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Young Cubans who have left the island but are trying to break the mold of exile

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Carlos Manuel Alvarez, a 33-year-old journalist living in the United States, does not want to talk about Cuban politics again. “This is a topic I honestly don’t want to talk about anymore. It already made me nauseous,” says the founder of the independent Cuban magazine sneezing. For Carlos Manuel, as well as for a large number of Cuban professionals who have decided to leave the country, it is an attempt to “not be tied” to the island. The Cuban writer, who published his second novel last year, “Don’t even occupy, which is the most dangerous.” “fake war”About relocation. “I just finished the book. And I deleted everything. It’s a mourning process.”

This week marked the two-year anniversary of the 27-N protests, when dozens of artists sat down in front of the Ministry of Culture to demand freedom of expression to protest the arrest of members of the San Ysidro movement. This demonstration turned out to be a precursor to the mobilization of July 11, 2021, the largest anti-government protest in recent decades. Today, a large part of the protest rally participants had to leave the island under the pressure of the government.

The case of Abraham Jimenez Enoa is similar. For a 34-year-old Cuban journalist, Reviewer The Washington Post, it’s a challenge to reinvent yourself after leaving the island and that “Cuba won’t eat me.” “One begins to develop a kind of disdain for anything to do with Cuba, no matter how long one continues to work on the subject.” A break was necessary for Abraham, but not to cut off the island, but to give it a new place in his life. “You don’t realize it when you’re inside, but you’re fighting all the time and you come out very tired. Here comes the boredom. This does not mean that one does not want to know more about Cuba. Quite the opposite. But it is possible to place it in another place, so that it does not help me, even professionally. ”

The traumatic way in which large numbers of Cubans leave the island—which includes threats, emergency exits, and intimidating responses from the government—leaves scars in their lives that take time to heal. It also helps create a historical cast of Cuban exiles, what Abraham calls a “recalcitrant diaspora” that feeds the rivalry with the Cuban government and needs each other to exist. “I’m not going to distance myself from this model, I’m just different. I decided to take my relocation in a different way.

Cuban exile

The idea of ​​”Cuban exile” is a “terrifying commonplace” for many. “When you go to the liberal world, you witness communism. You become a person who is destined to talk about his bad, from the position of the victim,” says Carlos Manuel. The challenge for most is to create a life beyond the cube. “He has no place to become a subject everywhere. They are already value lines that last for many decades and many people benefit from them.”

Young professionals who decided to leave Cuba without even knowing that they were leaving the island for life, without the possibility of returning. Others did so under pressure from a government ultimatum, forcing them to leave immediately and with what they were wearing to avoid arrest. All of them face the daunting task of building an identity beyond Cuban politics when it seems to permeate everything.

46-year-old journalist Marta, even though she can’t, is “dying to go back”. For Marta, it is important to distinguish the distance that attempts to place Cuba in the life of the displaced from the “complicit silence”. “An attitude of boredom is risky. that attitude I don’t mind Complicity seems to me to be silence. At a crucial moment, you cannot continue in silence or look the other way. There should be a process of reparation and justice,” says Marta.

But there are many young people who are trying to claim from another place. “It ends with an obsession with overthrowing the Cuban government, yes, we all want that, but life goes further. “If some Cuban activists have sinned at all, it’s because they tried to promote change, always trying the same way, with the same strategy, because they don’t know another reality,” says Abraham, one of the last. Independent journalists left the island.

Source: El Diario

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