Solidarity in times of hurricane

Solidarity in times of hurricane
Fecha de publicación: 
3 October 2022
Imagen principal: 

What in other latitudes is autumn —and on this side of planet Earth it is a somewhat wet ambiguity—, few leaves will be found here to take away this year.


Hurricane Ian wiped out the trees. From enormous and very old trees, to youthful and flowering bushes, everything was uprooted.


And along with the green that it uprooted, it also exposed more than one reprehensible behavior, which was most noticeable by the contrast with so much overflowing humanism.


While there were individuals who offered their commodities to charge cell phones and lamps by connecting them to plants, even to bicycle batteries, and they advertised it with posters, on social networks; there were others who, taking advantage of the shortage, charged up to two hundred pesos for that possibility.


Even a certain hotel in the Plaza de la Revolución municipality, having electricity because it had a plant, forced the neighbors to consume something in order to access the outlets.


In a private delicatessen, a tray full of catfish fillets was at risk of spoiling on the counter, and, when asked what they were going to do with it, the clerk replied succinctly and sadly: “throw it away when it spoils, I am not the owner.”


At the same time, same neighborhood, a local woman was distributing free portions of cooked chicken among the neighbors, "because her packaged chicken was about to go bad, as everything was defrosted."


As there was no water supply due to the lack of electricity, a couple of young people charged 40 pesos to carry each bucket of water up to the upper floors of their building, and while they climbed the stairs two at a time, an old man climbed laboriously with his bucket, after not having 40 pesos to pay.


And so it was. Simultaneously, another citizen voluntarily took care of some senior citizens who lived alone in different floors and apartments.


This short plethora, built from what has been registered in social networks and life experiences, is only a spot out of the many experiences and stories treasured these dark days. And they are just ants if compared to the elephant of problems unleashed in Pinar del Rio, which has resulted in tragedy, but also in solidarity.


And everything confirmed that, although we are all different and that is how we act in the face of a crisis, the 'every man for himself', brought to the surface by the most primary instincts of survival and, above all, by selfishness and despicable insensitivity, will always have the contrast with other attitudes that sail from the best side of our humanity, on this Island "On the shore of the gulf where every year the cyclones make their mysterious nest!,"  as great  poetess Dulce María Loynaz said.


Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz / CubaSí Translation Staff


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