Miami, My Love
Thoughts on Cuba—and Cubans—from the lens of Miami.
After decades of living under the Cuban state’s criminal propaganda, I landed in Miami in all its luxury and freedom.
In Havana, where banners everywhere declare that we’re in “the capital city of the Cuban people,” government slogans also tirelessly remind us that we’re living in a country “blockaded by Yankee imperialism,” and that the core of all our evils is violently hidden away in Miami, where a “mafia” of citizens of “Cuban origin” are preparing to do battle to re-conquer the island and disintegrate our nation. How? With political vendettas, reclamation of property, and a “three-day license to kill Cubans,” which will be the future for Cuba, according to the Cuban Communist Party’s press office.
- Is it worth-while to focus on the last images and letters coming from the inside of the last living utopia on Earth? Is Cuba by now a contemporary country or just another old-fashioned delusion in the middle of Nowhere-America? A Cold-War Northtalgia maybe? Can we expect a young Rewwwolution.cu within that Ancien Régime still known as The Revolution? I would like to provoke more questions than answers.
- Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo was born in Havana City and still resides and resists there, working as a free-lance writer, photographer and blogger. He is the author of Boring Home (2009) and is the editor of the independent opinion and literary e-zine Voces.
The historical truth is that since 1959 the Revolution itself has been disintegrating our nation into its individual citizens, which has divided the hearts of the Cuban family, sown a terrible paranoia, abolished both commerce and temples of God, launched hundreds of thousands of us into international wars of pillaging, and even now in the 21st century, ruthlessly suppresses any opinion that strays from the official monologue. Death, silence, exile, oblivion: Today these are the four horsemen of the apoCUBAlypse.
But there is hope too. Walking through Miami and getting to know the Cubans who live there has made me realize that there is a lot of tormented magnanimity in Cuba’s diasporic soul. On the Island there are many values that are missing, which are still found in abundance in Miami. There is compassion for the lost homeland. And, of course, there is also a touch of intolerance, just as there is in Cuba, against which we all have to battle on a daily basis (and I include myself in this before all others).
I don’t know whether Havana will at some point manage to become “the capital city of the Cuban people.” But for the moment, Miami has already substituted it in becoming the Mecca of “capitalism for all Cubans.”