This blog's title means "Cuban-hearted woman" (very loosely translated!). I settled on this name because it had a nice ring to my unschooled ear and, more importantly, because I think the Cuban people seem to have so much
heart, and they're in my heart for that reason. In general, the people I've met in Cuba are quite consistently open-hearted and big-hearted in the way they relate to each other or to visitors in their beautiful land. A piece of my heart now resides in Cuba, with the warm, wonderful friends I've made there. This blog is not intended to be a guide to Cuba, just a forum for my eclectic bits of writing – poetry, opinion pieces and information gleaned from my personal experience and reading.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Dear Mr. C, you should be proud!

Here is a letter I wrote in early 2010, with no intention to send. It was primarily a writing exercise for me, and a way of expressing my feelings about the people I've met in Cuba. I read it at Word Swap, a writers' group I host, and to a few other friends but, other than that, it's fresh fodder!


Dear Mr. Castro,

I am in love with your people. They are absolutely wonderful! You should be proud. During my travels throughout Europe and North America, I have never felt so sincerely and warmly welcomed anywhere. The Cuban people I’ve met all seem to be consistently kind and generous, to a fault; and this has caused my heart to simply explode with affection for them.

I have to admit, I have only visited a few times, always in the Granma region – that historic launching pad for change – but what I have read and heard from other travelers corroborates my view, compounds my admiration for the people of your beautiful country. Perhaps it is like saying I fell in love with a man by only seeing his foot but that is how I feel. (I can extrapolate quite adeptly!) Of course, I know that no one and no land can be perfect; that would be boring. Still, I feel safe in saying Cubans are incredible.

When I first saw the soaring Sierra Maestra mountains, I thought about you Castro brothers and your pal Che charging through the forest – you bright and handsome young men, with fire in your souls and desire for change in your hearts. You gave the country a new start, you bloody well did. And now? Change is needed once again. I know you are an old man and, I hope, have no interest in blood, but something must be done. Your people, your lovely, patient people, are ready for it. I can see it in their eyes, hear hints of it in their voices. They are hungry for change.

Having stated that so unequivocally, however, I can’t say what needs to be done. You would know better than anyone what change can and should occur, in order to improve life in Cuba. I am not a student of politics; my only interest is how people are affected by it. Mr. Castro, I think life is harder for your dear people than it needs to be. Loosen the yoke, please, and allow them be freer to pursue their dreams and to improve their lifestyles. You are the best one to do this, to create change in your country once more...before it is too late for you to do so. In other words, let them live, while you still do.

I suppose I am going out on a limb by writing this to you but I fear little when it comes to something I believe in with all my heart – I think you can understand that or, at least, you once did. I believe in the goodness of your people. I believe they should not have to struggle so hard to survive. I believe you still have the power to bring positive, peaceful change to Cuba, for the sake of your people. Please do what you can.

For what it’s worth, sir, I’ve never fallen in love with a people before, and I’ve never felt the need to write to a personal letter to a national leader. You are my first!

With much sincerity and a full heart,

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