Saturday, December 19, 2009

Reasons behind Numbers

A few days ago, in an old post (Cuba is leaving Cuba, Nov 29th), I tackled in terms of numbers how Cubans had been emigrating everywhere. I would like to turn the page and talk a little bit about reasons rather than numbers. Reasons behind numbers

I observed in many websites this issue has been tackle a bit superficially. I’m not talking about websites supporting Cuba’s point of views. We know how those are working and what it is the “truth” behind those posts. I also read a document emitted by ECLAC (Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean) claiming that just 8% of Cuban population had emigrated, which in terms of number are 912 thousand. That report added our numbers are below the standards of other Latin-American countries.

What that report failed to say is that the source of those numbers is the Cuban authorities. Ironically, nobody in Cuba publishes that report, even when the numbers are conspicuously smaller than the reality (just read my old post).

Another source, the University of Havana’s International Migration Research Center (CEMI), claims that at the latest 90’s, the migratory potential in Cuba was between 490 thousand and 700 thousands.

All those numbers are estate secrets in Cuba, but there are posted in official’s websites. Something very usual in Cuba’ standards: Cubans don’t have internet to look at. But still those amounts are controversial.

The facts are, we are leaving Cuba and the reasons are more important that numbers. I have friends in Spain, the States, Uruguay, Argentina and France. All my old classmates are abroad. By the way, I was the last to leave Cuba.

Those reports didn’t say a word about how those migrations are composed: how many children, youth, adult, women, professionals, etc? Raw numbers never speak too much. And I have the sense our youth is leaving. It is a dream of everyone in Cuba. There is the fact that young people don’t even finish their career in University because then they have to wait two year to get the permission to leave the country.

Even people with a higher standard of life are getting out in any way possible. The most worldwide renowned case was the Elian’s saga. Her mother was working in tourism, which is one of the most privilege sectors in Cuba’s economy. And still she left the country and fatally died.

The reasons are many: lack of opportunities to grow economical and financially (there is always a top to get notice by the Cuban authorities); low salaries; the housing market is inexistent and many generations are forced to share their life under the same roof; real poverty and real lack of civil human rights.

Regardless of all the propaganda and slogans about the future and the leadership in Cuba, the offspring’s of those same leaders are living abroad, plus the enormous privilege of those to get in and out of Cuba without any permission, something that is denied to the huge majority of Cubans.

They are frustrations piled up from years that people are not able to understand and believe. And rather than try to change, they prefer to give up and get out to another place.

Finally, there is disbelieves about our politicians as huge as hypocrisy to confess that truth. Nobody wants to be a role model as politician. The ones having positions in the government are keeping them without any truly convictions in what they are repeating after.

In Cuba there is only one source of everything, and that one is impossible to deny it, or at least, without any cost.

So, numbers are numbers. They are ruling out the real face of what it is the reality behind our diaspora. We are not numbers, we are reasons.