The Cuban priest Alberto Reyes, An ardent critic of the Castro regime, stated that to understand the reality of Cuba it is enough to go out into the streets and see the faces of the people, faces that speak, moan, and scream.
Father Reyes, from the diocese of Camagüey, shared a text on Facebook where he described the misery of many places where people are hungry because their salary is not enough and they have no one else to help them, no doctors. , the children wore torn shoes and mended clothes and people came up to them on the street to ask for money to eat.
The parish priest assured that even if this happens in other countries, that does not justify that people should continue in a system that does not give them a present or a future and that in other places, regardless of what life is hard, when there is freedom, there is hope.
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I thought … (XLVII)
I thought … about the faces that screamed at me.
Nothing really exists if it doesn’t exist, if it doesn’t respond to a reality that touches your soul, and nothing touches a soul like a face. I live surrounded by faces, faces that speak, that moan, that scream.
The faces of forgotten towns like Donato, Jiquí, Palma city, Lombillo…, with their streets without a future that alternate with mud and dust, depending on rain or dry; where you will hear a child say: “Hunger is painful” and another will smile at you with black teeth that have disappeared into cavities.
Cities where people self-medicate because they don’t have a doctor or hope for one, and where you get appendicitis at night or have a serious accident, you’re likely to die because the ambulance doesn’t come on time or doesn’t come at all , and yet, life goes on and noting happens.
Sad faces of parents who can’t find the antibiotics their young children need, or of people who need to have surgery and can’t get the list of supplies their doctors asked for. Faces of diabetics, hypertensives, epileptics, heart patients… who live as long as they can on drugs.
Faces of families whose wages are not enough, and no one outside the country will give them a hand, and who are hungry. They have a little coffee or water with something for breakfast, and they can only eat one meal a day.
Faces of children with torn shoes and tattered clothes, faces of adults sleeping between cardboard in store doors, faces of people who come up to you and ask you for money to eat.
Faces that migrated without getting their hearts on their passports. Faces of people who have been jailed for telling public secrets. Faces of old people alone, abandoned to their fate. Tired, overwhelmed, hopeless faces repeating: “How long?”
What does all this say about many other countries? This is true, but the hunger of Patagonia does not lessen the hunger of the Cubans, nor the beggars of Australia a consolation for ours.
TDoes thesame thing hhappenin other places? Of course, but that cannot be solved by empty speeches of victory, by increasing the number of forced public marches in pretended support, or by slogans shouted at the top of our voices.
That this happened outside the island does not justify the lack of freedom in our civil society, nor the cause of impotence that prevents the search for solutions, nor does it explain why these people should remain belonging to a system that does not offer them now or in the future.
BOnething is different: no matter where, no matter how difficult life is, if there is freedom, there is hope, there is a reason to look up, get up, and come back. But many of the faces around me felt imprisoned, and lost hope, or reduced it to just one: “Go.”
So, while I have the strength and my soul trembles, I join my voice with those who believe that the dawn is possible, that these people will one day rise from this grave and be born again with all the strength of their forgotten roots. I will add my voice to those who believe that God has not forgotten this people, and who asked God this personthem the words that one day he said to the weary Jeremiah: “I know well my plans for you: schemes of prosperity, not misery, plans to give them a future, and hope. (Jer 29, 11).