days and bad weeks. But my freedom in the US soars over the life my family in Cuba experiences.

  • Ken Hiebert

    According to a number of sources, there is no longer majority support for the embargo among Cubans living in Miami. The report below is taken from the website of Florida International University.

    https://news.fiu.edu/2016/09/majority-of-cuban-americans-in-miami-oppose-u-s-embargo/103975
    Nearly 70 percent of Cuban-Americans in Miami-Dade County support the U.S. decision to open diplomatic relations with Cuba and a strong majority (63 percent) oppose the U.S. embargo of the island nation.

  • Kennedy Earle Clarke

    IT is so easy to discern the fakeness and falseness in this article. Here is a young man proclaiming to be studying medicine free of charge in a land that that he hates? Could he study medicine in the USA free of charge? He says that capitalism is bad but communism is forced upon the people. Under Batista who was supported by the USA capitalist system, 70% of the eleven million inhabitants were illiterate and, within two years of the Revolution !959-1961, that illiteracy was wiped out under the system which he is now accessing to be a Medical Doctor. His argument is that he is going to avail himself of the education,so that he could be sent overseas on a medical mission and then abscond to join his parents.. Such ingratitude, eh?

    President Trump has turned back the historica hands of the clock in an effort to garner the support the anti- Cuba elements in Miami and to appease Marco Rubio who is on the Senate Intelligence Committee. Here is a President of the land of the free, preventing his people from travelling wherever they want to, and they refer to the Castro’s as tyrants, as dictators? If the USA can trade with Communist China and Russia, why can’t it trade with Communist Cuba? Do you see the hypocrisy?
    If the USA can have those countries in the Middle East where elections are never held as its allies, why can’t it have relations with Cuba which holds elections? Cuba, under the UN Charter, is as Sovereign as the USA? Now, if the USA chooses the capitalist pathway to its development, why can’t Sovereign Cuba choose the Communist pathway to its development?There is no Chapter or Article in the UN Charter which ws drafted June 26th 1945 and ratified October 24th 1945, which prevents any member or any Sovereign country from pursuing the Communist or the Socialist or the Capitalist pathway to their development?

    So,why all the fuss about Cuba and cmmunism? Can you allow a people to access education and medical attention and turn around and subjugate them? Is there free education in the USA under the capitalist system from kindergarten to University Level to its inhabitants? Can the average citizen able to access free medical attention in the USA? The student’s parents have left him nine years ago, how come they have not sent for him since their departure? Nine years is a hell of a lot of time to be away from the son you bore into the world. Is she discovering that the USA is not the land of the free, is not the land of milk and honey it is propagated to be?

    One would certainly have thought that once she has discovered the land of milk and honey, that she would have sent for her son pronto to drink of that milk and honey also?