Human Rights in Cuba

Time To Change

Waiting for help
Waiting for help

The Future that Never Came / Rebeca Monzo
Rebeca Monzo, Translator: Unstated

Fifty-two years ago the woman of my story was twenty-five, full of hopes
and dreams. Her heritage was humble, but her family had encouraged her
to study to open a path to a better future. , I am told, was never

When they were surprised by the sweeping social changes, she had
completed her Superior , and recently started to work at a
store on Galiano street. She earned little, but as she lived in her
mother's house, her pay was enough to help her mother and give her some
extras, such as: going out for a snack at the Ten Cent with her friends,
buy herself a new dress for her birthday, New Year's and perhaps the odd

One day leaving work she came across a young man and they were both
looking at each other, as if possessed by a spell. She was dressed all
in white, because it was summer, and he was in an olive-green uniform
with a necklace of seeds hanging around his young neck.

Soon they married and without realizing it she began to identify with
the ideas of her young husband and became ever more involved in
revolutionary activities. It wasn't long before their first son came
along, by then her husband wasn't wearing green and he was working as a
truck driver for a company. Their two salaries together barely covered
the expenses of the three of them. One day, she told me, she got up very
early and surprised her husband hastily packing a suitcase: he was
thinking of leaving the country in a boat and had left a note on the
fridge. How every much she begged and burst into tears, he didn't
listen, he'd decided. "I can't take it any more!" he said.

She was left alone with her son, part of her family had already left,
and many of her friends as well. She never decided to do it: she still
believed that at least her son would have a better future. And she
didn't want to leave her mother behind and she loved this land.

She worked a lot of suffered many shortages, as she never heard again of
the man she had loved, she was driven forward by her son and he managed
to study and even got a degree. Years later, he also left,
looking for new opportunities and because he was tired — he said — of so
many hardships.

So now, at seventy-seven, this poor woman goes out and stands at the
entrances to the agro-markets, to sell some large bags (shopping bags)
that she makes herself from recycled materials, as her meager retirement
is barely enough to survive, and although her son sends her a little
help now and again, he also has a family to support and doesn't earn
much. "To think I worked and sacrificed so much for a better future, and
it has never come, at least not for me!"

August 10 2011

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Zapata lives
Zapata lives
No place to live
No place to live