My Son is 10-Years-Old and Already Sees a Psychologist

My name is Ana Rosa Ledea Ríos, I am a general nurse.  I live at 116 San José Street, Roof Level Apartment, between Industria and Consulado, Central Havana, Havana, Cuba.

My son is 10-years-old and he already he sees a psychologist because of this crude situation that already has affected him.  He is an outcast in his school, they exclude him from group activities, and are denying him his student recognitions.  Unfortunately, at home the situation isn’t better, each time an official from State Security visits us, it terrifies me to think that they are going to take him away from his mother.  It frightens me to leave him alone.

If something should happen, who is going to feel sorry to me?

What I want in life is for my son to leave this country, and it is with mixed emotions:  I want him far from here, but I want him close to me.  I would like him to go although I can only see him in photos and touch him in my memories.  It’s tough; but they have even threatened to take our son away from me.

With my husband, it’s the same, but he makes ends meet.  He gets occasional work and, as the days go by, he returns to the monotony;  the employers turn him down and rescind his contracts for reasons that, customarily, are urgent and mysterious.  Nobody tells us to our faces, but they let us know.  And then, like in that old story about the chicken and the egg; as soon as he loses his job, State Security comes by and they threaten to enforce the “Law of Dangerousness”.

This situation becomes more and more unbearable every day.  Things that I don’t want to think about pass through my head.

They still haven’t denied me the permission to leave, but I can’t leave.  I was one of the people that one day in 2003 intended to take a boat with the only motive of setting sail from this country to live in liberty.

It was published, and known around the world, the message that in that moment Pope John Paul II, sent to Fidel Castro: “His holiness has charged me to ask of your Excellency that you please consider a significant gesture of clemency towards the condemned…”  But it was also public and known throughout the world, the “significant gesture of clemency” that the Cuban government made towards the sanctioned.  Three boys executed; others were condemned to life in prison; but all of the implicated, like me, today are branded with the indelible label of “Terrorist” that is too heavy and leaves too much of a mark.  So heavy and leaving so much of a mark, that these are the holy hours in that no government exists that will accept us as we should be: Refugees.

I have already written many letters, I have already cried, I have already screamed.  I implore you, please, I need them to take away the brand of “Terrorist” so that I can emigrate.  So that my poor son can one day, smile.

Translated by: BW


~ by Juan Juan Almeida on March 5, 2010.

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