Let Me Explain…

Rosa Martinez

Picnic on a summer day in Guantanamo. Photo: Reynaldo la O

HAVANA TIMES — Even though I read all of the comments people leave on some of my articles, I can almost never respond (because of limited Internet access), much less write to everyone who might reject or support my ideas.

This is precisely what Havana Times is: a space where Cubans and non-Cubans, both on and outside the island, who love this beautiful island in the same way and are willing to share their impressions about Cuban life or their experience of visiting the island, can exchange their ideas and opinions.

Today, I would like to do two things: first, to once again thank everyone who always takes a moment of their time to read my articles, especially EVERYONE who leaves a comment, whether they agree with my line of reasoning or not; secondly, I’d like to explain to you why it’s so hard for me to deal with some of my country’s negative issues, even though I have written about them a few times before. (Corruption: Enemy No. 1 of Cuba’s Socialism or Guantanamo, Cuba Has Its Shanties Too

I have received remarks on some of my posts from people who believe that I am a government ally and defender or maybe even worse yet.

The truth is that I don’t lose any sleep over people thinking I might be a hard-line Government supporter, especially if they don’t know me. And maybe I am a defender of the Cuban State in some way or another because I am still hopeful that things can change in Cuba, that socialism is the solution, where we can build a better country with EVERY Cuban’s determination and hard work (here and there), providing greater opportunities, a place where young people and not-so-young people have to flee because they feel like they don’t have a future, where everyone matters regardless of their skin color, gender, profession or political ideas.

I still believe this and I had better really because I don’t have anywhere else to go.

I am breaking away from my normal life stories to address this topic because I want to make it clear that I don’t write about some tricky subjects not because telling our truth is like arming our enemies (which is something state institutions have always said) or because I agree with the mistakes being made at every level.

On the contrary, I am an advocate for the Truth, at all costs, nobody is going to take away what we achieve by recognizing our own shortcomings. We are the ones who are handing over our dreams if we don’t protect them tooth and nail, and criticizing, analyzing, commenting, naming names are all ways of defending what we have achieved and it will never be because we want to block out the sun with our finger.

My lack of cutting or hyper-critical articles (which some readers go looking for) is due to two fundamental issues: first of all, I don’t like to discuss things I don’t know all too much about or something I don’t have accurate information about, and our friends know how hard it is to get information about cutting issues in Cuba, in spite of the Internet.

Secondly, there are different ways to talk about our reality and I believe that we don’t always have to criticize directly because you can learn about a country both by reading the truthful, hard-hitting stories and denunciations that my colleagues write so excellently, as well as my life stories which are a reliable display of all the problems we suffer as a society. For example: Historias de zapatos and Cuba’s Financial Headaches.

And last but not least, my dear friends, (I know some of you will understand me a bit better now) sometimes I am so ashamed about some issues that it’s even painful to write about them. I feel about Cuba the same way as I do about my daughters, who I know aren’t perfect, I criticize them, I try and educate them, teach them, make them the best people they can be, but it hurts SO MUCH to recognize their imperfections and mistakes…

Rosa Martínez

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.

4 thoughts on “Let Me Explain…

  • Rosa,

    You are under no obligation to explain your opinions or hopes to anyone, particularly to anyone preaching from a comfortable idealist soapbox. I admire your courage as a Cuban living on the island who is willing to express these things outside your own head.

    Reply
  • Thank you for your posts Rosa. They give readers a glimpse of what everyday life is like in Cuba. I admire those who seek out the positive when there is so much negativity in this world.

    Reply
  • Rosa, I am a longtime and frequent commenter here at HT. I enjoy your posts. Not every article needs to be a hard-hitting expose of yet another aspect of the failed Castro regime. I love my country and at the same time I criticize my government where and when that criticism is warranted. Likewise, I don’t automatically peg you as either friend or foe of the Cuban dictatorship based solely upon your posts which at times criticize and at other times praise your government. I simply judge you and all of the other HT contributors by your adherence to the truth. Please continue to share your truth in this space. I can only begin to imagine your sacrifice and risks for you and your family. Keep up the good work.

    Reply
  • Thank you Rosa for your articles, but especially for your courage in exposing your emotions. That is not easy. Because like you, my wife is involved in education and because like you, she had to struggle to bring up her daughter and support her family, I have gained knowledge of the day by day stresses that you endure. Like you, she hopes that because it is all she has ever experienced, that socialism may change. Unfortunately Rosa, leopards do not change their spots and Marxism/Leninism is similar. Only when Cubans have the opportunity to study and understand different political philosophies and consequences and have opportunity to select their own choice, will things change.

    Reply

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