Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Surviving Persecution in Cuba

Surviving Persecution in Cuba
02/22/2016 04:45 pm ET
Yoani Sanchez

14ymedio, Generation Y, Yoani Sanchez, 22 February 2016 -- He was an
acknowledged homosexual and she a convinced Jehovah's Witness. One lived
in the same tenement where I was born and the other in the dreaded
"218," where violence and sewage competed for a starring role. Cusio and
Libna should have grown up with the conviction that every sexual
orientation or religious belief is respected and necessary, provided it
does not imply violence against the other.

They achieved something unthinkable in the Cuba of the eighties:
reaffirming that beds and beliefs belong to all of us, and no ideology
should interfere in them. They were the true survivors of uniformity,
the shipwrecks of the storm of "parameterization" and police raids. Now
in my forties, I continue to owe a debt to the lesson in plurality they
taught me.

Cusio experienced abuse and neglect, but he was always smiling. From
Libna, I learned patience, to swallow hard when everything is against
me, and keep going. I lost count of all the humiliations I faced for not
wearing the neckerchief, that piece of cloth that was making my neck
itch and that now reminds me more of the yoke used on oxen than any
ideological commitment.

One day I lost sight of both of them. We grew up, reached adulthood, and
the game of childhood ended. I know Cusio stayed with his adoptive
parents until their final days, in a Cuba where material poverty results
in so many old people being abandoned. Of Libna, not a trace. I don't
know if she is still living on the island or if she decided to leave,
with her persecuted beliefs, for some other place.

As time goes on I think about them more. I appreciate the lesson of
humility that developed before my eyes, without expecting anything from
me, not a vindication, not even a hug.

Source: Surviving Persecution in Cuba -

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