What was the origin of the conflict between the family of Romeo and the powerful clan into which Juliet was born? I remember the scaling of the balcony, the promises to return, and the banishment to Mantua, but I can’t specify the spark that set off the confrontation between the two clans. Many young Cubans, like Shakespeare’s lovers, have been born in the midst of a conflict whose reasons they can barely identify. They grew up in the shadow of a rivalry between the Cuban government and U.S. administrations; they were nursed on the resentment that had been brought on, or suffered by, their parents and grandparents.
Today, those under thirty cannot trace the origin of resentments for which they’re not responsible. They look ahead and it seems normal that some day the Montagues and Capulets will mix their blood in a common offspring, overcoming the swords and poisons. We will not be able to prevent them from loving each other; let us, then, prevent them from simulating a hatred they don’t feel, and especially from feigning suicide to please their elders.