The trick of the words


As I was born at the center of Cayo Hueso, a well known neighborhood of Central Havana, I like to use all registers when speaking and saying what I want. Be it known that I always get amazed by people’s acuteness when creating new expressions or words. I’m fascinated by phrases such as “that’s your own baggage” (that’s your own problem) or some new ones I’ve learned from my son.

What I hate, and I hate it a lot, is the empty words, the theorization to avoid calling things what they are, the verbal shade hidden or masked. How little is reflected, for example, in the economic definition of “currency duality,” the devastating fact of not being able to buy what you need to survive with the currency in which you get paid. How pale looks the euphemism of “prioritizing the nation’s resources for tourism” in front of the wall of segregation that forbids Cubans to check in at a hotel or rent a car.

Before getting lost in entangled phrases such as “systemic unviability of the Cuban socialist project” I think it would be better to call for the common and known, “This got screwed up.” Let’s not wait and allow the academics and bureaucrats to name what we’re going through. Let’s not allow them to mask with concepts such as “quota distribution system,” “people’s support” or “economic emigration” what we experience in our lives as “not for you,” “don’t you dare,” or “if you don’t like it then leave.”

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