Montagues and Capulets

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.


  1. No shit, Yoani; resentment totally sucks, responsible or not; loving is the way to go. Everyone knows that.

    (Love your poetry.)

  2. But who is …feigning suicide to please their elders?

    ( I did that a long time ago. Got away with it too. They were mortified…)

  3. Well said. A great contributor to this misunderstanding and mistrust between our two people is the lack of independent news that the regular Cuban is been subjected to.
    For 50 long years the Butcher of Birán along with his followers, including Lage, Pérez Roque and so on, have manipulated the minds of millions in the Island with the scare fallacy of an invasion from the United States and of course if you don’t know any better and they tell you so constantly it comes the time that you believe the lies they are feeding you on a daily basis and from many different fronts. But now thanks to the Internet, the Radio and TV, the parabolic antennas, TV Martí and so on, the truth had sipped thru the crack and many are seeing that they had nothing to fear from the “Imperialists” and the “Miami Mafia” as they call us.
    Castro’s Army will not stand five minutes in a battle with a giant and sophisticated army like ours.
    Many relatives visiting the “Imperialist” country have seen first hand the other side of the coin. The visitors have seen how their family live in this United States, the freedom to choose your place of work, of movement, the educational system in which the government does not force you to an indoctrination like in Cuba.
    The visitors that regretfully have to return to the Island because of family ties they have left behind or for many other reasons begin to think differently and question in their own mind the venomous lies they had been fed for so long.

  4. #1

    I believe Yoani is analogizing the feigning of death with people allowing themselves to be placed, in what by most measures is a miserable economic and ideological situation. People feign suicide by unquestionably following and going through tremendous deprivation and at times, publically consenting to helping causes which are materially and culturally foreign or of no benefit to them. Such as when the dictator sends troops overseas, or foreign aid, both of which deprive the population even more than they have been. There are times when the dictator pretends to ask the people in public speeches, to consent in these activities, and given the schooling and fear, they robotically and in unison, agree to anything he asks.

    Does this help?

  5. Welcome to the good old USA General Motors is only minutes to declaring Bankruptcy. Only in the USA do you toil for 35 years hoping there is a pension at the end. Then guest what the Corporate Greed shows up and General Motors (executive and upper management) have raped the workers and left them with no pension. Not only that the courts give them their blessing and say try it again. Please let the Cuban people in on some of these little secrets of USA democracy.

  6. You ask for the reason of the conflict.

    Cuba tried to free itself from colonial rule for a few hundred years. The most recent attempt in 1959 was
    successful, and US companies lost a huge amount of assets (ownership in cuban companies etc).

    The current structure of society would not last very long if the demands of US side of the conflict
    would be met by the current cuban government. One could only guess how it would look after
    a few years.

    Look at all the countries freed from colonial rule in the last 50 years all over the planet. Choose from those
    that suite your preferred style of government and society. Then try to find a way to migrate towards
    this style.

    From what I learned over the last 20 years (living in Germany), the cuban way is probably not the most
    “free” way, but it does not come with some other problems found in other former colonies.
    Poverty, social injustice, no access to education, health and other public services are rather harsh
    in many former colonies.

    I never visited Cuba, so I can’t comment on how harsh it is in Cuba.

  7. #7, obviously history is not your major. Otherwise you would know that Cuba had been an independent country for decades prior to 1959.

    One thing that has changed. In 1959 almost every country in Latin America and the Caribbean were ruled by military juntas. Today, Cuba is the only one left.

  8. yes # 7; poverty, health, education, social justice; the Cuban regime certainly left their mark on those issues in places like Angola. How many hundreds of thousands died in Africa due to the help the despots gave to “liberation” movements in former colonies. How can anyone say that Cuba was not a voluntary colony of the USSR during that time. Environmental colonialism is presently well established and thriving in Cuba where the nickel mines operate with a lack of environmental standards the rest of the world would enforce. The same goes for those outmoded refineries they are processing all that heavy, high sulfur crude from Venezuela.

    But the Cuban people suffer from another form of colonialism. That imposed by the ruling clique. Many people need cement for repairs to their houses and buildings. Their government tells them there is none available, at the same time that government is selling thousands of tons a month to Jamaica. If you are ever in Cuba try to buy some oranges. They will tell you that ” oranges do not grow here” That is a lie. fidel had all the citrus cut down in 62. All the citrus that is grown now is exported to Europe. Those oranges you so freely buy in Germany really ought to be eaten by Cuban school children. If it was a true socialists state maybe they would be.

    # 6 all you have to do is substitute your term ‘executive and upper management’ for my term ‘ruling clique’ and you have translated the situation into a form the Cuban people understand very well.

    The true subject of the original post was about young people and their rejection of the ideological positions of their grandfathers as passed down thru their parents. Apparently they have realized that the system only promises and never delivers. The long term corrosive effects of living with that realization is hard for us on this side to grasp in our minds.

  9. #6

    In here we try to tell it like it is, good or bad, whether inside or outside Cuba. We don’t want to be like the cuban dictatorship where truth and facts are conveniently hidden or distorted in half lies. Rather we all want to learn and want the cuban people to learn what works and what does not. Read past lists on this blog and you’ll see that at times we debate issues that take place in the U.S. and other free world countries not only Cuba.

    The fact that companies go in and out out of business in a free enterprise economy is no secret last time I checked Adam Smith’s book. Rather it is normal and a very important part of how the system works. In fact it is what gives the system strength and dynamism. If you don’t produce products that people want to buy, you are out. Very simple. Many years ago GM was a significant part of the US economy, today it no longer is. There are many more people employed by the high tech industry, service and international commerce.

    We all feel sorry for the fait of the workers; however, I venture to say that if the company goes bankrupt under chapter 11, I am confident the courts will not deprive the workers of their pension. In fact reorganization of the company will probably include saving the pensions in whole or in part.

  10. AndyG, you hit the nail on the head. Don’t forget Cuban children are required to work the farm fields,”CUT CANA”,as we say. The Regime Elite have milked that counrty into ruins that it is Today. Its sad that all anyone has ever done is just watch. It would be sad to see GM go, and I myself lost money, but I don’t sweat it as it was not my only investment. With the cost of labor in the US at no less than 15-20. USD per hour, making cars in the USA and still sell them at a reasonable price is a problem. I have had lots of fun with the various GM products I’ve owned and am sure someone will still build me a starter motor so that the one I have now lasts me 50 YEARS. Well I hope and I’m sure all the factory workers that in those 50 years we get a BETTER and OTHER OPTIONS.
    Thank you all and HAPPY EASTER.
    I do pray for a Cuba Libre, and feel Yoani posts some to my prayers. We need to fing some new eggs in Cuba.

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