[Yaineris – Age – 30’s;Birthplace – Holguín, Cuba; Residence – Santiago de Cuba, Havana, Cuba, Holguín, Cuba; Lives with Teenage, Profoundly Disabled Daughter, in Illegal Rental Unit when in Havana, Extended Family When in Other Locations; Occupation – Educated as Economist; Worked in Government Stores; Prostitute]
I am writing this from an Internet facility in Havana. I was at the casa particular of Reinaldo last night.
Although I had not heard anything about a planned protest, Reinaldo’s wife said, “Did you know some exiles living in Miami are sitting off our coast in boats and will shoot fireworks in a few minutes?”
I said, “No, I haven’t heard. What’s it about?”
“A protest of our government’s refusal to honor human rights.”
I said, “Big words. Protests get us nowhere.”
She said, “Anyway, let’s go to the rooftop and see if we can see it.”
We climbed the internal stairs several floors to the roof. A few other residents of the building were there. We greeted each other. Then we stood, facing north, sunset still fading to the west, and waited.
I was anxiously waiting for a call from one of the hotel guards, hoping for some business. My daughter was home with the babysitter, like every night while I work. We stood. We waited.
Finally, a bright ball of light appeared in the sky to the north. “That’s it,” one of the neighbors said.
As more lights appeared, people hugged. Some cried.
I, personally, was not feeling that emotional. I didn’t see that it was such a great event, or was any kind of victory.
But Reinaldo said to me, “Yaineris, our people who are in the U.S. are talking to us. They are talking to Fidel and Raul. They are saying they support us, and they are taunting Fidel and Raul. You see?”
It’s funny. I kind of teared up a bit. I guessed I understood a little. It seemed a large effort for a small taste of victory. But I got it. The exiles had returned --- close enough to send a message of hope.